Giveaway of the Day - Island Realms

Island Realms
August 31, 2013

When a band of merry sailors are cast away on the shores of a beautiful island, they find themselves in need of shelter and sustenance. Explore your new home, build mills and quarries, engage in trade and purchase upgrades to help these courageous settlers make ends meet. Just don’t let the bad guys loot your supplies! Get creative as you build your very own island paradise!

  • Five resources to collect
  • 10 trophies to earn
  • Dozens of islands to explore
  • Vivid graphics and animation
  • Unique gameplay that’s easy to learn.
User Rating: Rate It!
  • 243 (74%) 
  • 86 (26%)
22 comments
System Requirements: Windows 2000/ XP/ Vista/ 7; 600 MHz processor; 512 MB RAM; 32 MB video card; Direct 8.0
Publisher: Alawar Entertainment
Homepage: http://www.bigfishgames.c...
File Size: 52.2 MB
Price: $9.99

This software was available as a giveaway on August 31, 2013, this giveaway is not available any more. You can download the trial version of this software at http://www.bigfishgames.com/do....

Terms and conditions

Please note that the software you download and install during the Giveaway period comes with the following important limitations: 1) No free technical support; 2) No free upgrades to future versions; 3) Strictly personal usage.

THIS SOFTWARE PRODUCT IS PROVIDED "AS IS" WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. WITHOUT LIMITATION, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT ALLOWABLE BY LAW, END USER ASSUMES THE ENTIRE RISK AS TO THE QUALITY AND PERFORMANCE OF THE DOWNLOADED SOFTWARE PRODUCT.

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22 Comments »

  1. I’m extremely busy today as we only have two weeks left before we move and there’s masses to do (emptying our old house, decorating and repairing loads of things in readiness for renting the place out). I’ve already got a tenant lined up; plus the house needs refurnishing, so I’ve posted Gamezebo’s review below with images I’ve captured from the game, plus a few found on the net (the last three images).

    My usual stuff such as intro and installation information as well as video’s are missing. If I do get chance later I’ll add them.

    I’ll moderate as often as I can, but it’s more likely to be much later this afternoon or evening. Hopefully, once I’ve moved (between Sept 16th to 20th) I’ll be able to return to my old reviews and moderate more frequently. sorry for the inconvenience.

    Please do leave feedback about the game, whether it’s positive or negative, it’s always welcome. Please do remember that this is a family site so no swearing. Thank you. ;-)

    Have a great weekend folks.

    Island Realms

    As the name of the game indicates, the player visits a large number of small islands throughout the game. Your basic goal is to reach the next island, but doing so requires a lot of work and strategic thinking, which is without a doubt more challenging and hectic than what some casual gamers are used to. To reach another island, you have to load a wagon at the end of the current island with various goods, such as food, stone, coins or wood.

    island realms

    island realms2

    Though this may sound simple at first, it is clearly not, and just like in the Farm Frenzy series you will have to restart numerous levels more than just once to figure out the appropriate strategy to leave the island in expert time. This can certainly be frustrating, but most of the times it fortunately is not, because there are various ways to beat any level, so that a fresh start really feels like a totally new level.

    The goods you are going to need on your journey are produced at the mill, the stone quarry, the sawmill, or the forge, and depending on how far those buildings have been upgraded, you need the according number of men to produce food, stone, or wood. To be able to upgrade any building, you first have to purchase those upgrade permits at the store, one of the rare buildings that are there from the beginning on, and which are not in your possession.

    island realms3

    island realms4

    Furthermore, the delivery of the goods is a strategic element of the game that should not be underestimated. Most of the roads between the different buildings have to be constructed right in the beginning, and to fulfill production and delivery tasks you have to train more men to become more effective. The control of your men and the assignment of tasks works absolutely brilliantly, which is definitely worth a nod towards the developer, because the A.I. is nearly flawless.

    The exchange of different goods at the store is one of the core features of Island Realms. Here you can spend all your goods for coins, the latter ones being the last requirement to leave any island. Later on there are also piers on your island, where different ships will stop at on a regular basis, offering what can be called special discounts. Here the player is able to exchange goods that are not available anywhere else on the island, or you will get just a very good deal out of it, so these ships are always worth to check out.

    island realms6

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    Another very unique aspect of Island Realms is the addition of an enemy. Fortunately the game still is not overly violent, but the theme of conflict might still rub some gamers the wrong way. On most of the islands you will find a bunker accommodating your enemy’s soldiers, who will make the life as difficult as possible for the player. Some of those soldiers will destroy your roads, others will steal your goods whenever they can, and those are only a few of the bad surprises they come up with. But there is no need to be too afraid, because Island Realms offers a lot of tools for the player to handle the enemy and to prevent any further disturbance.

    The graphics are actually great, with fantastic animations and comparatively detailed people. The interaction between your own men and the enemy is hilarious to watch, maybe except for those moments at which every second counts, and where it is absolutely frustrating to see your men, currently delivering the urgently needed goods, being sandbagged by the patrolling men of the enemy. The landscape and the buildings look beautiful, too, but are mainly functional, and it’s to the game’s advantage, that the scenery is not overly crowded, so that the player can fully concentrate on the action itself.

    island realms8

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    If there is one sharp point of criticism with Island Realms, it’s the blatant lack of a tutorial. The already rare instruction boxes are not very detailed, a lot of features are not explained at all, and a few more elaborate tips would surely have been a welcome and helpful addition to the game. It definitely is possible to figure out everything on your own, but this takes time and patience, as well as the willingness to restart a level because you were not aware of an important detail right from the start. The game is definitely worth it, but not everyone might have the time to learn the rules of the game in a “Do-it-yourself”-manner.

    Island Realms is definitely on the challenging side, with comparatively long and complex levels right from the beginning. Interestingly enough, the game is another example of the successful approach of the casual and the hardcore gaming market. The trial version should suffice to assure whether the game is to your taste or not, but especially those of you who already liked the old classic The Settlers will absolutely adore Island Realms.

    Reference accessed HERE 31st August 2013

    island realms free 01

    islandrealms1

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    Conclusion:

    Pros

    Highly complex and challenging gameplay. Stellar production values. Decent length. Innovative and unique. Awards to win. High replayability. Nearly flawless controls.

    Cons

    Not enough instruction. Poor storyline. Only one mode. The enemy feature might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

    If you miss todays game, or wish to have shortcuts installed automatically, you can get Island Realms free 24/7 from MyPlayCity HERE. Do watch out for home page hijacks and toolbar installations when installing from MPC.

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    Other Games

    If todays game doesn’t appeal to you there are loads of places where you’ll find bargains such as Gamersgate, Desura, Steam, Gamefly and Greenman gaming. Plus there are some excellent bundles available at the moment. Check the game discussion forums HERE for details of all of the bundles available at this time. You’ll only pay around $5 for several games, all of which are excellent, for example The Groupees Capsule Computers bundle includes Cognition Episode 1: The Hangman, Super Sanctum TD, Three Dead Zed, Transcripted, Lost Marbles, Pressure, SpaceChem, Swords & Soldiers HD or the latest Indie Royale bundle that includes Block Story, ASA: A Space Adventure, “Beware Planet Earth!”, Diadra Empty, Bollywood Wannabe and Undead Legions. The Indie Royale Bundle is a debut bundle and comes with G a DRM free download, a Desura key plus the games are on steams Greenlight project, so, if greenlit, you will get a Steam key as well. The Groupees bundle comes with a mixture of Steam and Desura keys. Also, the Humble bundles latest weekly bundle includes a great line up of games; for only $1 you’ll get Europa Universalis III Complete, War of the Roses: Kingmaker, Warlock: Master of the Arcane, Leviathan: Warships, Dungeonland, The Showdown Effect, and soundtracks for all these games! Plus, if you pay over the average (about $5) you’ll also get Crusader Kings II and Magicka plus their soundtracks. AND for the price of around 2 premium AAA games ($125) you can get 80 great games via the humble weekly sale (won’t list them here, but there’s hundreds of dollars worth and most are {IMO} excellent games).

    The Indie Gala Theatre of War bundle includes for $1 Theatre Of War, if you pay $2.69 or more you also get Theatre of War 2: Kursk 1943, Theatre of War 2 – Battle for Caen DLC, Theatre of War 2: Africa 1943, Theatre of War 2: Centauro DLC, and if you pay $4.55 or more you also get Theatre of War 3: Korea – all come with Steam keys.

    The latest IndieGameStand (IGS) deal is ‘Pandora Purge of Pride‘ a first person puzzle game in which you play as Pandora, a Victorian woman who must recapture the Seven Deadly Sins after they have been unleashed on her mansion. The game comes with a DRM free download link, a Desura key and is on Steams Greenlight project, so you may get a Steam key later. This deal ends tomorrow morning 4am GMT (about 18 hours from now) :)

    You’ll find IGS HERE

    Finally, check out the didimatic site for loads of deals on some of the sites I’ve mentioned HERE.

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    A Request for help:

    Developers rely on good feedback to improve their games. If you download this game please take some time once you’ve played it a while to leave some constructive feedback either positive or negative. The more constructive feedback we get, the more likely developers are going to give more games away. The giveaway site already has a very good standing with the search engines. Developers want their products out there on the WWW, this site has the potential to do that. The game giveaway project gives away on average between 9 to 17 thousand downloads for each game depending upon what genre and how obscure the game is. That’s a lot of homes these games are being downloaded into and a lot of ‘potential’ cash that’s being lost by the developers. If we get better games because of better feedback, the community are likely to continue to benefit from the generosity of the developers. Satisfied community members are then more likely to visit the home sites of those developers and purchase games that they may not have bothered with before they discovered the developer via the game giveaway site, thus giving the developers more incentives to give away even more decent games.

    Please leave some feedback once you’ve checked the game out. It can be positive or negative, but please explain what your reasons were for the feedback you post. You could also leave suggestions for improving the game, for example, this game could do with more block types for the levels editor, add more power-ups, describing the ones you think would be suitable, add some mini games (which seem all the rage in some arcade games now) or enable the user to be able to change the in game music easily.

    Thank you in advance to all those who take the time to post a constructive comment.

    Regards

    Whiterabbit aka Stephen

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    Comment by whiterabbit-uk — August 31st, 2013 at 3:03 am
  2. Not going so well so far. It didn’t create a shortcut on the desktop nor offer to and nothing in the start menu. I had to actually use the explorer to find the folder and .exe inside. Game runs nice itself.

    ……………………..Moderator Comment…………………..

    Hi Rick, I usually post details of where the game will install to, but this weekend is particularly full for me, so have neglected to do that, when installing game giveaways, always check the installation path so that you can follow through and find the game. Some of the games, usually Playrix games, do install shortcuts and an uninstaller,; but, for some reason (unknown to me) the nature of the Gamegiveaway wrapper stops a shortcut from being installed to both the desktop and the Start Menu programs list. You’ll also find most game giveaways have no uninstaller and you won’t find them in your programs remove list. The advantage to this is that most games are free standing, so impact the registry little as well as other positives. To uninstall most giveaways you just delete them from your computer manually. I know this is a little inconvenient, but at least you are getting the game for free. :)

    If you want these shortcuts installed automatically together with an uninstaller in the Start Menu Programs list, you can get the game from MyPlayCity for free 24/7, but you do run the risk of getting toolbars and your home page changed, whereas Game giveaways are totally free of such things. also since the game giveaway project started back in December 2006 there has never been a game infected with malware. If your Anti malware program picks up any problems it’s almost certainly a false positive caused because of the security measures that the giveaway team added to the set up file (due to a small number of giveaway community members hacking the files and then putting the games on peer to peer sites)

    http://www.myplaycity.com/island_realms/

    Comment by Rick Carlson — August 31st, 2013 at 3:26 am
  3. Excellent advice :) One terribly inconvenient bug I found after playing for a bit is that after unchecking full screen it (obviously) goes into windowed mode. The problem is that if you happen to hit the maximize button to get what would hopefully be a full screen window, it gives the same size game with black surrounding and there’s no way to do anything but force restart. Task manager won’t show, you can’t alt tab away and even hitting the windows key won’t provide a way to manipulate the screen/game. Entertaining game aside from that.

    ……………………..Moderator Comment…………………..

    Thanks for your feedback Rick.

    Comment by Rick Carlson — August 31st, 2013 at 5:01 am

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