I’ve made no secret of the fact that I am a fan of casual games. After a hard day of work *or* play, sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and relax with a game that doesn’t make you think too much. G5 Entertainment has made a name for itself providing just that type of game. Their newest release, Youda Survivor 2, takes a colorful, island approach to time management. But is the game worth it, or just a waste of time?
Time management games vary widely in execution, but the basic idea is that you must perform a certain number of tasks, within a certain amount of time, to advance in the game. As you work your way through levels, more and more challenges are thrown at you, resulting in some furious screen tapping that lets you forget about the world for a while – when it’s done right. Happily, Youda Survivor 2 really hits the nail on the head, with just the right mixture of colorful characters, interesting tasks, and even a little story thrown in for good measure. While it is a game that makes you work for it, with all kinds of different tasks to perform all over the screen in very short order, it never makes you feel frustrated or anxious. It’s just plain fun.
The basic premise in Youda Survivor 2 is that you have to save an island and its inhabitants. They have two magical talismans which are meant to stay together always, but one of the sacred talismans is missing. Really though, the story is secondary to the gameplay, so whether you pay attention to the infrequent story scenes or not, you’ll have a great time with the game.
You work your way around a map of the island, which has many destinations marked (and a few hidden as well). You must perform each level in order, learning new skills and picking up new equipment along the way. You begin with just a shovel with which to dig holes, and the ability to summon rain. By creating water holes, you attract animals to your area. Birds lay eggs, goats eat eggs to produce milk, and both of those can be collected.
As you advance, you will be able to use your tokens (earned by completing the tasks in each level), to purchase new machines as well as various upgrades. The machines do things like fry eggs or make powdered milk. These, in turn, become ingredients to be in other machines that produce things like omelets and smoothies. Soon you’ll be shoveling to attract birds, collecting eggs and milk, then producing fired eggs and cheese, which are then collected to make omelets. All that boils down to even seemingly easy tasks like producing a couple omelets needing a lot of work and preparation – and all that done before you run out of time.
While you work, you’ll be hit with many distractions to make completing your tasks even more difficult. There are pirates who will attack (and might even lay bombs under your machines), and you need to tap furiously on them to chase them away, hoping they’ll leave a little something for your troubles. Your character also gets thirsty, requiring you to collect water from those water holes you need for your animals, and then wait for it to boil – hopefully before she runs out completely, because then you’ll start losing life as well.
Your life hearts are even more important than usual in Youda Survivor 2, because you use them to “buy” all sorts of things needed to finish the level. Each machine you build costs a set amount of your life, each time you summon rain or music you lose life, and many times one of your tasks requires you to have a minimum amount of life left to finish. Your life level doesn’t fill on its own, either. You need to gather various ingredients (oftentimes the same ingredients you need for making other items), and boil them together to create a life potion. The better the ingredients, the better the potion – for example, six omelets and a couple smoothies will net you far more life than say, twenty five eggs. Sometimes, pirates will drop you a recipe for a special potion that uses just a few ingredients, but not always. Again, it’s all a balancing act, as you must have enough life to buy the machines, but you will also need basic ingredients for the machines as well.
I could really go on and on about Youda Survivor 2, and that’s not a common experience for a mobile game. It is just really a lot of fun – the environment is colorful, the tasks are challenging but not impossible, and extras like hidden levels keep you on your toes and keep you engaged. Time management fans and casual gamers alike will find a game well worth playing with Youda Survivor 2.