Virtual Villagers 2: The Lost Children
Virtual Villagers 2: The Lost Children is the second installment of a series of games by Last Day of Work. Strangely enough, it’s the only game in the Virtual Villagers series that’s an iPhone app. Full of entertaining puzzles and secrets, it’s the type of game you can only really play once, which makes the dozens of hours one can put into it a high point. If you’re familiar with the original game, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the new surprises that await you in this handheld chapter.
The point of the game is to play “God” and help sustain a small group of villagers that is stuck on the small island of Isola. I’m a huge fan of the beginning tutorial due to the game being almost impossible to understand without it. It’s relatively short, but VERY informative, and trust me, that’s SUPER important in this not-completely-intuitive game. Once you get a handle on the basics, you can begin to help the villagers do many different things. Adults can learn to farm, parent, build, heal, cook, and many other things. Children can’t work, but they’re the only ones who can collect various special items and mushrooms around the island, so everyone has something to contribute.
The controls are very easy – simply drag and drop. This is the basis of the entire game. Once the game starts to progress, you get the options to start developing what the game calls “tech points” so you can unlock certain levels of technology. You need to unlock these special levels to be able to advance and solve certain puzzles. The tech points develop at an impressively timed pace relative to the progress of the people. For example, by the time you have established a good food source, you will have collected enough points to buy the technology for the next hurdle.
The real time aspect of the game gives it a unique and well rounded feel. The menu even gives you the option to pause the game when you are away from your iPhone! Once you get things running smoothly, however, you can let it run and check it less often while your villagers thrive. I, personally, would advise checking several times a day (with the speed set to half or normal time) for the first 10-15 hours of the game so you don’t open the game the next day to find that all your little people have starved!
Overall, I think Virtual Villagers 2: The Lost Children is a pretty entertaining game. The graphics are clear and satisfying and solving the puzzles is enjoyable, not frustrating. I just hope Last Day of Work has plans to add the first and third game to the app store too*!
The Good: It has good graphics and a fun story line. The puzzles are satisfying and the real time aspect actually aids the game, rather then just making it obnoxious.
The Bad: The story somewhat lacks a definitive ending. The biggest issue is that, about 80% of the time, the app crashed the second I would open it. Luckily the second try would usually work.
The Bottom Line: Totally worth $1.99. It’s fun and a great way to waste time. From start to finish, you get at LEAST 25 hours of gameplay (probably more) and the added details are a blast. VV2 has its flaws, but for the amount of gameplay you get, it well worth its price!
*There is a Virtual Villagers: A New Home app, but unlike this one, it doesn’t have the same feel or graphics as the original. Drat.