Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure – A ribbiting adventure awaits.

Do you like frogs? I like frogs. Frog Boy likes frogs. Frogs! 

If my initial sentence caught your attention and you’re looking for a frog-filled, cosy adventure game, look no further than the gorgeous game of Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure. The game is reminiscent of other games in the cozy genre such as Animal Crossing, My Time at Portia and the classic Stardew Valley so genre staples such as farming, crafting, resource gathering and cute customisation systems are all present in Ikonei Island. However, Ikonei Island drives you to focus on exploration that lets you utilise the island’s ribbiting wildlife and natural resources to progress with the main story. 

My main takeaway thus far has been how visually stunning the world of Ikonei Island is; the vibrant art design is just downright gorgeous. The game presents a rich and colourful world; each new section you uncover is distinct and well-crafted, which makes exploration an absolute pleasure as every new area you enter feels fresh. 

Frogboy shows the player how to navigate the world of Ikonei Island

While Ikonei Island boasts an intriguing narrative, it occasionally falters in its execution. You are thrown into a storyline that follows a group of characters on a quest who find themselves stranded on Ikonei Island and, in turn, now need to survive. Uncover the mysteries and restore balance to the world. 

While the characters themselves are likeable if you’re playing solo, you leave your crew standing on the beach for the entirety of your gameplay. It leaves me as a player wishing for more depth in the other characters, with the potential to add more function to the unused characters, such as resource gathering, gardening or protecting your “base” when you get set up. The plot’s pacing may also leave some players wishing for a more consistent timeline or flow of revelations. 

But don’t get disheartened; the game compensates for its narrative pacing with well-written dialogue and interactions, offering moments of humour and emotional depth. The world-building is commendable, with a lore-rich setting begging to be explored. Take out the occasional narrative hiccup; the overall story is compelling enough to keep players invested in the fate of Ikonei Island. 

Also…. did I mention frogs? (No, I didn’t spend 5 minutes running around collecting them in the rain) 

Magical frogs roam free on Ikonei Island!

Exploration is a defining part of Ikonei Island’s gameplay – it constantly encourages players to venture into the unknown and begin uncovering secrets and repairing shrines. While the open-world design is commendable, it comes with a double-edged sword. I felt that the game’s introduction needs some more straightforward instructions – I was left for 30-40 minutes figuring out the mechanics and how to progress to the next area. 

The absence of a more robust tutorial can disorientate the first hours of gameplay. Players may need clear guidance to navigate the expansive island or unlock the next section. While some appreciate the sense of discovery with minimal hand holding, others may feel lost or frustrated during the early stages. As much as I wanted to leap into action by collecting resources and repairing shrines, I reached a standstill. I had no clue where or what I had to do outside of “insert shrine repair quest here”. 

However, it’s worth noting that once players adapt and get a hold of how the game works, along with the different mechanics of the wildlife and navigation, the experience becomes much more enjoyable. The freedom to explore at one’s own pace and the world’s interconnectedness creates a sense of immersion that rewards patience and curious players. 

Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure combines striking visual design, engaging gameplay mechanics and a captivating world. While the narrative pacing may stumble, the overall experience is a satisfying journey through a magical realm, making unique animal friends. RPGs and Adventure Games fans will find Ikonei Island a worthwhile addition to their gaming library. 

You can find Ikonei Island on Steam, The Epic Games Store and soon it’ll make it’s console debut on both Playstation and Xbox!

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