• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

Shop Contact Us Submit Videos Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Apple Watch Best games on Android
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Apple Watch Best free games on Android Competitions
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Apple Watch game sales Android game sales
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Apple Watch game updates Latest Android game updates
New iPhone games New iPad games New Apple Watch games New Android games
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects
AppSpy 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
Mobile  header logo

Virtual Villagers

For: Mobile

Castaway your doubts

Product: Virtual Villagers | Developer: Big Fish Games | Publisher: Vivendi Games Mobile | Format: Mobile | Genre: Casual, Strategy | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 543KB | Version: Europe
Virtual Villagers Mobile, thumbnail 1
It wouldn't be a popular theory with hardcore gamers, but as they lament the death of arcades worldwide there is a modern day equivalent that's in rude health: casual games. On the face of it Cake Mania and Space Invaders have little in common, but there are similarities: ultra simple premises and controls, purposefully short and sweet play times, rampant plagiarism and even a similar brutal inelegance to the names.

You can probably immediately guess what you're going to get with something called Virtual Villagers. In fact Virtual Villagers is so unambiguous a name you can likely picture it in your mind's eye without ever seeing a screenshot. Especially if you've ever played the casual PC game on which it's based - although obviously that's cheating.

If the original has passed you by, though, the game opens (via a CGI cut-scene - the game's presentation really is top notch) with a bunch of castaways finding refuge on a desert island. Although you're supposed to be some manner of tribal leader your only interaction with the world is by means of disembodied hand. You're a little lacking on the god-like powers though, as you coax and suggest rather than command.

At first your main goal is to simply set up shop and make sure everyone is fed and watered. You can pick up any villager you like, and by setting them down near an interactive object, such as a berry bush or water source, you can encourage them to try and use it. Cleverly if it's a resource, such as food, they'll continue to keep harvesting it - bring it back to the village - until you tell them to stop.

Before you know it you're constructing artesian wells and other even more unlikely buildings. Once you're certain that nobody's going to die of dysentery you're then able to split your time between urbanising your village and exploring the rest of your island - which is naturally filled with unexplored caverns and other not-very-deadly secrets.

A more unexpected element of the game is that unless you purposefully pause it before turning it off it will all continue on in your absence. This pushes it into the realm of Tamagotchi-style virtual pet simulator, except here you get to go away and come back to find all manner of new items have been researched, buildings have been constructed, and cannibal holocausts have been endured (well, not the last admittedly - but you can lose all your food stock sometimes).

The graphics really are excellent and although the island background can seem a little plain in places it's filled with the detail of gently swaying palm trees and moves without a pause in its silk-smooth scrolling. The actual villagers look great too, with large, bold, designs imbued with plenty of cartoon character.

Those who demand action or ultra-specific goals will find little to enjoy in this sort of game, but for everyone else it seems much more suited to the mobile format than even veteran god games such as Townsmen. If you're ever marooned on a desert island this is the game you'd want to be stuck with.
Virtual Villagers
Reviewer photo
Roger Hargreaves | 24 September 2008
A superior slice of people management that makes up for its lack of depth with an addictive charm
Have Your Say