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Oniri Islands preview - Hands on with the prototype toys and game

Lonely Islands

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Product: Oniri Islands | Publisher: 
For: iPad
Oniri Islands iPad, thumbnail 1
Oniri Islands is a cooperative adventure designed primarily for kids, though there's no reason why a parent can't join in the fun.

Like Skylanders and Disney: Infinity before it, Oniri Islands requires the use of actual, physical toys to play. Simply pop them on the screen and the game will act like the character is actually there.

You'll then work in unison with another player to solve a variety of puzzles. If you've played a point and click adventure before, you'll know exactly what you're getting yourself in for here.

Pocket Gamer was sent prototype versions of the toys, and a beta version of Oniri Islands on iPad for the purposes of this preview. Let's dig into it.

Lonely Islands

Sadly, no one I knew was willing to play with me, so I had to play Oniri Islands exactly as it isn't meant to be - on my lonesome. However, I did get a decent understanding of how it could work in practice.

You're initially greeted with an introduction to the story, told with the assistance of some lovely animated artwork. It felt very much like opening a children's story - bright colours, lots going on to keep young minds busy.

Shortly after, you find yourself in the game proper. Stranded with your sibling, your first task is to light a fire for warmth. In cute, child-friendly fashion, you do so by finding a bunch of fire flowers.

Finding the flowers is easy - at least for an adult. But I had to try and get in the mindset of a child, and explore at my leisure.

There's a nice tactile nature to the puzzle, which I know kids will appreciate. You'll dig in sand, work cooperatively to move a heavy boulder, and gather some kind of seafood for a crab. It's varied and fun.

Once you've solved the puzzle, you're invited to pop a piece of headgear on your characters to give them new abilities. These weren't sent with the prototypes, and don't actually affect the characters in the game (at least at this point) but, again, it's a nice little addition that a younger audience will appreciate.

Stormy Islands

Shortly after your fire is roaring, the plot progresses and the island receives a nasty storm. The next step is to find shelter, and you'll use the new abilities to do so. I won't spoil what these are, but they're well handled.

And the game progresses very much like this from then on. You visit new areas - each with unique, interesting environments, solve puzzles independently and cooperatively, and continue learning more about the characters and environment thanks to some lovely animation.

It wasn't all fire flowers and daisies though. We did have some issues with the iPad not recognising the toys occasionally, and one of the characters got stuck in the environment. We also couldn't get sound to play, so can't comment on the music or environmental audio.

It is a prototype version though, and there were bound to be a few hiccups.

Oniri Islands is currently on Kickstarter. If you're into the idea, you could consider donating to help the developers fund it.

Reviewer photo
Chris James 7 April 2017
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