In Critter Island, the main goal is to keep an island resort chock full of happy tourists, grow the resort population, and decorate to your heart's content. In that regard, it's similar in objective to Crowdstar's Happy Island and a few other island games out there. Here's how Critter Island sets itself from the masses -- Each tourist has a personality - if you click on them you can see their name and a clever and whimsical little quote. In order to make money in Critter Island, players have to have the right kind of entertainment and amusement buildings to keep the tourists happy. Happy tourists will pay tips to your buildings and give you an income that allows you to do things such as buy bigger and better entertainment.
The best way to maximize income on Critter Island is by using the star system. In Critter Island, tourists will drop stars on the ground when they are entertained. Similar to FrontierVille, these stars must be clicked on. These stars add up in a collective star meter that requires you to fill up all 5 stars to earn a 300% tip bonus. The stars have to be filled up once per day in order to earn the maximum income. This is a good appointment-setting technique because it will require players to log in every day to fill up their star meter, or lose precious potential tips.
Another fresh mechanic in Critter Island is the concept of restocking the buildings. Much like Nightclub City which requires the bar to be restocked in order to continue to serve customers, Critter Island requires you to restock buildings to keep serving the tourists. Restocking a building is as simple as clicking on it a few times until the restocking meter is full.
When visiting a neighbor's island, players can put up to three leis on your friend's tourists. This is a fun way to help out your friends by giving a few of their tourists the ability to tip more. You can also restock your friend's buildings, which is a nice way to help them if they can't log in that day.
So far, Critter Island is a very solid game. There are more features in the works, such as the ability to have multiple islands and increase the size of your island. The game is cute, and offers some synchronous fun that allows you to extend your play session. However, once you've filled your star meter for the day, you do run out of things to do other than watch your buildings and collect the money from them now and then. We found leveling to be fast, and at the end of our first session we were level 6. This is definitely a game to keep an eye on!
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