Virtual Villagers 2: The Lost Children in Review – Not for the ADD Prone

virtualvillagers2_1I had a puppy growing up. I have to admit that if it were not for my sisters’ constant attention and care for it, the puppy would have wasted away. (before PETA gets all haywire about this, the dog was very well cared for… by my sisters) Unfortunately for me, I quickly learned that I do not have the care of attention or the memory for Virtual Villagers 2. In a short while, the continually living populace of my village were facing stagnation, death, and decay. Despite my own failings, Virtual Villagers 2: The Lost Children is a faithful port of the original game with the same name.

virtualvillagers2_2Here is the description of the game from their iTunes page:

“Care for and nurture a tribe of little people by teaching them the basics of survival. Grow a small village in your iPhone: your villagers have food needs, housing needs, technologies to research and diseases to fight! As the village grows and prospers, the villagers become curious about their mysterious island home and the secrets it holds.

The game continues to progress in true real time, even when your iPhone is turned off, so don’t forget to check in regularly to care for your tribe, help them gain skills and technology, and enable them to discover the secrets that lay waiting for them.”

virtualvillagers2_3All of this plays out by dragging the people around various waypoints to appoint them in accomplishing various tasks. You can have the children collect rare items that are catalogued for you. You can also help your village build huts, research tools and skills, fish, farm, gather coconuts, and so much more.

The interesting twist is the fact that all of this is played out even with your iDevice turned off. If you leave the game alone for days, you village will suffer tremendously for it. They will face the same digital fate that my own village faced. Oh the horror… the horror of it all. I was a fool to play God! But enough of that.

This game is like Tamogotchi meets the Sims. There is a high level of difficulty when it comes to advancing in the game. Gaining enough tech points, micromanaging your villagers, collecting enough food, these things require a lot of attention. There will be frustrating times where you will leave the game unattended for hours only to come back and find that some of your villagers died or that your food supply is dangerously low or that the building you were working on is not completed.

virtualvillagers2_4Perhaps the biggest drawback of the game is the fact that it is a port. It is a faithful port, but a port nonetheless. Virtual Villagers 2: the Lost Children is a native PC and Mac OSX game. Its presentation and layout is designed around that. The implications of this can be seen in the way the menus feel a bit packed and tight on your iDevice’s screen. It is not impossible to navigate around the game, but the game would have benefitted much from a GUI (graphic user interface) upgrade.

Another issue is that the game has a tendency to crash. Rebooting by holding the power button and the home button for a few seconds mediated the problem.

virtualvillagers2_5Virtual Villagers 2 is not a bad game. It isn’t, but I do feel that it is appealing to those people who have a particular penchant for games of this type. Virtual Villagers is definitely for those people who love micromanagement and investing for long term results. This is not a quick-fix, pick up and get immediate satisfaction type of game.

If you want some good tips and clues on playing the game, look at the ratings section on the iTunes page. Some users gave good advice.

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App Summary
Title:Virtual Villagers 2: The Lost Children (v 1.0)Developer:Last Day of Work
Price:$1.99App Size:29.2 MB
  • Tamogotchi Meets Sims
  • Long Gameplay Experience
  • A Lot of Things to Do
  • Stability Issue
  • Realtime Gameplay A Mixed Blessing
  • GUI

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