Game Review: Paradise Beach
Developer: Nevosoft LLC
Available Platforms: Mac OS X
ESRB Rating: 4+
A chain of islands need your help. As the newest beach planner, you need to set up the island for recessional usage. Players have to set things up to make the most people happy within their limited budget and energy, to please their new bosses. Paradise Beach has washed up on the Mac App Store, and while channelling some classic simulation games, it hopes to make a few waves of it’s own.
Paradise Beach is one of those games that decidedly works better on computers than consoles. Much akin to classic Theme Park and various Sim titles, the players primarily set up lands, venues, and staff, and let them run. The game proceeds to “simulate” the people visiting your land, with sales going up, rides breaking down, trash piling up, and criminals vandalizing. All this stuff is standard for the genre. The game, played from an isometric perspective, shows the grids where items and locations can be placed when selected.
There are two main modes of play. The first is over two-dozen levels with certain goals. Your boss tells you what goals are required to beat the level, such as gaining a certain amount of visitors, making a certain amount of shops, etc. The second one is a simulation mode where you’re just given free reign of the island, with the only goal being a certain amount of money and visitors.
The game does offer a few unique tricks to the genre. Visitors will leave trash around, and picking them up will clear up the area and net a few dollars for each pile. Likewise, you can actually save visitors from drowning with a simple click, or set up lifeguards to do such. Basic things like this don’t do much, but they do pass the tedium as you wait on money to build up so you can do more things.
If one annoying thing can be said about the game is that the graphic style can actual impede the gameplay. Paradise Beach uses that overly-CG look that too many games do when they don’t have a specific game style. While the colors are nice and vivid, many times it’s too hard to tell where items can and can’t be placed, if that’s flat land or nearby rocks, and the like. The game does offer a grid layout when you’re placing things, but it prevents there from being planning at a glance; you need to go into it just to look around.
Paradise Beach brings back the simulation genre, but has it’s few problems, and despite a rather budget price, doesn’t feel like it’s worth that much in 2011. The visual flaws just cause too much trouble for what it’s worth, when the gameplay harkens back too much to 1995 without advances in gameplay. Unless it hits a sale, you can easily skip it.
- Hard to distinguish graphic design
- Classic simulation gameplay
- No real advances to the medium
Final Score – 6/10