GDC 2018: Island Time VR Hands On Impression

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

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Island Time VR | Logo

Platform(s): PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Steam VR
Publisher(s): Project Flight School Inc.
Release Date: Out Now
Flight School Studio Website

Island Time VR Website, Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube, Instagram

Island Time VR is one of those very few VR games that happens to be a perfect party game that is as much fun to watch on the TV as it is for the person actually playing in VR. The goal of the game is deceptively simple: survive on a tiny virtual island for as long as possible. That sounds simple, but the actual execution of it is anything but.

Island Time VR starts with you on an island surrounded by a fire pit, bamboo, a boombox radio, bushes, coconut trees, water, a crate with supplies inside…and Carl the Crab (voiced by Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller), who constantly talks to you throughout your time on the island. During my hands-on demo time with Island Time VR, I found that the most pressing need your character will always have (and how I died most often) is hunger. To stave off that end for as long as possible, I was constantly trying to figure out how to forage for more food. I made a spear (more on crafting in a moment) to knock some coconuts down from trees and to spear fish in the water (that I would then have to cook). Island Time VR is designed so that where your next meal is what will be driving your gameplay strategy the most- and no, you can’t eat Carl the Crab.

Island Time VR | Carl the Crab

Carl the Crab is your constant companion on the island in Island Time VR. Here, you can see how you cook fish to eat over a fire. (Image owned by Flight School Studios).

Island Time VR | Watch

The watch on your wrist tells you both how long you’ve survived on the island and how much health you have left before you die of hunger in Island Time VR. (Image owned by Flight School Studios).

Crafting is surprisingly simple and rather intuitive. If you open the crate at the start of your adventure (before it floats back away- as your survival time in Island Time VR gets longer and longer, you’ll get more intermittent supply crates floating in one at a time), you’ll find supplies such as flint inside. You can then knock the two pieces of flint against each other several times on top of some nearby wood, and you’ll ignite it. One of the most important tools you’ll make, a spear, is created by just holding a piece of flint with a piece of bamboo that you’ll pluck from the ground on top of each other. You can even have items interact in ways that you aren’t expecting them to – like combining a log with bamboo to make a device to bash seagulls with (who try to steal your things as they dive bomb your island) or setting your boom box on fire.

Island Time VR | Tools

You can combine items to make tools, such as this extension grabber with Carl the Crab’s arm or spear from bamboo and flint. (Image owned by Flight School Studios).

During my time with Island Time VR, I died. A lot. Stab the fish, eat coconuts, make things, scare off seagulls, try not to burn yourself to death while making fires – and the list just keeps going on with everything I have to do to live. But every time I died, I learned a little bit more in order to keep myself alive just a little bit longer. This is a seriously fun game that is easy to just say:

“…One more time. Just once more. Okay, twice more.”

Island Time VR is currently out for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Steam VR.

How long do you think you can survive on the island? Have you picked up Island Time VR yet?

Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it. Do you want to do an interview? You can reach me at