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Castaway Paradise review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Publisher: Rokaplay
Developer: Rokaplay
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

I don’t get why anyone would want to play Castaway Paradise on the Switch. Playing it on PS4, or Xbox, or PC, I understand, but the Switch? It’s a mystery.

See, Castaway Paradise is basically an Animal Crossing clone. It’s a life sim where your character — the eponymous castaway — has to build his or her life on an island. To that end, you run errands for a bunch of anthropomorphized animals, decorate your house, plant and harvest seeds, change your clothes…basically, if you could do it in Animal Crossing, you can do it here.

To be fair, Castaway Paradise isn’t exactly a bad clone. It’s not original in any way, shape, or form, but there’s nothing offensively awful about it. The characters are kind of charming, the tasks are kind of fun, the islands are kind of interesting to explore, and the whole thing is kind of okay, if you look at it in the right way. And, thankfully, it all works fairly well, which is apparently a nice change of pace from some other versions.

But none of it is very deep. After a very short while, you’ll have seen everything the game has to offer, whether it’s “plant X number of seeds,” or “collect X number of bugs,” or “gather X number of objects.” It’s hard to see anyone sinking hundreds of hours into Castaway Paradise like they have Animal Crossing, given that there’s just not that much to do here.

Which brings me back to my original point: given how thoroughly Castaway Paradise tries to rip off Animal Crossing, I don’t know why you’d want to play it on the Switch, rather than just picking up the last year’s GOTY, given that one is already a Switch exclusive. I know that imitation is supposed to be the sincerest form of flattery, but no matter how flattering Castaway Paradise is, you’re probably just better off buying Animal Crossing (or, failing that, deleting your save file and starting over again).

Rokaplay provided us with a Castaway Paradise Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C+