Monday, April 4, 2016

Island Experiment has lousy math

Game Review: Island Experiment ver: Rel4.0224.1142 a00302
Score: FAIL
I actually like Island Experiment for many reasons. As a smartphone game meant to encourage you to spend money to avoid grind, it is obviously a very inconvenient game if you are hoping to make quick progress.
However, where it fails is in math versus our expectations.
Here are a couple of examples:

Farming:

  • The basic farm provides 6 food for 25 coin, or 4.16 gold per food.
  • A level 2 farm provides 24 food for 64 coin, or 2.67 gold per food. You get both the ability to "bank" food on your farm better, as well as a better price per unit.
  • A level 3 farm provides 40 food for 130 coin.
    • Huh? Now the ratio is worsened to 3.25 coin per food!
    • Sure you get to bank more food on each farm, but when you harvest, it goes into your warehouse, so banking it passively also blocks you from using your farm to make food.
Water:
  • Your first water source in the early game is a pond that provides 1 unit of water and 2 units of XP if you spend 3 units of food to draw that water.
  • Later you are asked to build a well. The basic well provides 3 units of water if you spend 30 coins and 4 food.
    • Huh? Suppose we use the level 1 farm coin-food ratio. 30 coins is 7.2 food. Plus 4 food, the cost for 3 units of water is 11.2, or 3.73 food per unit of water.
    • Not only does it cost MORE food to use your well, you also lose out on the 2 XP per unit of water you get when you draw it from the pond.
Considering that they haven't really thought things out properly, I don't really have much faith in the rest of the game and don't see myself wanting to trust them to tell me a good story for my time.
Hopefully a future update will tidy things up!

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