Call me crazy, but I am a sucker for Sim games. And games that deal with survial situations. Hell, I once bought this monstrosity
before I read about it. But, even when I get it cheap, I usually know what I am paying for. Sims 2: Castaway is a game that could of been better, but it falls into a similar trap that most Wii games have; under-utilization of the controls at hand.
Because the only thing you do in the game is point, click, and watch the action. That's it. We have fishing, spearing, building things, but instead of nifty mini-games, which should of been used to add some depth and replayability, it is a simple click the button when you think it's right. It's really boring, honestly. And surprising too, because other games, with mixed results, have used the Wiimote for such endeavors. The only thing that the Wiimote is used for is a pointer, and a guide.
And for the Wii, it's the biggest sin you can make. No interactivity like this, when you have potential to do so, would almost always condemn a game to gaming hell, and none of these games are really worth the pricetag in the end.
The game also has poor graphics and is increadibly easy. There is food, literally, everywhere you go. Satisfying the hunger need has never been so simple, just pick a banana or a coconut off a tree, and your done. The graphics are simple, polygonal, and more suited for a Playstation 2 game, and while your sims are the most detailed creature in the jungle, they look pretty crusty when up close on the beach. The menus are the nicest thing in the game, crisp colors and they have a sense of vibrancy too them. This is not a good sign, looks like gaming hell has a seat ready for Sims 2: Castaway
But the game does a few things right, and while they don't usurp the poor control design, they at least make the game playable. First off, the objective system would have a few completeist games hooked, to finish the game off like that. Second, the mindless collecting of supplies, from tapioca root to palm leaves to wood, does have some uses, the creation of better island huts, from a small, open shack to a giant mansion. You can also create furniture, clothing, and play items, you know, the stuff thats practical when in a real survivor situation. I guess the developers watched to many episodes of Gilligans Island. Finally, the game does have some mystery and a little exploration in it, as there are treasure map pieces and stone tablets that would likely open up areas on the island itself that were previously blocked.
Sound wise, the sims talk gibberish, as do the monkeys and boars you encounter. The music in the game, from crazy tiki island beats to sappy sim music, are not so good. The game actually excells where there is no music, it's just the sounds of the jungle, the caves, the water and the waves on the beach, but those moments are few and far between, unless you shut off the music.
So is Sim's Castaway worth it? It honestly depends on you guys. For twenty bucks (thank goodness for discounts) I would say yeah, give it a try. The game has just barely enough to keep itself afloat, but the life raft is sinking quickly. I am not saying this is the greatest experience ever, but it is a great way to spend a three hour tour if your bored. So take a risk if you dare to go through this mediocraty of a Wii game, but at as far as average is concerned, this is probably the best of the bunch.
Final Score- C-