Mini-review: Building a trading post in Paradise Bay

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Build for Windows 10, on phones and tablets/laptops, Paradise Bay is a brand new 'sim' game, in which you build a trading post in the South Pacific. Think Farmville but on a desert island and you're not far off. It's cute, it's colourful, it has high production values, but you've got to have the right sort of obsessive compulsive personality to actually enjoy it week after week...

From the Store entry:

Welcome to Paradise! Build your tropical island, discover new lands, and trade with friends, merchants, and adorable animals. Join Keani, Skippy, and the rest of our quirky crew as you create a thriving seaport and restore Paradise Bay to its former glory! Get excited, because life is better at the beach.

  • Create and customize your perfect paradise
  • Explore and expand your island to unlock its secrets
  • Collect long-lost map pieces to discover new areas of the world
  • Discover and nurture the island’s animals
  • Harvest raw resources and craft valuable goods
  • Trade with islanders, merchant ships, and friends
  • Buy and sell valuables in the bustling marketplace
  • Dive deep and uncover treasures lost at sea

Here's Paradise Bay in action:

Paradise Bay screenshot

169 new things to download, having already downloaded and installed the game? Oops. Still, they come down much quicker than you'd think. On the flip side, this screen is shown - and updates checked for - almost every time you switch back to the game, which can be frustrating.

Paradise Bay screenshot

The isometric 3D world is really impressive, in that you can multi-touch zoom in and out, and pan around, at will. Here I'm zoomed out quite a bit to show most of Paradise Bay....

Paradise Bay screenshot

Stuck in a cycle of growing cotton, waiting for it to be ready, harvesting it, sewing new seed, making it into nets - all sounding a little bit too much like work - and you can rush everything through using in game currency, of course.

Paradise Bay screenshot

Ultimately everything you make has to be traded with (e.g.) the central character, who then pays in in-game currency.

Paradise Bay screenshot

As you go, new items get discovered, new things can be built, and then traded, and so on...

Paradise Bay screenshot

At some point you'll be needing in-game currency and I remain mystified why so many freemium games have multiple currencies when one would do. Can anyone clarify this? For example, here you need gems to buy gold. Err... why not hang onto the gems and trade with them?

Paradise Bay screenshot

Gems themselves can be bought with real world money - up to £80 a pop. Shocking. The moment I see developers being this crazy/greedy, my attitude to their creation is subtly altered. Sigh.

About an hour into the game, after you've basically been railroaded into doing/making/trading everything and with almost zero free choice, and after you've been prompted to 'harvest your cotton' for the 15th time and then prompted to 'sow some more' for the (again) 15th time, you'll lose the will to live. I did. Maybe I'm not the target market. Maybe I'd give the game more of a chance if it wasn't trying to make £80 a pop from in-app-purchases? Maybe.

You can grab this freemium game here in the Store if you're determined to give it a try....

PS. There's also a promo video, if you can handle any more cuteness:

Source / Credit: Store