Out of the capable hands of Youda Games comes a time management game that will have you hooked for days on end. Youda Survivor combines some of the best elements from Youda Games' previous efforts with some stylistic influences from games like Farm Frenzy. Not only are you gathering items and converting them to better products, you're also boiling them into new and exciting potions to make you look more impressive in the eyes of the island chief!
An ancient legend tells of a mysterious traveler washing ashore the island. He is said to be impossibly strong, and probably really smart, too. Now, this castaway lands on the sandy beach, and, to be honest, the chief isn't all that impressed. So, in order to prove the legend correct and stuff, he challenges you to get to work, showing off your mad island survival skills over dozens of increasingly complex levels. Yay!
Each stage begins in about the same way: tufts of grass in the sand. Dig holes where the grass is and the pit fills with water. Water attracts seagulls who periodically lay eggs. PIck up the eggs and you're ready to do some neat stuff. Just like Farm Frenzy, Youda Survivor gives you loads of tools to convert basic products into more valuable items (eggs into boiled eggs, boiled eggs into egg powder, coconuts into coconut powder, etc.). The upgrades can be used to brew more powerful potions or simply made to satisfy the level goals at the bottom of the screen. Either way, get ready to do a lot of converting.
In addition to all the item gathering, you also have to tend your health stats. Strength and water are shown at the top left corner of the screen, the latter slowly draining depending on the weather, and the former as a magic meter of sorts. At the top right of the screen are a number of abilities you can perform. The first is a rain dance that makes it rain, filling in water holes and often sprouting new tufts of grass. This costs strength, and strength can only be refilled by brewing potions or by picking up random drops from enemies you defeat. Later abilities allow you to other impressive things, like summon coconuts with a gust of air!
And yep, there are enemies. Nothing too scary, just crabs, pirates and the like, but they'll do a great job distracting you from picking up the valuable items you need. Slide your cursor to them when they appear and start clicking. Defeating them often rewards you with nice items, so your time won't go to waste!
Between levels you'll spend earned cash to upgrade things like your potion cook, shovel or storehouse, hire a diver who can sink below the sea to pick up more useful items, or purchase new machinery. Some levels require certain pieces of equipment, so if you spend frivolously, you'll have to go back and redo an older level in order to gain the cash.
Analysis: Wow, Youda Survivor! It's a bit of a departure for the folks at Youda, but this game definitely shows the studio's signature charm. It also shows a few too many similarities to Farm Frenzy, but you'll be having so much fun you honestly won't think about it. Youda Survivor is elegantly balanced with upgrades, shop items and difficulty progressing at just the right speed. Someone will have to tear you away from the screen. Just one more level, please?
Youda Survivor is packed with bonuses, too, something you may not expect from a game like this. Ten pages of achievements, ranging from simple things like "first time you collect an egg" to rewarding you for replaying a perfected level just for the extra tokens. There are even trophies to find on top of the achievements, so even while you work through the game's 100 or so levels, you'll be snatching bonuses left and right.
The potion system is an interesting inclusion in Youda Survivor, as it completely takes place of selling items for profit. Everything you collect you use for yourself, fitting in well with the survival theme. Mixing potions isn't all about dropping everything in and hitting the "go" button, either. You find recipes as you play, unlocking interesting brews that can be surprisingly helpful and will change the course of the level.
Youda Games has a hit on its hands with Youda Survivor. It fills the gap between straight-up time management games and more arcade-style experiences, and it does so with amazing style and finesse. Just be sure to clear your afternoon first!