Let’s face it. It has been a very cold winter for most of the United States — it even technically snowed in Florida. Until spring gets here, perhaps another tropical island-style game from Playdom will help warm your spirits. The 429,000 MAU-strong Tiki Resort follows up on the company’s tropical farming title, Tiki Farm, and the premise is just what you’d expect.
Tiki Resort is your typical tycoon style game, but rather than roller coasters or zoos, players are tasked with creating the perfect island getaway for their digital patrons. If you’ve played any other tycoon games, especially other social tycoon games like Zynga’s Roller Coaster Kingdom or CrowdStar’s Happy Island (which is also island-themed), then you know how to play this one.
Players purchase various island-themed attractions such as grills, fruit stands, and so on to coax tourists into both flying and sailing into this quaint little paradise. The amount that’s buyable is limited at first, but after some more time spent on your island, you’ll gradually earn the levels needed to unlock the biggest and best attractions, as well as upgrade your existing ones.
As one might expect, these better items attract a greater number of tourists, which in turn, earns the player more money. However, each tourist has a mood in which the user should monitor as better moods keep them on the island longer and spending more. Unfortunately, this does lead to a somewhat annoying level of micromanagement, as the way to make unhappy customers happy is to buy them, well, snow cones. Making the purchase earns a small amount of experience and keeps everyone happy, but having to click on each individual tourist, then click again to give them their drink gets very old, very quick.
Beyond drinks and attractions, users can also purchase a range of decorations, pets, and even tiki charms to spice up their resort. For the most part, decorations are purely aesthetic, but pets – though this is limited to crabs and sea turtles – can also be periodically pet for some extra coin, and charms can be applied to attractions to earn some bonus cash from each visitor that steps in.
Socially, the game consists of visiting each other’s resorts. There isn’t a whole lot to do, mind you, beyond cleaning up some trash and giving out drinks to thirsty visitors, but it does earn you a little bit of extra money. Other than this, everything else consists of standard leaderboards amongst your friends (based on level) and, of course, gifting.
As far as complaints go, Tike Resort feels a bit dull. Again, the micromanagement of tourists does seem like a pointless endeavor (especially when you start to get a lot), and clicking on them tells you very little. At least in games like Roller Coaster Tycoon, you could see their thoughts to determine what sort of attractions and necessities they needed.
In fact, the lack of necessity items such as bathrooms, food, and drink takes a lot away from this particular application. In Roller Coaster Kingdom and other virtual amusement park games, part of the fun is finding a balance of attractions, food stands, and restrooms. In Tiki Resort, there are bars or grills but they are merely placed to only satisfy one stat – entertainment. There’s no strategy or challenge to it: It’s just “place building” and wait until you have enough money to “place another.” Additionally, other tycoon games often have employees to manage, which adds another layer of depth, and considering how filthy these tourists seem to be (five minutes and there’s trash everywhere), a maintenance staff is in very high demand.
In the end, Tiki Resort is alright as far as a virtual space app goes. It is nice if you are simply trying to decorate your own, expressive area. Perhaps that was what Playdom was indeed going for, but for a tycoon type of game, it is rather drab with no real strategy or challenge to be had. Nonetheless, it is amusing for a little while at least, so if nothing else, it does deserve a play or two, but will likely be very hit or miss, depending on what the player is looking for.