Fable Island – A Little Too Relaxing

Fable IslandThere’s always a distinct issue of concern for casual game players, and that is the amount of time they need to invest into a game in order to feel like they have accomplished something. It comes back to the whole core versus casual demographic battle, and how to please both. Casual gamers, however, have been more of a difficult market to please in the past, but in current time, the process has become rather formulaic. The biggest thing to remember is that they don’t want to invest a lot of time, they want to be rewarded, and they want a challenge of the mind as well as the body (twitch reaction).

The hardest part is always the time invested. How much is enough? How much is too little? It is a rather fine line and easy to take the wrong direction, and unfortunately, Fable Island takes it in the latter. Essentially, you pick a location to travel to (home, town, etc) and you either fish or explore.

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Paper FishWhat, you were expecting more? Sorry, that’s about it. The game is almost completely passive. You set your state (fishing, exploring, or none) and come back an hour or so later to see what you caught or found. Okay, yes, you do have to manage your energy by stopping at some point so you don’t end up in the hospital, and you can buy new equipment (bait, etc) in order to fish and such better, but that’s all there is to the game play. Eventually, you will have to do this in order to catch everything in the game, but the amount of play is, at best, 30-60 seconds at a time and that includes shopping time for new bait.

As a straight-up game, Fable Island gets boring quickly, but giving the developers the benefit of the doubt, there is some merit in their creation. As far as any online game goes, they can consume vast amounts of time, but the way they see Fable Island, is as a quick app to check up on for a few minutes during a break, lunch, or during a commercial. If you think about it that way, and not as a game, the application isn’t quite so blase. People can log on, check out what they got, and move on with life.

TownNevertheless, if this is the direction that the developers are going, then they will need to ad a lot more depth to the game. Currently, the it lets you compete with friends to see who can catch what, but this is no where near enough. The idea of the game seems to be the creation of a relaxing look and feel, but there’s not even that much to look at. The world needs to look, feel, and sound alive. Simply watch any of the Corona commercials, and you can get a solid idea of what relaxation truly encompasses with those calming waves, the sea gulls off in the distance, and the wind whistling through the palm fronds. That is what it means to be relaxed. That alone would create a calming sensation that would most likely entice people to leave the game running in the background just to listen to it. Furthermore, there should be active fishing and exploring of some sort. Granted, the game is meant to consume as little time as possible, but at least with the option, it wouldn’t get so boring so quickly.

At the moment, Fable Island is a good idea in theory, but not that strong in practice. The almost completely passive game play makes the game incredibly boring very quickly. Of course, if you’re not looking for a “game” and just something to look at now and again, then the light shines more favorably on the app. Nevertheless, the game does have a great deal of potential, because the idea is a good idea. It needs a lot of work, but it is not impossible to get there.

Fable Island