Spirit of the Island – Review
Follow Genre: Farming simulator
Developer: 1M Bits Horde
Publisher: META Publishing
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Spirit of the Island – Review

Site Score
Good: Tourism gameplay is fun
Bad: Inventory management is terrible, Clunky UI
User Score
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Farming simulators are a dime a dozen these days, being available in all shapes and forms and on every platform. Most developers aim to do something unique with them just to stand out, and the same can probably be said for Spirit of the Island by Brazilian indie studio 1M Bits Horde. This relaxing farming simulator throws in the technical aspects of tourism to keep players invested, but sadly there are some tedious flaws too. At least the tropical island setting will make it feel like we’re headed for a vacation!


In the fictitious world of Spirit of the Island, it is normal for young adults to go through a rite of passage and travel to an isolated island to rough it in the wild for a while. After making your character, it becomes apparent you are one of these adults and you’re shipped off to a tropical archipelago. This island used to be thriving with tourism but is now just a shell of its former glory. After finding resources to get food and shelter, you can start making a farm and foraging for goods, slowly starting your own little economy that returns the town to its former glory as a hotspot for tourists. As you do this, you explore both your own and other islands, learning some backstory through conversations and notes about the inhabitants and why they are gone. In the grand scheme, maybe there’s more of a mystery going on here than you realize at first.


At first glance, the graphics of Spirit of the Island are very pleasing to the eye. Overall, the looks of the islands themselves, the characters, and especially the adorable little animals you take care of are good. Sadly, the longer you play, the more the UI will probably start bothering you. It’s clunky and looks rather cheap for a fully published title. It’s a shame that a game with an otherwise really unique and good-looking art style is overshadowed by a cheap-looking menu and inventory.


We had a pretty good soundtrack to keep us company during the hours of grinding you will be doing in this game. They’re all very relaxing tracks, transporting us straight to the tropics through the music. It makes all the backtracking worth it, as the music changes throughout the seasons for extra variety. There are also plenty of sound effects to keep things lively, especially the animals make some downright adorable noises. The game does not have voice acting, and it shows us dialogue through text boxes.


Spirit of the Island is a pretty simple farming simulator with a few unexpected mechanics thrown in the mix. We’ll get to those in a moment but first, we should cover the usual fare: all the things you’d expect from this genre are present. Your character can farm, forage for wild plants, fish, keep animals, cook, and build relationships with NPCs around town. You can even romance and marry some of them if that’s your thing. Nearly all the actions you do are related to one of ten skills for which you slowly gain experience by doing your daily tasks. Farming, fishing, mining, you name it. As you level up you unlock new crafting, building, and cooking recipes, which in turn allows you to do more different things. As you can already tell, that means the game aims for a slow pace where you gradually build up your town into a thriving community.

Your farm isn’t all there is, though. If you want to get the town up and running, you will need to boost the economy and encourage tourism. That first one is simple enough if you just sell your products and loot to local shops. Tourism is a bit more tricky, but a lot of fun. By building everything from decorations to stores and museums, you can make people interested in visiting your island. When they do, they might even like it so much they decide to stay forever, increasing your population and allowing you to open more attractions. This is by far Spirit of the Island’s most unique feature.

Aside from this, you can expect events or festivals around town in tune with the cycle of the seasons, though most of them don’t have any activities to do. You just talk to some NPC and watch the fireworks at the end. There are quests, though they’re mostly simple gathering quests for the NPCs on the island. Exploring other islands can earn you special items you can’t find on your own. The game can be played alone but is also playable as an online co-op with a friend. The storyline even adjusts so you have a special campaign to get through, which is a nice touch. On the other hand: inventory management is hell. You can not click and drag items, needing to individually click everything. You can drop items, but without unique icons, you have no way of telling what’s what once dropped. To add insult to injury, your character will automatically pick up whatever they stand next to.


Spirit of the Island is a rather standard but enjoyable farming sim. It seems to be more suited for people who are looking for a relaxed experience and don’t mind grinding to unlock new items. We did find the tourism mechanic loads of fun. Thanks to its relaxing gameplay and interesting tourism shtick it becomes easy to forgive its little flaws such as the clunky UI or an inventory management system that will make you want to pull your hair out. That being said, if you know you enjoy this genre, this game will scratch that farming sim itch.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Spirit of the Island - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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