Some titles excel for having a great idea but end up delivering very little to the player and others the opposite. In the case of Len’s Island, both fields are very well populated, which is a mixture of genres divided between Survival, Dungeon crawler, crafting, and interior decoration in a paradisiacal environment à lá Robinson Crusoe. It is important to mention that this project was started by the idea of one person, having later expanded the team to three elements. And it really is impossible not to mention how much they managed to achieve with such a small team.
The player is put in the skin of Len, although it is possible to choose a female character, in a set of islands with some nooks to explore. It is not given any kind of clue or any kind of indication of where to go. Everything is new, everything is an excuse to explore. The sense of adventure that continues even after a few hours of setting foot in this title is really pleasant.
The first impact the player has with this title is the island and its beautifully accomplished landscapes. It’s just beautiful. With a graphic style that is very pleasing to the eye, with detail that over time never ceases to be interesting.
One of the main mechanics is the aspect of collecting resources, which unlike other titles of the genre, the respawn time is not that great. There are, in fact, plenty of resources along the entire surface of the island and in its depths. This archipelago is divided between small islands, some of them divided by a bridge that needs rebuilding, with the main focus on a small village, where you can exchange resources for coins and coins for new equipment, food, seeds or even playing Blackjack with a pirate who apparently doesn’t have a wooden leg. Unfortunately, for the time being, all possible interactions with the village NP’s are purely commercial, offering few lines of conversation.
While the entire resource-gathering process is quite satisfying and at times therapeutic, there is also the combat component that is needed to overcome the challenges present in the depths of the mines. Once upon a time, there was a town of miners that is now completely devoid of human contact, owing to a strange infestation of dark creatures that roam the darkness. This story is unraveled little by little and through small notes left by the people who inhabited the mines.
There is no sense of heroism and exterminating the entire population of underground creatures, only the need to collect mineral resources, such as coal or even precious stones.
The satisfaction you can get out of combat makes visiting less-friendly creatures all the more worthwhile. Each weapon has different attack times and leaves open the possibility of applying a stronger attack if you click on the button at the right moment, breaking any kind of monotony that could come from long hours of exploration. This mechanic is also applied in the resource collection process.
Between the exploration of the island and the mines, the player will be able to build his own house and farm. There are pre-fabricated elements such as windows, small balconies, different types of roofs, chairs, leaving everything open to the player’s imagination. Although it’s a functional and interesting element, I spent very little time in my house, making it just a place to sleep or save the game. There is no difference between the instance of the day that translates directly into the course of the game. There could for example be more enemies at night, but the truth is that they are only found in the mines, not making any kind of incursion outside your access point.
Len’s Island is a title that grabbed me from the first minute. The captivating environment and exploration bring something quite satisfying to the player’s hands. It’s a short adventure, for now, with predictions to be expanded in the near future and maybe bring something more to everyone on the island, (a few lines of conversation with the NP’S would fit like a glove).
The game is currently in Early Access on Steam.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game for Steam, provided by Flow Studio]