Youda Survivor 2 Review

by on June 8, 2011 at 6:01 am

Youda Survivor 2 is a time management title where the player has to save the world. It’s a sequel to Youda Survivor. In the original, we only had to save a primitive civilization, but all that has changed, thanks to those nasty pirates. They’ve stolen something important that puts everyone in danger. This is a long experience with plenty of gameplay that never really gets old. In addition, there is an extra mode that adds even more to the game, something that wasn’t in the first release.

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In Youda Survivor, the player is shipwrecked on an island occupied by a primitive tribe. The player is hailed as the stranger who has come to save them and has to go through several trials to, first, prove he’s the chosen one from the prophecy, and second, to defeat the pirates. There was only one choice for a character, a male. In this second title, that savior of a civilization has moved back to society, met a woman, gotten married and had an adorable baby. All of a sudden, a nasty storm hits and the stranger is contacted again by the island dwellers. This time, though, it’s not just the island that’s in danger from the pirates. They’ve stolen an important artifact that keeps balance in the world and the player has to get it back. Unlike the first game, we get to choose whether we want a male or female avatar, but it makes no difference in the story or the gameplay what we choose.

There are several things to manage while playing the game. First, the player has health and stamina bars. If the health bar hits zero, the player faints. If the stamina bar hits zero, it starts to drain health and, after a time at it being zero, the player will faint again. Refilling either takes potions, which are made using components collected in the game. Stamina is replenished by collecting water and making a potion out of that, and it’s always a good idea to have some sitting there – players can have up to five unused potions sitting on the table. Refilling health can be done with any ingredient, from eggs – a basic resource – to cheese omelets – which require eggs and cheese and a machine to make it in – in the game, including water (provided water isn’t the only ingredient). Some recipes will make it easier to build up health, which are gained by defeating pirates. Confusing yet? And we’ve only mentioned a small portion of the gameplay.

In reality, the game is actually not that difficult. The tutorial walks us through collection of resources, building machines, defeating pirates (as well as the birds and crabs), collecting water, increasing the resource availability, making potions, deep sea diving and managing our health and stamina bars. There’s a lot to the game, but it’s gradually explained and the difficulty is slowly ramped up, so it never feels overwhelming. By the end, players will be managing so many aspects seamlessly, that they won’t release that a new player thrown into the last level would be completely confused.

The most interesting part of the game is the siege mode, and the developers must have realized that in the first game, since in Youda Survivor 2, there’s actually a siege mode that can be unlocked. In this, players have to complete a series of tasks before the village is destroyed. Doing so will destroy the pirates instead. The tasks will involve collecting certain resources and making items from them, much as in the regular levels. However, there are four series of these tasks (whereas in normal levels, players just have to complete the one list of tasks to move on) and once the resources are collected, they disappear from the warehouse. In normal levels, once the player completes a task, they can use those resources for potions – so the added difficulty in the siege levels of losing the resources is a welcome challenge.

Despite the potential for darkness the story possesses, the game is bright and playful. There’s no permanent ‘death’ in the game, so if a player fails a level, they simply restart it and try again. There are achievements and totems gained for completing objectives in the game, and it’s pretty hard to collect them all, so it’s enough to keep a player engaged for a really long time. Getting gold on every level is its own challenge (it is timed, and objectives have to completed in a short time to get gold).

Most importantly, Youda Survivor 2 is fun, even for players who have played Youda Survivor thoroughly. While all the same mechanics from the first title are present, enough has been changed to make it feel fresh. It’s a very long game made longer by the extra gameplay and, for the overachievers, the desire to get every achievement. Upgrades help a lot and going back to earlier levels with all the upgrades later in the game make it easier to accomplish some goals. There are some minor technical glitches with the title that are overcome by restarting the game and, the closer it gets to the end, the less polished the game ends up feeling, but these are minor nitpicks for a title that stands out in every other way. That said, it won’t appeal to everyone who enjoys time management games, so we definitely suggest you try before you buy.

Score: 8.8

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