Since Animal Crossing New Horizons helped millions of people’s sanity during a crazy time in human history, we’ve been searching for similar games that have that relaxed island vibe, where we can escape our troubles and live a more fun and enjoyable life. Disney Dreamlight Valley did a good job of helping us forget about our worries and strife, but it started to get monotonous the more you did, and with it still being in Early Access, little is getting added to keep us playing. Enter Hello Kitty Island Adventure, where island life is back. Sunny skies, peaceful oceans, and a ton of cuteness are just a handful of reasons to play Sunblink’s life-sim.
Hello Kitty Island Adventure features a simple premise. You jump out of an airplane and land on Friendship Island where you must restore the fun and activities back to keep everyone happy. Not only that, but you can unlock the mysteries on the island and work out what is going on. There is a main questline that I’m nowhere near finishing, mainly because I kept getting sidetracked by everything else. I never got bored or stuck for something to do. I simply did exactly what Sunblink want you to do, and that’s have as much fun as possible. Before playing, I never would have thought this game would have this kind of hold on me, but I can happily say I’m a Hello Kitty fan, or more specifically, a Tuxedosam obsessive.
Before you start making friends, you get to create your own avatar based on either a dog, a cat, or a bird. There’re loads of different options, with new stuff to unlock which offers plenty of design options for you. Friendship is at the core of Hello Kitty Island Adventure. You can build friendships by giving gifts based on what a character likes, then invite them to join you on your adventure. They give you new quests, items, and more, and the more you play, the more specific their tastes get. Luckily, the game always gives you guidance and never wants you to stumble on your way to best friend status.
Featuring on Apple Arcade, it may put people off who think this isn’t a big game, or one that can do everything Animal Crossing can. Not only is this a full experience, it feels like a AAA title. Not only that, Hello Kitty Island Adventure offers so much to do and see, with quests galore and many reasons to return everyday and keep playing. I wouldn’t say I’m that familiar with the Hello Kitty franchise, but in all honesty, this is for everyone. I’ve lost hours exploring, cooking, crafting, completing main missions, daily quests, befriending and building friendships, and so much more. There are a fair few similarities to Animal Crossing, but it never feels like a copy, rather an alternative.
The island is huge and made up of various biomes from snow-filled mountains to swamps, beaches to mysterious caves. There’s a reason to keep coming back thanks to login gifts and meeting new visitors, but the general enjoyment comes from crafting new items from blueprints you find, such as furniture for cabins, capturing wildlife, going swimming, diving, and finding secrets in every corner of its rich and vibrant world. Sunblink has found a way to engage all types of gamers with Hello Kitty Island Adventure, and you’re free to do whatever you want, but more importantly, whatever makes you happy.
There’re various collections to complete, which include a multitude of fish and recipes. You’ll collect a bunch of tools and gadgets to use to aid your experience on the island, and if you’re a completionist, feel free to go exploring. If you want to build friendships with your favourite Hello Kitty characters, you can find things they love via a helpful menu, and in turn get rewards for doing so. If you want to go on a quest to take photographs of some of the scenery, go for it! Want to power on the island’s locomotive network or open up cabins for new visitors, well, you can. The island is your oyster, and there’s always something for everyone to enjoy.
I played Hello Kitty Island Adventure on my iPhone, but this is best suited to an Apple TV or iPad, if only to appreciate just how gorgeous everything looks. Before I got my copy of the game, I attended a virtual presentation where the team at Sunblink talked about what you could do, and I got such a sense of joy and inclusion. A lot of love has gone into making this and it shows in everything you can do or see. It’s world is designed beautifully, and the various quests I did were all varied. It also makes it much easier to play, with the ability to fast travel around the islands helping with its quality of life.
There’s so much to do, such as Island Challenges that give you a time limit to find pink shells, and a variety of minigames. You can solve crate and panel-based puzzles, become a mermaid, take selfies with tiny creatures known as Gudetamas, invite visitors to your island and decorate cabins, and so much more. I may have laboured the point about freedom and having so much to do, but Hello Kitty Island Adventure is a wonderful time sink. Sunblink intend to add more things to it after release, such as Friendship Day, and I’m going back to see what else I’ll be able to do.
Hello Kitty Island Adventure is a charming game filled with copious amounts of content. It allows you to play exactly how you want to, with puzzles and quests that will keep you occupied for hours. There’s already so much to do, and I can’t imagine how Sunblink will continue to add more, but I’m definitely going to keep on playing. It does a lot of things better than Animal Crossing Island Adventure did, and not that it’s trying to be better than Nintendo’s wonderful life sim, it’s certainly something you should play if KK and crew were your jam. However, there’re a fair amount of similarities, and if you’re not one for enjoying cute and cuddly things, this might not be for you.
Lots to do
Cute and colourful characters
Vibrant and vast world
Has a fair few similarities to Animal Crossing
SCORE OUT OF TEN
Hello Kitty Island Adventure is so much fun to play, with so many things to do, cute characters everywhere, and a world ripe for exploration.