Developer: Rebellion Games
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.4.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Starting out well, Harmony Isle quickly turns into quite the grind fest. There are a few reasons to persevere, but that doesn’t strictly mean that one should.

harmonyisle7Like many freemium social games, Harmony Isle‘s focus is on building up a thriving land of opportunity for various characters. This is done through accumulating resources and then using them to build new properties; invoking gameplay mechanics that we’ve all seen many times before. Harmony Isle has a few tricks up its sleeve to hook players in, though.

For one thing, players are never short of various objectives to aim for. Offering up experience and a structure to the proceedings, it’s a wise move for the game. Objectives are fairly simple and generally consist of building particular places or planting decorative features such as trees and bushes. This is also where the harmony side of the title comes into effect.

Balance is key here, between natural beauty and social developments. Harmony Isle asks the player to keep this balance safely maintained by placing an equal mixture of plots to do with both nature and concrete. Achieve that balance and extra experience and coins are handed out, giving players a very good reason to work hard at maintaining it.

harmonyisle4A further quirk for Harmony Isle comes from the ability to renovate old buildings and ruins for the sake of more experience and general profit. It’s a simple concept but one that keeps things a little more interesting.

Unfortunately, Harmony Isle flounders through its grind-focused gameplay and greediness. Things might start out fairly quick to complete, but soon enough Harmony Isle turns into a bit of a crawl. It’d be tempting to skip ahead with an in-app purchase or two, but the grind only gets steeper the more one gets involved. There are ways to gain free bonuses, such as the ability to skip waiting for certain things to complete, but it’s not quite enough. Harmony Isle might have the charm, but it’s slow going all too soon.

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