Curtis says: Oh my goodness! I love this game! It’s like an aquarium, but with people instead of fish!

Virtual Villagers is, at its core, a very basic game. You have these virtual people that you have to order around – have them research, forage for food, explore their island – and random events happen that you have to make decisions for. Some of these are very random and very frustrating. But what’s different about this than a typical adventure / strategy game is that it runs in real time. Neglect them for 6 hours running normal in the beginning of the game and you might very well come back to find everyone quite dead. This also effectively drags out a potentially VERY short adventure game into a week-long endeavor of real time village management.

The thing about VV is that it really only takes a minute each time to play – open it, make some crucial decisions like having a baby, devote a certain percentage of your villagers to be farmers, use up some tech points that have accumulated in the past 6 hours, and you can close it. If things are looking pretty grim, you can even pause it by pressing the space bar. Wait until you actually have time to play a little, then come back and do the exploring and collecting of items – but even then it is optional.

There are 16 puzzles to unlock, and many events to uncover. Mostly, it’s just fun to watch your villagers go about their business (or leisure…sometimes they just go swimming after working for a while) and the kids playing tag in the middle of the village. And like other open ended games such as The Sims, you can keep playing even after you’ve “completed” the game and watch the generations of villagers live on. Villagers are also surprisingly individual. Sometimes they would just carry on doing what they want despite your interventions.

All in all, it’s worth downloading and trying out, and for the replay value you can get out of it (my baby happens to LOVE watching the village children running around playing tag) it’s worth buying. And honestly? One hour of trial time in no way do this game justice. It really starts to shine after a few days.

Virtual Villagers 2 – The Lost Children hints

Virtual Villagers 2 – The Lost Children Recipe Book