Played on Nintendo Switch.
If you are from the UK, you probably are aware of the Natwest Bank. Natwest was founded in 1968 and have been a leader in investments, lending and insurances for many years. But did you also know they are a player in the video game industry? It may sound like a joke, but the Bank have this week launched their first video game. Developed by Stormcloud Games, this is a collaboration which aims to be educational and engaging for younger players.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Island Saver starts with you on an island (yep) with a vacuum-like device. The visual is presented from a first person perspective. You are soon greeted to your general mission; to clean up all the plastic rubbish and recycle. You are also tasked with washing away pollution from plants so that wildlife can begin to thrive again. Your inventory slots are limited, so you need to recycle the plastic at every given opportunity. You are rewarded for your hard work by being given money for your recycling. Your inventory slots are limited, so what do you do with that money you earn?
Well, this is where Natwest seem to have opened their latest chain of branches. There are many portable banks where you can shoot your money in. This money can also be used to unlocked more areas on the map. The education doesn’t stop there though, kids are also about to learn about tax. When your character earns money for his efforts, there is a ten percent cut taken from him by the Tax Bot who is always nearby for his own cut.
There are a few tasks here and there to keep the game flowing for some time. Though this is aimed at a younger audience, I feel unsure over how many kids would actually sit down and play a game with banking and recycling at its core. Playing for a few hours, I can say there is some fun to be had. But this doesn’t last long.
The graphics are rather nice looking and the colour scheme does pop on screen. The gameplay does border on the tedious, the repetitive actions do become tiresome after some time. The tasks do not offer much variety, you will either be cleaning things or shooting items into specific places. I should also give a little mention to the Bankimals, the creatures you have to help throughout. Why are they called Bankimals? They are animal/piggy bank hybrids who help towards your money count (and further taxes).
The nicest thing I can say is that I can see some kids will learn a lot about growing up and responsibility in this title. Island Saver is also a free game, so it is definitely worth a go just to soothe your curiosity. I would recommend this to parents as this may help kids understand the world a bit better when they grow up.
I don’t see Natwest having a more prominent future in the video game market, but this isn’t an awful effort for the first time. A thoughtful game with little to no staying value beyond an initial play.