The recently announced Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure reminded me how long it’s been since I’ve thought about Snowcastle Games’ Earthlock IP. Earthlock: Festival of Magic arrived on Xbox One consoles at the end of 2016 to mixed reviews – an ambitious and classic-styled, turn-based RPG that was hampered by its production values. After a year of improvements, it was re-released as simply “Earthlock” – the first in a planned trilogy – on the Xbox One and most other platforms.
The setting was a big part of the attraction – the world of Umbra was stricken by a cataclysmic event occurs that stops the planet from spinning and leaves it tidally locked. One half of the world is permanently scorched by constant sunlight, the other perpetually cold. The cataclysm ends up burying much of the past civilization but humanity survives and society rebuilds in the narrow habitable strip of the planet.
Now, Earthlock had a home base, in which you could create a garden and house collectible creatures, but the spin-off – Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure – looks to expand on this idea further. The developers state they’re taking inspiration from titles like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley and adding resource gathering and crafting systems to their RPG formula, alongside threats like pirate camps, the ability to recruit the island’s wildlife to help you out in battles.
“Set on a deserted island, the game tasks players with exploring its diverse and intriguing landscape as they collect resources for crafting and befriend wildlife to employ their unique abilities to progress to new areas of the island. They will discover ancient ruins from a bygone civilization, deal with treasure-hungry pirates, and unlock a host of different biomes, ranging from icy mountains and parched deserts, to dense jungles and humid swamps, as they uncover the secrets the island has to offer. Players will also have the opportunity to make the island their own. An upgradable hamlet serves as a base of operations and unique placeable items allow you to customize the island to your liking.”
Of course, an early access release means there are no promises on the initial quality or amount of features until the official launch, but Snowcastle Games’ are promising to detail future updates in the game’s early access roadmap. They also want player feedback to inform tweaks and additions during its time on early access, and encourage the community to join their Discord. In the meantime, you can judge it based on the announcement trailer below –