Let’s look at a Raft quasi-clone in the form of Idle Rafts from BHome. If you’re a broke boy, Idle Arks isn’t going to sate your hunger for ocean-based survival gaming. As a matter of fact, it might make you hangry.
That isn’t a typo, folks. I wasn’t even hungry for Raft-type gameplay while playing this. I just got annoyed because what you’re playing is an ad simulator. You start off on this piece of wood and you have to swim out into the sea to get driftwood.
The driftwood is used for building parts onto your ark and you’re going to need a lot of that. Before I continue, there are only two other collectible things in the water.
First, there are bottles with messages that aren’t useful and a waste of a tap to retrieve. Fishes have a use but it’s not noticeable. As a matter of fact, besides just paying money and getting those boosts and features, you’re better off hitting the treasure chests and just getting resources there.
You’ll get way more than tapping driftwood in the ocean. Actually, you’ll get way more in a couple of minutes of tapping on the floating chests than you would from returning to the game after a while.
That’s the idle element here and you don’t get much from when pitted against ads chests. Oh, and the best part is that as you go on building the floor of your ark—which doesn’t eat up too many resources—you might end up halted in your floor-building progress.
There are other things you have to build for this ark but a lot of it is pointless stuff. There’s just no reason to build a hammock before you build paddles to move the ark or a sail.
This ark will stay still in the water until you build everything. Yes, even the unnecessary/cosmetic stuff. Your vessel could be within yelling distance of the next island but it ain’t moving until you build everything even if you the sail, paddles, and a rutter.
Oh, But There’s More
They’re not just necessary for the developers to make bread from the game but in this game, the grind just isn’t rewarding at all. There’s no exploration, the trees you grow on the arks give you little, and combat can be experienced in the events which are actually decent.
I said “arks” and that’s the kicker of all kickers. Since there’s so little going on in the game. At certain points, you’ll encounter an island with stranded people on them. You give your ark and take on their folks with you.
Now, you start from scratch. All the way from scratch having to build all this stuff including the useless stuff but you have an extra person. So, you have to watch ads.
From there it’s just “rinse and repeat.”
There is a day-night cycle in the game where your crew will go to sleep. I know that the day-night cycle is even in the game but it seems like night lasts longer because nothing happens.
It’s probably best to just close out the app and do something else.
However, if you’re all about progressing to find out what’s next or if some kind of plot occurs, then you—yes you—for the low, low price of 30 seconds of your day, can watch an app for a service or game you’re not going to install to wake your crew up.
That’s right, they will wake up fully rested so that you can resume looking at more ads to actually progress in the game.
If you want to explain adulthood to a kid, tell them this is the only game they can play for three days. It goes from new and fun to grindy with little reward real fast.
What Else Can Be Done with Ads? I’m Glad You Asked
Oh, and you also have to watch ads to get your gems, a game currency rewarded for meeting certain objectives.
Now, here’s the thing about things that rewarded for doing something in a game. Developers tend not to tax you by watching ads for you to collect them. Now, you can just let them sit there.
You don’t have to watch ads for any of the stuff in this game if you enjoy a slow, unrewarding grindy game if that’s what floats your boat. However, you don’t have a button to watch another ad to collect game currency for doing objectives in a game.
I’ve rarely seen this in mobile games. Normally, you just…collect your gems, coins, tokens, dollars, whatever, and continue playing. I can’t even say casual games are guilty of this.
Even most casual games are fair with their rewards for objectives. Those games will just tap you with some ads later in the game or sometimes not at all.
Mobile Gaming Verdict: 1.75/10
I’ll be straight-up folks; I don’t even want to give my verdict opinion here. Idle Arks just wasn’t a fun experience. You’ll spend more time watching ads because going out to sea just to get driftwood is just tedious.
Utterly tedious. Also, you have to watch ads to get your gem prizes for doing objectives in the game. Again: you have to watch ads to get prize rewards that should be free when you meet an objective.
Idle Arks gets a buck-seventy-five for the art approach and the events. I really liked the blocky, smooth approach of the graphics.
It’s just a shame they were used for this game and that the game has to lean so heavily on ads for players to make progress.
Even WorkeMon wasn’t this ad-aggressive and that game is just grim and soul-crushing.
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