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Holiday Island (Windows 3.1)

Holiday Island Windows 3.1
Genre: Simulation
Perspective: Diagonal-down
Visual: Isometric
Gameplay: Managerial / business simulation
Interface: Point and select
Published by: Sunflowers Interactive Entertainment Software GmbH
Developed by: Sunflowers Interactive Entertainment Software GmbH
Released: 1996
Platform: Windows 3.1

Paradise on earth... What do you think it should look like? A comfortable sun lounger on the shore of the ocean foaming with white waves, slender palm trees gently swaying in time with the fresh breeze, a glass of juice covered with drops of moisture in your hand and the sun caressing you with its rays ... Invigorating tennis and beach volleyball in the morning, clear waters of the pool in the afternoon, sea sailing on a yacht and saying goodbye to another fantastic day in the blazing glow of sunset. Or maybe you would like to realize even more pleasant and bright ideas? Then this is your chance - after all, in Holiday Island you have at your disposal an entire resort archipelago, and from now on, making it a tourist paradise is your top priority. Let's digress a little from colorful dreams and look at the tools with which we have to translate a dream into reality.

The key to success and the only way to become the best of the best (and the richest of the rich) "island" magnates is to attract as many vacationers as possible to your property. Naturally, first of all, we have to provide customers with housing. Do you prefer expensive, but roomy and high-quality hotels or cheap, nondescript huts? And you can stay somewhere in the middle and dot the green meadows around the beaches with not very expensive, but presentable villas, for example. Do you have the first tourists visiting? Great, but you need something to keep them busy - there is a huge range of shops and entertainment complexes at your service, from a newsstand to an entire company selling luxury cars. And it's time to build a separate bungalow for surfers and a yacht club on the shore, and build a chic theater and a disco a little further away - after all, we definitely need to satisfy the tastes of everyone, the client's desire is the law! And if you want to achieve real world popularity, invest in an airport, and people will flock to your man-made paradise from the farthest corners of the world.

As usual, economic prosperity depends not only on the number of tourists, but also on the quality of their living conditions. And to ensure this quality, you will have to deal not only with the renovation and repair of your buildings, but also with such important things as environmental protection and ... competition. And if everything is clear with the first one (waste recycling stations and landfills outside the resort area will help solve any problems), then the last one in Holiday Island is taken somewhat literally. Your rivals are the same business people as you, they also want to earn money, and you and them have chosen the same group of islands to fulfill your plans. Crushing them economically is long and uninteresting, and that is why you have at your disposal a whole arsenal of ingenious means designed to permanently discourage anyone from competing with you. Did you notice that the opponent was carried away by the construction of pools? Send a flock or two of piranhas in there and see how many visitors he manages to keep. Are your competitors ahead of you in the quality of restaurant service? Not for long - it is enough just to arrange a small invasion of rodents-peddlers of some dangerous epidemic on their territory. Or are you lagging behind in advertising performance? All you have to do is pay the right people, and gloomy rumors will quickly bring all the efforts of unfortunate businessmen to naught. And, of course, don't be surprised if you suddenly start having a losing streak too... By the way, not only opponents, but also the most ordinary natural disasters can be to blame for this. There's nothing you can do, you'll have to come to terms with blind nature somehow.

In addition to the simple "sandbox", in Holiday Island you can also find a game mode for special tasks, which adds more variety to the process and greatly complicates it. Goals can vary from the simple “Earn such and such amount in such and such time” to the almost impossible “Displace well-established competitors from all the islands at once”, and they are quite capable of keeping you busy for more than one evening.

What makes the game especially enjoyable and laid-back is the incomparable window-based interface that doesn't clutter up the screen while being as user-friendly as possible. A detailed description is given for each available building, simple and understandable graphs help you track your state of affairs and evaluate the success of your competitors, and periodically updated news reports will not let you miss any important events.

The atmosphere of relaxation and eternal holidays is especially emphasized by relaxing and extremely pleasant music, and if you suddenly get tired of pressing matters, you can always be distracted by watching small, but clearly distinguishable people sailing, merrily throwing a ball on the beach, traveling down the street on bikes... The graphic design is very attractive, and often you will find yourself thinking that it would be nice to join the happy tourists down there. But - money first of all, therefore it is impossible to be distracted even for a second.

Holiday Island is a magnificent, rainbow-colored economic strategy game, which will be a pleasure to spend time with both longtime connoisseurs of the genre and those who are just starting to master it. Even if you digress from the main goal and simply place these cozy little cottages and cafes here and there, you can get absolutely indescribable pleasure. Don't forget to bring a Hawaiian shirt and sunglasses - heaven is waiting for you!