Review – Deiland
Porting a game to another platform is nothing new in gaming. Just take a look at the Nintendo Switch’s new lineup every Friday. While some ports excel and make complete sense, others don’t quit hit the mark. Unfortunately, Deiland falls into the latter.
Spanish developer, Chibig, brought Deiland to mobile devices years before making the jump to PS4 in 2018. It isn’t an altogether poor port, but it just fails to work on a console the way it would on mobile. Deiland does a good job of mixing up multiple genres, but in a vanilla way. It gives you very basic survival and RPG mechanics and some farming resource management. They toss in some light action at you as well. All this is great on mobile platforms and honestly, it does work on console too, to a point.
The game does do a couple things right. Playing as 10-year-old Arco, you are the lone inhabitant of a very small planet. When I say very small, I mean where you can traverse every section of the planet in a matter of a minute or two. It is up to you to guard the planet’s crystal core. You are given a very brief tutorial, but for the most part, playing the game is your tutorial. Eventually, more people arrive at your planet for a timed period, making requests and selling items.
The first hour or so of Deiland is enjoyable. Making use of the lake for water or fish. Growing trees for acorns, chopping them down for wood, then growing them again. Tilling fields for resources, then making sure to water and harvest them. Fending off pesky animals and even rotating your planet to protect areas from falling meteors. It all works very well and you are always doing something to obtain something new.
Where the game falters is the time management later in the game. After spending multiple hours trying to mine for random drop items and needing some 50 of them, I asked myself, “why I am playing this game?” Every now and again I would have to change focus to another meteor or another group of crops, but the immediate goal was to grind for far to long. Repeating the same three distractions over and over until I got one more random drop item.
It is this random item gathering that really bogs the game down and probably works much better on a mobile device. A platform where a person can easily jump on daily and grind for 30 minutes and stop. But when you have two hours of distraction free gaming, I personally just don’t want to spend it doing this.
Deiland is beautiful and it is a relaxing world to fall into. Nothing in it is difficult and the game does keep you active, either helping one job along or to multi task as each job runs unassisted. However, it feels that is all I am doing, while also occasionally being bogged down for hours grinding for drops. I can’t help thinking that it would have been better to let the game shine on mobile rather than lose its luster on console.
Beautiful artistic style. Embraces its minimalistic approach.
Fun routine of survival and farming, but begins to bug down as more rare resources are needed.
Doesn’t stand out, but accomplishes not detracting from the game experience.
Fun Factor: 4.0
A fun relaxing world to lose yourself in mundane tasks… for the first couple hours. Then more grind than fun.
Final Verdict: 5.5
Reviewed on PS4.
Deiland is available now on PC and PS4.
A copy of Deiland was provided by the publisher.