Game review: Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life

Virtual Villagers is one of my favorite games. The fourth game in the series is titled The Tree of Life. Your tribe (from the previous games) is sending out 5 villagers to check out some strange happenings on the island. Instead of randomly assigning you villagers, you get to choose your party. Once you arrive at your destination, you find out that the Tree of Life is dying. It is your job to figure out how to heal the tree. As usual, the gameplay has not changed. All of the commands are exactly the same as the previous incarnations of the game. However, this is not a bad thing. Experienced players can skip the tutorial and jump right into the game with no problems. At the same time, the controls are easy enough the beginners can pick them up quickly.

Besides, the best part of the game is the puzzles. Each version of the game gives you a variety of puzzles for your islanders to solve. It's usually something that will advance your tribe's abilities. For example, "build nets to catch fish" will help your villagers bulk up their food supply. It is so much fun to figure out exactly what you need to do in order to finish all of the puzzles. Meanwhile, there are still collectibles for the children to gather. I haven't finished most of the collections yet, but there is usually a reward once each collection is complete.

I would say this game is aimed at fans of The Sims or other simulation games. Though, if you really enjoy puzzles, you might like this too.