Forest Island is an idle game co-developed by Neowiz and Nanali Studios where you revive a desolate isle in the middle of the ocean, bringing plants back to life and animals back to the lands. At first you only start with an isolated tree with a lone rabbit living nearby. Over time, you gain access to more of the island and with it, more flora and fauna to nurture. It is slow-going at first, but eventually life on the island will flourish rather quickly with your assistance.
Unlike most idle games, Forest Island lacks a “reset” mechanic, wherein the game lets you revert all your current progress in exchange for bonuses to your initial production, resulting in a loop of starting from the beginning to go further. It compensates with a smaller scope. Furthermore, it is surprisingly easy to make a lot of headway, and the game’s premium currency is very easy to earn through gameplay alone.
In-app purchases do exist but unless you are the type of person who wants to unlock all content immediately, do not expect to make much use of them. Some quests can take some time to finish however, especially if they involve unlocking new areas. Regardless, this game is not particularly challenging; consider it more of a place to chill out after a busy day.
Since there is a clear structure to game progress, unlocking different parts of the island as you go on, this guide will also double as a walkthrough of sorts. Each new part of the island generates more resources, thus giving you an idea of what to focus on until the next part is opened up. So, sit back and relax as we walk you through what Forest Island has to offer.
1. Starting From Simple Soil
The main resources of Forest Island are Energy and Hearts, with Energy being your primary concern when starting the game. Each part of the island is divided into “landmarks” that produce Energy, and you start off at the Tree of Rest. Energy is used to unlock new landmarks and upgrade existing ones so they can produce more energy in turn. For now, you will have to collect Energy from the Tree of Rest manually, tapping the tree every time it produces Energy.
The game eventually introduces animals that automatically collect the Energy for you. As mentioned above, the Tree of Rest has a Rabbit to gather Energy for you. Normally these animals cost Hearts to purchase and upgrade. For now, the game gives you enough Hearts to purchase the Rabbit, and is essentially given to you for free.
Aside from gathering Energy in your stead, animals also produce Hearts passively, with bubbles floating above their heads when Hearts have been created. Unlike Energy, Hearts are automatically gathered without player input, though you can choose to collect the bubbles yourself if you want. Either way, you will be picking up Hearts as soon as the Rabbit joins in. The cost of upgrading animals is higher compared to upgrading landmarks, and what those upgrades do is increase the rate of Energy production.
Once enough animal upgrades have been purchased, you can invite another animal to the landmark, effectively doubling both the rate of Energy production and Heart production for that landmark. Besides, your first bunny is probably waiting for a companion to share the island with. You can add three to seven more animals this way, depending on their size.
Upgrading a given landmark enough times will “heal” the place by adding more features such as plants or even bodies of water. Once a landmark is healed enough times, the game will consider it restored to its original state.
This allows you to zoom in on the selected landmark and listen closely to the calming sounds of nature, which is good for those who miss that ambience in real life. You can still upgrade the Energy production of that landmark however, which the game encourages via Achievements and Quests that we will discuss later on.
Now that the Tree of Rest has been fully restored, the game will direct you to restoring the next landmark: The Hollow Log Glade and its inhabiting foxes. The game starts opening up more features and mechanics as well.
2. Fantastic Flora And Fauna
Rather than using traditional notations, Forest Island uses its own notation system for depicting your resource counts, which can get quite high as befitting an idle game. 1,000 units is displayed as 1A, or 1 million units is depicted as 1B and so forth.
This can look confusing at first, but eventually you will get used to how Forest Island displays big numbers, and it makes it easier to figure out how much Energy or Hearts you will need to spend in order to upgrade a landmark or animal.
Aside from the inhabitants of the landmarks, you also have some sea life to help you out with resource collection. These animals can be found resting near the right side of the island facing the player, but have cooldowns between their uses, or require specific actions to take:
- The first animal you will notice is the clam, which rewards 50 gems, the premium currency of Forest Island, after you watch six ads. However, any ads past that amount before collecting the gems will not carry over;
- Following the clam is the albatross, who calls a flock to collect a large amount of Energy based on your production, in exchange for watching an ad;
- Next to the albatross is the heart dolphin, who aptly collects Hearts after watching an ad, based on your production as before; and
- The last sea creature is the otter, who collects any produced resource while you are away from the game. At first can only collect up to an hour’s worth of resources, but you can triple this amount by watching an ad. While the initial amount collected is not much, you can upgrade that amount as we will discuss below.
By this point the game introduces you to Quests, Achievements, the Store, and Eggs. Quests are simple tasks that award Growth Points upon completion. These tasks include but are not limited to collecting Hearts from the wildlife, upgrading the Tree of Rest, or inviting new animals to the island.
Growth Points are used to purchase improvements to gameplay such as cost reductions to landmark upgrades, the rates of Heart and Energy generation, the amount of resources produced or collected by the sea creatures above (barring the clam who is always fixed at 50 gems), and even a chance to gain twice as many Hearts from your animals.
Growth Point improvements are grouped into levels and once all improvements are purchased, the player reaches a new set of improvements and is awarded 50 gems. You will also be given new tasks to perform even outside Quest requirements:
- Every now and then you will be called on to “cleanse” the island by picking up dead branches and pulling out weeds, which the game calls “withered trees.” There are identified by the black smoke coming out of them and the Energy icon floating above. Removing these eyesores grants a sizeable amount of energy, and their spawn limit is determined by the size of your island.
- The game will give you photo opportunities that let you take a closer look at the island’s wildlife, allowing you to adjust the zoom and camera rotation. Normally the game focuses on one animal for you to photograph, but the game can focus on another animal if it gets close enough to your current subject.
This is particularly useful if the subject moves into some bushes or ends up in an inconvenient angle. Taking the photo also awards Energy, and you can either move on, save the picture onto your device, or share it on social media. It will take some time for the next opportunity to appear.
Note that the Energy rewards from both of these activities can also be increased via Growth Points. However, the cooldown period for both branch spawns and photo opportunities cannot be modified. You will have to wait for them to come around again after completing those tasks.
Achievements are repeatable tasks that award 10 gems for completing them. This is a more reliable means of earning gems when you cannot complete your current Quest or if there are no ads to watch for the clam. Achievements are easy to accomplish and basically involve much of the activities we have discussed here, along with some store interactions we will discuss below. The requirements for these Achievements naturally go up as you complete them.
The store is where you can spend your hard-earned gems and make use of in-app purchases, the latter of which will see little use with how many gems you can earn just by playing the game. The first things available for purchase are ad coupons, which let you bypass watching ads to get related bonuses.
You start off with five of these coupons and they are the only thing that you cannot earn through gameplay. Unfortunately, there is no way to toggle coupon usage, so those initial ad coupons will be spent quickly. Below those coupons are treasure chests, which come in two variants and reward rare animals.
Rare animals earned through treasure chests sport different appearances, and essentially act as Energy production multipliers once you have invited the maximum number of animals in a given landmark. For example, the rare animal for the Tree of Rest is the Spotted Rabbit. Rather than ranking them up through Hearts, rare animals are acquired as “cards.”
You rank rare animals up once enough duplicates are collected, at no cost other than the gems you spent on chests. Common chests only reward cards for one animal, while rare chests can reward cards for three animals. You can view the specific odds of rare animals by tapping the question mark icon at the top left of the chest displays.
The last part contains time tickets, which offer an instant boost of Hearts or Energy in one-, six-, or twelve-hour durations. All these cost gems but you can get tickets for free every now and then. These are great if you need a few more resources to make an upgrade, and even have their own associated achievement. Opening chests and using time tickets are valid tasks for Quests and have their own associated achievements, and free tickets/chests can count towards their overall progress.
The rest of the store is split between gems and special package deals. You can purchase gems or watch the occasional ad to gain 30 gems for free, and your first purchase of gems will be doubled. Meanwhile, the package deals range from simple bundles of gems, time tickets, and chests, to monthly “subscriptions” where you earn a number of ad coupons and gems per month; fees will be billed to your account. Be wary about the subscriptions as you might forget that you signed onto them. Some of these packages offer completely cosmetic baby animals, such as fox kits, as new inhabitants.
The last thing of note are the Eggs, which are unlocked after you fully restore the third landmark, the Duck Pond (which is, naturally, populated by ducks). The Eggs are located in a nest just below the Tree of Rest, which generates an Egg every four hours, though you can generate an Egg immediately by watching an ad. However, there is a limited number of ads you can watch per day to speed up Egg generation, eventually forcing you to wait out the next batch of Eggs until the ads refresh.
You can get one of three possible Eggs: in increasing rarity, Yellow, Blue, and Purple. All Eggs take time to hatch with rarer Eggs taking longer. Yellow Eggs take 10 minutes, Blue Eggs take 25 minutes, and Purple Eggs take one hour. You can speed up the hatching by rubbing the Egg for a few seconds, lasting for a minute before they can be rubbed again and cutting up to 10 minutes of wait time.
Yellow Eggs will only need one incubation session in order to hatch within that minute, but both the Blue and Purple Eggs require multiple incubations simply because they take longer to hatch. When an Egg hatches, it has a large chance of rewarding a bird that provides a bonus to landmark production, and they can stack up to three or nine times depending on the rarity of the bird. Eggs may also reward resource bundles, free chests, or even tickets, with Purple Eggs potentially rewarding elusive 12-hour time tickets and rare chests. Keep an eye on that nest.
Now we can discuss our tips and tricks to making the most out of Forest Island.
3. Running The Restorations
Being an idle game, expect lots of waiting between island development as your animals collect and generate resources. Granted that Forest Island is not as demanding as other idle games as there are less landmarks to unlock and animals to invite, you will eventually reach the maximum amount of both elements in no time. Forest Island instead focuses on making a virtual environment for you to relax in, though you will have to work a bit to get there.
It can get repetitive, but watching ads is useful in gathering gems for the clam, on top of gems rewarded from completing achievements. Unlocking a new landmark also awards a lot of gems along with some extra goodies, giving you more incentive in upgrading your landmarks. In addition, the game has a mailbox where the developers send gifts to the player base, and they are quite generous especially during the holidays; check it when you can.
Since gems are rather easy to obtain, do not be afraid to spend them from time to time. Using them on chests is nice, but do not forget about the time tickets. The Heart costs for upgrading or even inviting animals gets high rather quickly, so using some gems to get six hours’ worth of Hearts is not a bad investment. You can easily make progress without spending any real money this way. Still, it is a good idea to spend your gems wisely as Quests may get their progress halted because you ran out of free tickets or chests to use.
Remember to do Quests for Growth Points, which can then be used to upgrade your island’s economy or the amounts rewarded from the sea animals. The otter is a good demonstration of this; at first it can only collect one hour’s worth of resources, but one Growth Point upgrade increases this to two hours, which can be multiplied to six hours’ worth of resources by watching an ad. This vastly improves the rate of progress for future purchases. There are even Growth Point upgrades for photography and cleansing, earning more Energy as you go.
We also recommend completing some tasks before the next Quest is generated, such as upgrading the Tree of Rest to a certain level or inviting enough animals, so that you can collect Growth Points back-to-back. Other Quests, such as those involving the albatross or photography should be held off until a Quest requires it, so that you can get some progress done as soon as it shows up. This is entirely up to you. Still, Growth Points will contribute to the development of your island, so while it can get a bit overwhelming early in the game, those Points will help you make quick progress.
If you are the photographing-type, keep in mind that the lock-on of the in-game camera can be difficult to work with. It might end up choosing a completely different animal altogether. If you are just taking pictures for the Energy, the picture does not have to be perfect, and you can leave the camera once you have collected the reward.
If you are or were planning on saving shots for later use, you can choose to take more pictures after the game gives you the Energy, as long as you do not leave the camera. That way, you can wait for your subject to make a better pose or look for something else to take a picture of before you leave the camera.
Of course, the Eggs should not be left behind. The birds that you can get can help from add up to landmark production even after you have invited as much animals as possible. They can also reward free time tickets, chests, or resource bundles on occasion.
Bear in mind that the number of times you can refresh those Eggs is limited, and constantly watching ads to refresh Eggs can deplete it and prevent you from watching ads to skip the waiting times. So, refresh those Eggs wisely or you might get stuck waiting every four hours for the next Egg to show up, up until the game lets you watch ads again. This can take a whole real-time day.
Lastly, the game has a weekly login reward system in place, awarding handfuls of gems and some tickets each day until giving you a free rare chest at the seventh login. After the seventh login, it resets its progress for the next week. The days are cumulative so you do not have to worry about missing a day and losing all your login progress. The store does offer alternate login rewards for sale but the ones the game has by default is sufficient for regular play.
And that concludes our guide to Forest Island. It is not a game where you have to get to the highest levels of production. It is more like a place to lie down and relax once you have upgraded the landmarks to the best of your ability. If you are looking for the sounds of nature while cooped up in your room, give this game a shot, restore some landmarks, select your chosen comfort zone, and let the ambience calm you. If you guys have any tips you would like to share, feel free to drop us a line in the comment section! Good luck and game on!