Have you ever thought of what you’d do if you somehow end up being marooned on a deserted island? How long do you think you’d be able to survive before getting rescued or escaping the island yourself?
Fortunately, you don’t have to actually go to a deserted island just to gauge your chances. Isle Builder: Click to Survive is one such game in this genre that seems to hearken back to popular crafting, building, and survival games like Minecraft, Terraria, or Don’t Starve.
Published by Casual Azur Games, Isle Builder is just almost a year old but it has a lot of potential for being a more laidback survival-type game. The graphics for the game itself are reminiscent of the aforementioned titles, particularly Minecraft. Meanwhile, the player’s perspective is closer to that of Don’t Starve, though exploration can be limited by certain structural upgrades.
However, unlike these games, Isle Builder doesn’t have a day-and-night cycle. It’s always daytime and, as of this writing, there are no other hostile creatures that appear on the island. If you’ve managed to take a peek at the previews from the Google Play Store or the App Store, you might have seen previews that show these aforementioned features, but it appears that these may be encountered after future updates.
Playing Isle Builder can seem ostensibly simple: you craft tools that can be used to build bigger structures that will help you survive your time on the island. The premise of the game is that your character is the sole survivor of a plane crash, left alone on the island to fend for yourself.
Tools and buildings can both be upgraded in exchange for resources like wood, stone, and ore, which can be mined around the vicinity. You begin the game with one character, but you will eventually encounter other AI companions meant to make crafting, mining, and building easier and much faster. The final goal is to get everyone off the island by building an escape vehicle, like a boat or a hot air balloon depending on what the game deems available.
After reaching this goal, the game will let you play another level, which is similar to the first one, only it’s set in a different environment. Level 2 takes place on another deserted island but with a different layout. Meanwhile, Level 3 happens on a snowy mountain, and so on.
The premise for the succeeding levels is that you managed to escape the previous island, only to find yourself marooned in another. Upon reaching the next level, all your stats from the previous island will be reset and you have to build everything from scratch and escape the island once again. This may seem a little frustrating for players, but you can always look at this type of gameplay mechanic as an opportunity to reassess your building and survival strategy.
Although the game can sound simple in theory, you can still get lost in the plethora of upgrades or the rather time-consuming progress for crafting and building. If you want to get off the island in the fastest way possible, our beginner’s guide for Isle Builder: Click to Survive will let you know just what you need to craft, build, and upgrade, as well as the least time-consuming approach to maximize progress in the game. Let’s get to it!
One of the most common misconceptions about Isle Builder is that it’s an idle game. It is an idle game to some extent, but not in the strictest sense of the word. This means that for any kind of advancement to happen, whether it’s crafting, mining, gathering resources, or building, the game needs to be kept open.
Unlike other idle games, Isle Builder doesn’t play in the background. If the game isn’t actively open on your device, the AI will pause its progress and resume only when you’ve opened the game. Switching to another app or pressing the Home button of your device will also halt or delay progress until you return to the game itself.
That said, if you’re expecting to make headway quicker, keep the game open in an active tab. Since the early stages may feel slow because of limited upgrades, you can simply let your characters craft and build while you do something else since character movements can feel rather repetitive over time.
However, the downside to this is that there doesn’t seem to be a distinct sound that will notify you when upgrades or buildings have been completed. You simply have to check the game from time to time.
Fair warning as well that keeping the game open may cause your phone to feel warm and it may also quickly consume battery life. You can give your device a bit of a rest but don’t expect to accumulate resources or make advancements when you do.
As mentioned, you will start the game with only one character. As such, crafting options tend to be more linear during these early stages. This means the game will tell you which tools and buildings you can craft and upgrade at a certain time.
The way Isle Builder works is that some upgrades and buildings can only be unlocked after accomplishing these prerequisites. You may consider the early stages as somewhat of a tutorial, though you may still encounter these prerequisites when unlocking new buildings and higher upgrades.
However, what the game doesn’t tell you is that you don’t necessarily have to upgrade all the structures and tools to build a reasonably sized camp to achieve your overall objective. In fact, it’s possible to get lost in trying to reach maximum upgrades, which can take ages if you don’t really know which buildings or tools to prioritize.
Although the game gives a simple description of what each building or tool does, some upgrades tend to work better when paired with others. On the other hand, you may choose to forego other upgrades unless required.
That said, be wary about trying to upgrade all the buildings and tools as this is extremely time-consuming. The higher the upgrades, the more resources are needed. More resources means more time is needed to gather and craft them. For instance, a Level 1 structure may need less than 100 wood, but when you want to get it to, say, Level 4 or Level 5, the upgrade will eventually require more wood, stones, and even metal, which comes particularly from mining and smelting ore.
Therefore, our recommended approach is not to upgrade all buildings and tools, but only to upgrade when it’s necessary to unlock another one. You’ll know that a building or tool can be unlocked when its button is green.
The good news is that the game has a complete list of tools and buildings to craft and upgrade. At the very bottom of the list is your escape vehicle, which can be a boat, hot-air balloon, etc. You may unlock your escape vehicle in the fastest way possible when you forego unnecessary upgrades that won’t lead to unlocking more tools and buildings.
Further to the previous tip, there are some upgrades that will definitely help you get out of the island faster. You just need to know which ones these are. For the purposes of this guide, we tried out a handful of strategies and found that the best approach is to prioritize upgrading the Tower and the Workbench among other buildings and tools. This isn’t to say that you should try to reach their max levels, but getting them to reach at least Level 7 will be enough to give you a productive and less time-consuming run.
But why the Tower and the Workbench? Here’s how these two in particular can help you get out of the island fast:
Building and upgrading the Tower allows your character to see more of the surrounding area. In the beginning, you will have a very limited view of your camp, with just a few trees, some scattered stones, and a bit of space to set up other structures. Upgrading your Tower up to at least Level 5 is a prerequisite to unlock all structures at their base level.
Each time you upgrade a Tower, you don’t just get to broaden your horizons, so to speak. You also get to permanently invite another person into your camp as opposed to watching an ad that will only invite “visitors” who will stay for a total of five minutes. When these five minutes are up, your “visitors” will stop helping with the crafting and building, ultimately walking off screen. Temporary helpers can be invited again after watching another ad, typically of the 30-second duration.
Although you will eventually be asked to build the Radio Antenna, which is intended to invite more people permanently into your camp, upgrading the Tower will also get you the same results as this building, but with the added bonus of expanding your view of the environment.
With each Tower upgrade, a person will come into your camp and stay to help out with the crafting and building until such time all of them can escape the island. Permanent invites are indicated by a sad face icon on top of a grayed out character walking into your camp. All you need to do is to click them to invite them.
With more people, activities will take much less time. This is a more sustainable approach than repeatedly watching ads every five minutes to invite at least one person or more to temporarily aid your camp.
Additionally, since you can see more of the surrounding area with the Tower, you can chop more wood, as well as mine more stones and ore. The challenge to having more people in your camp lies in the fact that the AI of the game is programmed in such a way that they have to complete gathering wood resources before moving on to mining stones.
When that’s done, only then will they mine ore then smelt those into metal before completing the entire crafting process. When you have a limited view of your immediate area, the AI characters will wait for trees to respawn instead of gathering other necessary material like stone or ore.
It takes a few seconds for one tree to respawn, but if your characters already have upgraded movement speeds (more on this later), they’ll be quick to chop down a tree and deliver the resources to the intended area even before another tree respawns. But with a fairly upgraded Tower, you don’t have to worry about waiting for resources to respawn and you’ll have enough to chop and mine even with a significant number of people on your island.
Another important tool you should upgrade is the Workbench. What this does is decrease the number of wood and stone resources needed to complete buildings and upgrades. Aside from being a prerequisite to unlocking other tools or buildings, investing in your Workbench can help decrease the time you need to craft because resource requirements will be less. Upgrading the Workbench itself can take a significant amount of resources, but consider this a worthwhile investment that can decrease crafting time in the long run.
While there are structures and tools that will eventually require metal for higher upgrades, including the Workbench itself and the Tower, keep in mind that even if you choose to follow a different crafting and survival strategy, upgrades will require mostly wood and stone. This will also come in handy when you’ve already managed to unlock all buildings, particularly that which allows you to build your escape vehicle off the island.
Aside from the Tower and the Workbench, you also need to prioritize upgrading your House. A House in Isle Builder is necessary for increasing food storage.
At the beginning of the game, a Level 1 House will allow your character to store 20 Food. Food is used to upgrade your character’s stats, particularly to increase speed for movement, crafting, and resource gathering. An upgraded House will let you gather more Food as the cap will double with each upgrade. For instance, if you start with 20 Food, leveling up the house will get you a cap for 40 Food, then 80 Food, and so on.
Similar to other structures in the game, you don’t necessarily have to max out the level upgrades for the House. Getting it to the 160 or 320 cap (Level 4 or Level 5 upgrade) can quickly get you through the game and level up your characters by a significant amount. Speaking of leveling up the stats of your characters…
Movement Speed and Crafting Speed are two stats that you need to focus on when upgrading your characters. Character stat upgrades occur when you consume Food. This applies to all your characters on the island, not just one. When another character permanently stays on your island, they will have the same stats as everyone else.
While you may occasionally upgrade other stats like Fishing Speed, Wood Production Speed, Stone Mining, Ore Melting Speed, and Metal Melting Speed, Movement Speed and Crafting will generally cut down the time you have to spend building and upgrading, which are the most time-consuming activities in the game.
If you really think about it, Movement Speed and Crafting are general stats that impact your character overall. Since they don’t just focus on upgrading a stat to favor one specific resource, these are more useful investments that will help you get off the island with far less grinding compared to when you focus on other stats.
The way Food works in this game is that aside from having a limit dictated by the current level of your House, each stat upgrade consumes a particular amount of Food that increases with each upgrade. For example, if getting Movement Speed to Level 2 consumes 2 Food, it will require 4 Food when you need to upgrade it to Level 3, and so on. The same thing applies to other stats.
Since crafting and building will take up much of your play time, it’s better to invest in a general stat upgrade since this will also affect resource gathering. This approach works hand in hand with upgrading your House. Depending on how you distribute stat upgrades, a Level 5 House may get your Movement Speed to around Level 37.
Of course, because you need Food to upgrade these stats, consider upgrading your Fishing Speed from time to time. Food can be gathered in three ways: picking fruits from trees, fishing, and clicking on the cow that occasionally passes through your camp. For the last method, clicking on the cow will require you to watch a 30-second ad but it will immediately refill your Food storage.
Most of the time, though, your characters will be gathering food through fishing, which is why you can consider this stat as the third most important upgrade. That said, try to equalize the level of your Movement Speed and Crafting stats. On the other hand, you don’t need to prioritize the Ore Melting Speed and Metal Melting Speed stats since upgrading your Movement Speed and Crafting can already compensate for their low levels.
As we’ve mentioned, not all structures need to be upgraded for you to leave the island in the fastest way possible. That said, we recommended prioritizing Backpack upgrades instead of Storage upgrades. Wood Storage, Stone Storage, and Ore Storage are meant to simply store these resources for later use once you’re ready to craft and build. Each building is located in different points on the island. While this may be helpful to some degree, we’ve discovered that it’s more productive to upgrade your Backpack instead.
As its name suggests, the Backpack is used by your characters to carry the resources they’ve gathered. With ample upgrades, your characters can carry as much as 10 wood pieces or six stone pieces in their Backpack so they can deposit it to the structure that needs to be upgraded.
Even with Storage upgrades, your characters will still have to use the Backpack to transport resources, thus making Backpack upgrades necessary, if not more productive than Storage upgrades. Getting your Backpack to at least Level 5 will allow your characters to carry a significant amount of resources as they move from resource gathering to depositing.
Like most free-to-play games, Isle Builder has ads that you can watch in exchange for a small reward or temporary perk. There are four kinds of rewards that you can get from watching ads, namely:
- Temporary invites: As previously mentioned, watching these ads will get you at least one person to temporarily help out in building your campsite and upgrading structures and tools. Temporary invites will stay on your island for only five minutes and then walk off screen when their time is up. Depending on what’s offered by the game, you may get up to three extra people to help out in your campsite.
- Airdrops: You can avail of airdrops when you see a yellow plane passing overhead your camp. By getting airdrops, you don’t have to mine resources but simply get them from the boxes dropped by the plane at the center of the camp. Collecting resources from airdrops doesn’t seem to be any faster than resource gathering, but this can come in handy when you haven’t upgraded your Tower and are waiting for trees to respawn.
There is no set number of resources that the airdrop will give, though it appears relative to how far you are into the game. For instance, in the early stages, airdrops will only give you wood until such time you’re able to build the Stone Storage.
- Food from the cow: Just like the airdrop, you can get food by clicking on a cow that occasionally passes through your camp. What the cow does is fill up your Food storage to max. This is helpful when you’ve already managed to upgrade your House to at least Level 4 or 5 as it can take a while before you can fill up the significant Food cap.
- 2x Speed: Clicking on this option will give your characters twice the speed on top of Movement Speed upgrades. The good news is that 2x speed bonuses can stack. For instance, you typically start with a 2x speed bonus for two minutes upon watching an ad. When your two minutes are up, watching another ad will give you four minutes of 2x speed, and so on. The only caveat is that if you close the game or switch to another tab on your device, your 2x speed will reset back to two minutes and you have to earn the stack again.
Among these four ad options, we’ve discovered that the 2x speed is the most helpful. You may choose to watch the other ads occasionally, but you can generally do without them if your building and survival strategy focuses on constantly upgrading your Movement Speed and Crafting.
If you’ve managed to stack your 2x speed, you’ll be enjoying the perk for a lengthy duration without having to watch ads. Since 2x speed basically affects how fast your character moves, it will have a more productive impact on building, crafting, and resource gathering.
Even with significant upgrades, waiting for your crafting progress to finish can feel a bit tedious. You may be tempted to randomly click on the game’s settings or your Food upgrades to alleviate the inactivity on your part. (As a side note, you can’t interact with the Craft and Build tab once you’ve already selected a tool or structure to be built or upgraded.)
Resist clicking anything while crafting is in progress. This is because a short but forced ad may suddenly pop up, which will reset the progress bar of your crafting back to zero once the ad is done playing. Simply wait for the crafting bar to fill up so you don’t reset anything.
As mentioned, the goal of the game is to escape the island where you’ve been marooned. After unlocking all the available structures, you’ll finally be able to craft the building that will allow your characters to make an escape vehicle. Whether it’s a ship, hot-air balloon or some other vehicle, this is your ticket to finally leave.
At this point, however, you might already have close to a dozen people on your island. To successfully complete the level, everyone must be able to ride the escape vehicle. Let’s take the Shipyard for example: building this structure will allow you to craft one boat in exchange for wood resources. However, this boat can only accommodate one person.
To increase the number of people who can ride the boat, you can click on Boat Upgrade in your Craft and Build Tab. However, upgrading the boat to fit more people will require you to build it using more resources. You can bring down the number of resources needed when you upgrade the Shipyard.
If you’ve followed our tips thus far, you might have around seven or eight people on your island, or possibly even more. Instead of continuously upgrading both your boat and Shipyard, upgrade them only once to decrease the required resources while getting two people to fit in the boat.
Even if you have a dozen people on the island that need to ride out, you’ll only be building the boat six times. This is a much faster route compared to leveling up the Shipyard as this doesn’t come cheap and takes more time and resources to craft overall. Additionally, when you’re left with only two people on the island, it won’t take them that long to craft the small boat that can fit them both.
With this, you have successfully left the island and survived, only to find yourself marooned on another island for the next level. Since all your stats will be reset, you can have the opportunity to play the game in another environment while making adjustments to your building and survival approach.
That said, this ends our beginner’s guide for Isle Builder: Click to Survive. Soon enough, you’ll be off the island and fast! If you have more tips and tricks to share about crafting, resource gathering, and shaving off much of the time-consuming grind, feel free to let us in the comment section below!