Happy Island Facebook game comes back to iPhone/iPad via Island Tycoon

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Almost a year ago (July of 2010, to be exact), CrowdStar and Sibblingz launched a paid version of Happy Island on iPhone and iPad. The game cost $0.99 and sold (expectedly) poorly due to the fact that players could simply log onto Facebook and play the game for free (that and it was riddled with bugs). Skip forward to October of last year, and the game was finally made free to download and play, but as it still suffered from bugs and crashes, it was eventually pulled from the App Store altogether.

Skip forward to now, and we see a resurrection of the Happy Island experience with a twist. The new version of the game is called Island Tycoon, and while it doesn't link to your Facebook account (meaning you'll have to start your island over from scratch), it retains the gameplay, graphics, and even soundtrack of its inspiration. You'll be able to download Island Tycoon for free for either iPad or iPhone, and can then start the process of rebuilding the best tourist attraction that you can using a multitude of food stalls, cultural attractions, decorations and so on.

The same basics from Happy Island are retained here, in that your businesses and attractions will gain coins over time and must be cashed out for profits. You can then use those profits to upgrade your businesses to produce more funds over time, or to simply purchase additional items and decorations for your island. While the user interface isn't incredibly appealing (with very simplistic font and a lack of theme retention), at least this game runs fairly smoothly.

In fact, through our time to level 10, I only experienced one complete app crash, when trying to place a food stall that gave me enough experience points to simultaneously go up a level. Sure, any crashing is bad, but no app is perfect, and Island Tycoon has definitely come a long, long way.

Again, you won't be able to connect to your Facebook account, so you will need to start over with this version of the game, and it also doesn't appear as though you can add friends or visit others' island yet either. Island Tycoon has only been around for less than a month, so that very well may be added in the future. In the meantime, you can download the game for either your iPad or iPhone right from iTunes.
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