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Island in the sun
If the likes of Tropico and SimCity are a bit too demanding for you but you still want to get into the whole city building/resource management thing, then Coconut Queen might just been what you're looking for. It's a casual entry into the genre which is easy to pick up but which proves compelling enough to keep you playing for some time. You play the part of Liz Roarke, an exec sent to a tropical island by a big corporation to harvest its natural resources and turn the place into a thriving resort. The game itself is split into chapters, each of which has specific goals in terms of your progress and which include things like creating specific buildings, harvesting certain items or reaching a certain amount of cash. The gameplay follows the template laid down by other similar titles, with materials required to craft your buildings, workers to be hired to create them, and random disasters which pop up, like earthquakes, monsoons, and shark attacks, and which serve to keep you on your toes. Coconut Queen really is quite the cracking little offering and even if you consider yourself a more serious strategy gamer, there's actually a lot of fun to be had here. This one scores a lot of points for its sheer vibrancy, with some lovely visuals which really make you feel like you're in an island paradise, while the story is surprisingly charming and entertaining. The gameplay is familiar stuff but it's all very well implemented, with plenty to keep you busy and which is just the right sort of challenging. Definitely one for the long winter months.