Radiation Island Early Game – Learn From My Mistakes

How is this game only $2.99 on iOS but $9.99 on Steam and Switch?

Radiation Island by Atypical Games got amazing reviews on all other systems and I wanted to try it out for my Switch.

I hated Radiation Island at first. You know when… you finish a game and you have all these powers and abilities. Then you start a new game with nothing and it gets frustrating because you’re not used to being so limited.

Here are a few things to consider if you find yourself frustrated with the early game.

Be prepared to stick around the beach for a while

The beach is your home. I like to be overly prepared, and this might be subjective towards your game play. You need to make a home at the beach until you get a decent sized backpack.

You will want some sort of a base because you won’t be able to carry everything you find. Instead of hiding your resources all over the map, come back to the house on the beach every night to organize your things, craft from what you’ve gathered, and sleep.

There’s also a lot of trees and rocks around this area. If you don’t want to sleep at night and would rather craft or use the furnace, it’s relatively safe enough for you to leave the fire and cut down trees or gather rocks. Just make sure you get back before you freeze.

It’s almost impossible to leave the beach and start hunting towers until you have a level 3+ backpack. Food, weapons, and ammo will take up almost 2 rows by themselves. You’ll also want room for other random loot. Think of it this way: You’re going to be attacked by wolves, bears, whatever. You’ll want the resources they drop. Make sure you have space for that.

The map is much bigger in person

The map is very deceiving. What might seem like a small walk, could end up taking all day to get to. You’ll need to make sure you can get there and back to shelter by the time night falls.

It’s sort of like backpacking…with crocodiles

You’ll want to go to the dig points on the island to find resources that are extremely helpful in the early to mid game. To make this possible, you’ll need to carry around the resources to build at least a fire and a bed every night wherever you decide to rest your head.

Your other (and probably easier option) is to create a base at a teleport spot. On your map, the teleport spots are labeled as a house. Once you’ve discovered those spots, a compass looking icon will show up on the map giving you the option to teleport to that spot.

Learn from my mistakes and leave your most valuable items at spots that are easy to get back to. There’s no way to mark anything on your map so you don’t want to lose track of where you are. The mountains can get pretty confusing and it’s easy to get lost.

Deciding which option to take is good planning. There may be some nights that a teleport spot is too far away and it’s easier for you to hunker down by a fire and wait until the night is over.

I do not suggest exploring at night. Even with a torch, it’s hard to see more than a little bit in front of you. If fog hits or it gets cloudy, you’re basically walking around blind. Night cycles go by quicker than day cycles, so you won’t have to wait that long.

Never go hand to hand with enemies

Ranged weapons are the only way to go. You run the risk of bleeding out or getting an infection if enemies get close enough to attack and it’s not worth the resources.

In the beginning, using your self made tools as melee weapons may be your only option, but there’s a bow and some arrows in a house near your starting point. You can also use flint that you’ve picked up to make spears to gather leather from wolves and start upgrading your backpack.

Do not start going to the towers until you have guns and lots of ammo for said guns. The dig spots closest to the beach should have some weapons for you to start with. You don’t want to go up against the rampaging zombies with anything less than bullets.

You can’t take everything

Ranged weapons don’t deteriorate when used and you will find multiple instances of each type as you travel. As much as you want to take them, it’s better to remember where it in case you die and lose the weapon. (Tip: if you think you’re going to die, unequip your weapon and you won’t lose it)

Learn what resources you won’t need. If you click on details, you can see what each resources can be crafted into. This will help you weed out your inventory.

If you have a hoarding personality, you’ll end up with 17 old rifles and no room for the other shit you need to survive. Learn to let the junk go.

Early game defines how the rest of the adventure will play out. Not preparing yourself can make the rest of your game not as fun and frustrating. Making sure you’re ready for what’s out there is what will keep Radiation Island interesting as hunting towers can be a bit repetitive near the end. Find tower, enter code, find new code, find next tower.

In the end, this one was pretty fun to figure out. It’s a cool little challenge in the beginning, but I found a lot of the secrets are discovered early game and I got a little burnt out midway through tower hunting.

I’ll still stick to my opinion that the beach isn’t a half bad place to live. There’s really no motivation for me to leave in the beginning other than a desire to play the game. I still suggest giving it a try as the survival mechanics are cool to master and that “Eureka!” moment can be pretty satisfying.

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