Hakoniwa Islands

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Hakoniwa Islands (箱庭諸島; Hakoniwa Shotou; lit. "Miniature Garden Islands") is an open source island-development simulation CGI game where players develop their own islands while interacting with other players' islands through diplomacy and war. The game and its many derivatives were incredibly popular on the Japanese web of the late-1990s and early-2000s, with commercial versions and real-life events/tournaments taking place. Many Japanese instances remain active as of October 2023.


For more in-depth information on Hakoniwa Island's gameplay, see the English manual for Hakoniwa Islands 2.

The only "goal" in the base Hakoniwa Islands game is to develop an island, with the optional goal of trying to reach the top of the island population rankings.

The game uses turns, which by default are set to occur every 6 hours. Before each turn, players decide on their development plans to be performed on upcoming turns. Typically, only a single plan per island is performed each turn, however some plans will not trigger the turn end and can therefore be combined with other plans.

There are many disasters that can occur; some of these happen at random, while others only occur if the player has neglected to take preventative measures. In addition to disasters, sometimes a monster will show up and cause destruction, and other times an island may be attacked by other islands.

Certain events may result in awards being given to islands that meet certain requirements. These include:

  • Being 1st in the rankings on a hundredth turn.
  • Having a certain population size.
  • Gaining a certain amount of population in a single turn.
  • Losing a certain amount of population in a single turn.


Regarded as one of the earliest CGI games, the first version of Hakoniwa Islands (箱庭諸島) was released in 1997 by developer Hiroki Tokuoka (徳岡宏樹). By 1999, an expanded version by Hiroki Tokuoka called Hakoniwa Islands 2 (箱庭諸島2) had been created, which became the basis of most future variations and derivatives of the game.

Most derivative versions greatly expand the scope of the game by introducing additional development plans, resources, monsters, and features (such as factions, trading, shared locations, etc.).

It was reported in the early-2000s that some hosting services had banned the game from being installed on their servers due to the heavy load it introduced.

In 2001, Taito teamed up with So-net (Sony Network Communications Inc.) to create a now-defunct commercial version of the game titled "Minna no Island" (みんなのあいらんど; lit. "Everyone's Island"), which was Taito's first foray into online gaming. The beta began on October 17th, 2001, and it cost 315 yen per month to play.

In 2014, mobile game developer KAZUTERU YOKOI published a now-defunct iOS version of the game.

Heyuri's Hakoniwa Islands 2 instance

Heyuri hosts its own English-translated instance of Hakoniwa Islands 2 (箱庭諸島2) on the Heyuri★CGI section of the site, which has so far proven popular with the site's users. As of October 24, 2023, there are 28 islands currently in existence with a total of 66 islands having been created.

Development of the English translation began on February 19, 2023, and was very slowly carried out in near-total secrecy by anonwaha with occasional assistance from kaguya. Together they "playtested" the game for several months (AKA got carried away playing it and didn't work on it at all), and it was officially launched on September 19, 2023.

Like many Japanese instances of the game, Heyuri has instituted a rule (by popular demand) that players may only have control over a single island at any given time. This doesn't apply to the Heyuri Intelligence Agency (HIA; rumored to be a front for Heyuri's moderation team), who will occasionally "seize" islands controlled by players found to be breaking the "one island per player" rule.

Heyuri's instance is said to take place in the Heyuri Archipelago, which is made up of many islands and alliances. As of October 2023, the most popular and dominant alliance is HAPI, who make up a notable percentage of the top-ranking islands and have won multiple wars.


For posterity, here are archived threads relating to Heyuri's Hakoniwa Islands instance:


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