Infinite Wealth's island mini-game is more than just an Animal Crossing parody confirms producer, it's about conserving nature and 'cleaning up'

Ichiban and friends welcome travellers to sunny Dondoko island
(Image credit: Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio)

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto has revealed some of the thinking behind the upcoming game's new Animal Crossing-inspired minigame. 

Speaking to TechRadar Gaming during a hands-on preview event, Sakamoto did acknowledge that the likes of Animal Crossing: New Horizons had "some influence" on the new Dondoko Island minigame. Centered around renovating and restoring a dilapidated island in the Pacific Ocean, this new addition to the Yakuza formula promises players a relaxing break from beating up criminals. 

However, Sakamoto made it clear that Dondoko Island is more than a simple parody. "The most important thing for us was that [...] we wanted to give you guys an opportunity to really engage with the great nature and wildlife of Hawaii and the tropical island." 

The mini-game also comes with an emphasis on conservation, while also offering deeper insight into the kind-hearted nature of protagonist Ichiban Kasuga. "We thought of this idea of cleaning up," continued Sakamoto. "This is something that we think Ichiban would probably do [...] this was very big for Ichiban to do [...] we brought all [these different] parts together to construct this meaning."

Dondoko Island certainly has a lot of parts to bring together, too. During my hands-on preview with an early build of the Infinite Wealth, I spent half an hour with the minigame. From cleaning up trash left on the island to constructing my own furniture, I found my time on the island extremely relaxing. Even the crafting animation was a treat, which sees Ichiban enter into a rapid building montage that ends in a big, goofy grin from the lovable hero.

In a series renowned for blending hilarious, light-hearted antics with heartfelt dramatic beats, it's great to have a refuge from the compelling high-energy emotional whiplash that accompanies the Like a Dragon experience. Sometimes you want to track down your estranged biological mother by kicking ass all over Hawaii and sometimes you just want to make a chair - both are good.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth releases on January 26 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC.

Want something to play in the meantime? Check out our lists of the best RPGs and best story games.

Cat Bussell
Staff Writer

Cat Bussell is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Gaming. Hailing from the crooked spires of London, Cat is an experienced writer and journalist. As seen on Wargamer.com, TheGamer.com, and Superjumpmagazine.com, Cat is here to bring you coverage from all corners of the video game world. An inveterate RPG maven and strategy game enjoyer, Cat is known for her love of rich narratives; both story-driven and emergent. 


Before migrating to the green pastures of games journalism, Cat worked as a political advisor and academic. She has three degrees and has studied and worked at Cambridge University, University College London, and Queen Mary University of London. She's also been an art gallery curator, an ice cream maker, and a cocktail mixologist. This crash course in NPC lifestyles uniquely qualifies her to pick apart only the juiciest video games for your reading pleasure. 


Cat cut her teeth on MMOs in the heyday of World of Warcraft before giving in to her love of JRPGs and becoming embedded in Final Fantasy XIV. When she's not doing that, you might find her running a tabletop RPG or two, perhaps even voluntarily.