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Stranded Sails Review

Stranded Sails

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Release: 17/10/2019
Publisher: Merge Games
Developer: Lemonbomb Entertainment
Genre: Action, Adventure, Switch Reviews
PEGI: 10+
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Farming simulation type games are hitting the Nintendo Switch hard and fast, but thankfully each is taking on a different approach than the others. While Story of Seasons take a methodical approach to farming and interacting with the world around you, Stardew Valley takes a very economical approach to the genre. Enter Stranded Sails, which focuses on the efforts of a shipwrecked crew who is trying to survive, and find a way of, a deserted island.

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And for a game with a smaller budget than most, there is quite a lot to do. Early on, the game is really slow, and I cannot express enough how you need to push through these initial few hours as you regroup the crew, and they teach you the various aspects of farming, fishing, building, and more.

Once you plow through this initial slog, things open up a lot more and you have much more freedom. And that is when you realize how beautiful the world here really is. While very cartoony in presentation, it works really well based on the sailing theme, and really pops when you get that game loaded onto the big TV via docked mode.

While not as in depth as other farming simulation style games, there is still lots to do in Stranded Sails, and while there were tasks that I found mundane and boring, the overall progression of the game kept me coming back and playing more. The reality here is that Stranded Sails is exactly what you should expect it to be, and if you come in expecting more of an adventure title, you’ll be sadly mistaken. It’s a farming simulation game with a older, piratey-sailing theme. It’s good fun, but it’s not breaking down barriers in the genre.

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While may feel limited to a small island to start, there are plenty of other islands you can go and explore, finding new resources to use in crafting, and new fish to find. Going to each island brings a host of new things to do, but sadly this won’t become unlocked until a bit into the game. Again, we cannot stress enough that you need to get through that initial slog. It might be trying on your patients, but the game does open up after that!

I found that Stranded Sails was an incredibly relaxing experience, and while it may gear towards a younger audience, there was still plenty I enjoyed. Seeing the main base come together over time was really great, and I always longed to learn new recipes, craft new items, and move forward. It’s a slower experience, but one that easily can take 20 – 30 minutes of my day, each and every day.

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The only grip is with the food crafting. Because there is nothing telling you which ingredients to put together, it is a complete guessing game on what you need to create specific dishes. And since food is what keeps you going in Stranded Sails – because if you run out and your stamina depletes, you warp back to the camp – it’s really frustrating when you cannot figure out what to put together to make specific dishes. Thankfully crafting items is much easier, and much more enjoyable.

Overall, Stranded Sails is a pretty fun game, albeit one that lacks a little bit of depth. It’s still a good relaxing experience, one I don’t regret playing at all.

 

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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel