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Once you have some meals to take with you, cooked using the things you grow, you can venture out in your rowboat (rowing devours your energy, especially with big waves) and explore the other islands for materials, crew, secrets and other plants/food that you can bring back with you and use in camp. This gameplay loop is fun, marred a little by the quick drain on your energy. Exploration is going to take you a long time, many repeated trips across the ocean and in some cases you'll only get a handful of materials for your troubles.
It doesn't drastically change the genre, but Stranded Sails is enjoyable. The stamina bar can be very annoying, but don't let it stop you from enjoying what the game has to offer. The straightforward approach to task completion is a benefit for those who need more guidance in their sim games. If you are looking to try out a simulation game, then Stranded Sails might be a good jumping-off point.
Touted as a seafaring Stardew Valley, Stranded Sails combines farming, exploration, and survival in a neat yet flawed package. It’s fun and rewarding in parts but doesn’t hold a light to Stardew or Harvest Moon in terms of charm or depth.
I want to like Stranded Sails, I am intrigued by a few of the artefacts I have stumbled across during my exploration and I am suitably invested in seeing the story through, however at present the game is unplayable.
Games like Stardew Valley and Minecraft can provide players with hundreds of hours of entertainment with their farming survival gameplay. Yet, it's sometimes nice to be able to play a game in the genre that leans into the more relaxing aspects that it can provide. Stranded Sails never feels overwhelming, and the pirate aesthetic is welcoming and unique while still pushing forward that sense of adventure.
I preferred playing this game docked rather than in handheld mode. A peaceful adventure game like this begs to be played while relaxing on the couch and enjoying the vibrant colors on a big screen. While it isn't the most gripping adventure, fans of Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing will probably enjoy it.
Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands is a fun and relaxing title that allows hours to simply tick past as you walk / run or row your boat from one island to the next. Exploring sandy shores is just as relaxing as going into caves or fishing underneath a stone outcrop. There’s nothing really hard about it as everything will come to you in time, you just need to get there first.
Despite some of the non-enthralling parts of the farming and cooking, they are still fun enough to keep me repeating them over and over and continuing through the game, even if the plot lost my interest pretty quickly after the excessively long prologue and first few days getting oriented on the island.
Stranded Sails is a great survival experience for young gamers or people new to the genre, but experienced players will find little in the way of appreciable challenge.
Stranded Sails offers some terrific farming simulation which does the majority of the game's heavy lifting, but it's held up by middling RPG-esque mechanics. Mixing things up and throwing a selection of genres into a pot to see what comes out is arguably commendable, and there's an awful lot to like about Stranded Sails, but some frustrating and bizarre choices in regards to recipes and the energy meter system hamstring the game for those hoping for a less taxing castaway experience.
Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands is an interesting adventure RPG with plenty of mechanics that involve resource-gathering, cooking and exploration and which features a world with a soul of its own. Where Stranded Sails disappoints is in what regards its rather shallow combat and repetitiveness of some objectives, as well as the technical bugs that affect the experience. A work that's aimed at those who are very much into gathering and production of resources.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
Stranded Sails I would say fits just right in the genre with its own take. If the intro hours were a little quicker I think the pacing would feel much better and I worry some folks will stop before getting there. It reminded me of the first time I played Harvest Moon 64. I had no idea what I was doing, but slowly and surely I came away feeling accomplished and satisfied. Stranded Sails gave me that feeling of heart and charm with a pirate twist.
Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands is an absolute wannabe that only hardcore fans of this genre could possibly enjoy. Tedious exploration full of repetitive tasks.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
In summation, Stranded Sails feels like a lot of potentially interesting combinations of systems and ideas that, in execution, is just too shallow and tedious to be all that much fun.
I can’t find the entertainment in Stranded Sails. The quests aren’t fun, what little progression that exists is there to help ease the tedium of completing the repetitive fetch quests in the first place. I can’t even say it is a relaxing game because the energy bar is frustrating and the sole means of combating it lacks any kind of interesting engagement. Yet if it was removed the game’s existence would be that much more mindless bordering on an idle game.
Farming, crafting, exploring, discovery… all check-boxes marked. Unfortunately, Stranded Sails never introduces enough depth or reason for fans of the genre to really dig in and stay a while.
MEDIOCRE - A farming sim adventure on a deserted archipelago certainly has a great ring to it, and the setting is ripe for a lot of exploration, discovery, and some clever mechanics. Stranded Sails however falls a bit short in nearly every department. A heavy over-use of a convoluted cooking mechanic and other issues prevented the game from reaching that addictive quality that is required for games like these.
Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands is a solid entry into the farming and exploration space, and a perfect entry level title for younger gamers or those new to the genre. Its simplicity helps it stand out in the crowd, but not always for the best reasons.
At its surface, Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands looks like an adorable and endearing addition to this genre, and though I so badly wanted to love it, I’d have difficulty recommending it to almost anyone other than young children. There is certainly a place in the gaming world for peaceful, low-pressure exploration and farming games, but unfortunately, I’m not convinced that Stranded Sails is one that belongs.
Stranded Sails is the perfect game for those who enjoy learning and structured game play. I found every new discovery exciting, cooking food for my crew rewarding and fishing as always put me in my zen zone but unfortunately I did not get the adventuring survival I was hoping for which is a shame really because it is also obvious that a lot of hard work has gone into this title as a studio and I look forward to watching Lemondrop evolve.
While the experience is not an entirely negative one, it leaves little to enjoy when problems start coming up. The charming atmosphere and stylization lends itself well to being a sort of survival-lite adventure for a younger audience; the quests are straightforward; and, finally, the difficulty is forgiving. Those looking for an exploration game will find frustrations abound in this title, and unfortunately the design choices lead to a rather disappointing experience as a whole.
Stranded Sails is one of the weakest titles released this year. A game lost in the search for its identity with the combination of survival and agriculture themes has created a boring and repetitive title. Despite all the bugs, you have to experience this gameplay again and again. No one is advised to experience this title with its current state. Even if we ignore the bugs, the whole game is not really worth the time.
Review in Persian | Read full review
Stranded Sails - Explorers of the Cursed Islands at its best feels soulless, and at its worst it doesn't even function. If this is targeted towards young children, it's an insult to their intelligence. This is easily one of the worst games I have ever played.