Explore the many islands within the archipelago to discover their secrets
Tend to your farm, harvest the crops and use them to prepare delicious food
Help your crew with their requests and improve your relationship with them
Shipwrecked on a mysterious archipelago where no sailor has managed to escape from… alive, Stranded Sails is a farm simulation/adventure game where you’ll not only need to maintain a farm and make sure that your surviving crew’s needs are being met; you’ll also need to set off on mini-expeditions to explore the many mysterious islands within the archipelago and to discover the secrets they hide. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you might end up finding a way off the island after all!
Stranded Sails is a really easy game to get into, mainly because the game is driven by its story-based quests so by completing these quests, you be able to unlock new areas and even new tools that will allow you access to different parts of the archipelago. However, you’re given complete freedom to explore any of the islands as you wish, though certain parts of the island would be “roped off” until you’ve progressed far enough into the story and have unlocked the necessary tools.
The game starts you off by asking you to find and rescue surviving members of the shipwreck and bring them back to the base camp that you’ve set up. Everything you do in this game requires energy - and yes, this includes walking – and it’s the main “currency” you’ll need to keep an eye on whenever you head out for a bout of exploring or just a resource-gathering run.
Due to this energy system, the gameplay here can be quite strategic, forcing you to decide when you’d want to focus on exploring and when you’d want to spend some of the energy you have to gather some resources like fishing and chopping some trees. Thankfully, once you have the map, you can easily teleport back to your base camp without having to run back. Even if you accidentally drained all of your energy and collapse, you won’t die in this game. Instead, you’ll find yourself awaken next to your bed in the game with half of your total energy level restored.
Being a farm simulation game, Stranded Sails also has an allocated area within your base camp for you to grow some crops and feed your crew. The farming mechanics here are pretty simple – you dig a hole, plant the seeds, water it and wait for it to mature! Sometimes, you may need to “top-up” some water but that’s about it.
In this game, there’s a wide variety of crops that you can plant and grow, including corn, potato, tomato, rice, and more. Different crops will allow you to whip up a different batch of food. There are also spices that you can’t grow in this game, but you can loot them from chests when you’re out exploring other islands.
Not to mention, you can also try your luck by fishing at the ocean. The fishing mini-game can be a bit tricky since the tutorial doesn’t really cover the details, but know that you can learn how to fish efficiently by referring to the handbook via the game menu. Basically, what you need to do is to make sure the ripples overlap. Once they do, click once (anywhere on the screen will do) and you should get a nice 3 stars for that pull. It may take a while before you can collect the fish you’ve caught though. There are several types of seafood you can gather from the ocean, some of which may require you to travel to other islands.
As mentioned, the raw ingredients you’ve collected can be used to cook delicious food and you’ll want to do so because your energy drains pretty quickly in this game. Traveling to another island along is enough to set you back at least 2 bars of energy, which is half of your total energy, and you’ll want to top it up with some food once you’re there.
Food in this game can be crafted as long as you’ve got the recipes. Recipes in this game have to be discovered by mixing and matching the ingredients you have, and since there are tons of them, it can take quite a while to discover them all. Naturally, the foodstuff comes in different grades and you’ll want to stick with the higher-level ones because they restore the most energy. However, they also usually require rarer ingredients to prepare.
The graphics in this game are absolutely fantastic. The colors are bright and cheerful, and everything just looks so good. However, I’d say that the soundtracks in this game are definitely "next level" materials. They are often upbeat and have a pretty soothing melody.
All in all, Stranded Sails is an oddly strategic farm sim/adventure game mainly because of its energy system, and as a result, the game isn’t as casual as some players would have liked. That said, the game has an interesting storyline going for it, and the gameplay, aside from the energy aspect, isn’t too shabby either. It’s definitely a game that fans of Harvest Moon or other similar games would love to play.