NOTE: This review was published when the game was in Early Access, any content in this review may have changed from the original creation date: 2/15/15
I’ve always enjoyed the games where you have to live on your own and survive off the land, but they’re always based on forests and zombie apocalypses.
Stranded Deep is a island survival game created by BeamTeam games and is currently in Early Access on Steam. The game is based around you, a survivor of a plane crash, who must now survive in the midst of thousands of islands for the chance to be rescued.
The game features common survival game mechanics such as crafting, resource-gathering and hunger, thirst and health management. Many other features are being added. Oh, did I mention SHARKS!
Now, to describe the game in a few key points.
Is the game multi-player, single-player or both?
At the moment, the game only features a single player game mode, where you are alone against the forces of nature. The game developers are currently planning to implement a Co-Op and multi-player mode in the near future. You’re going have to wait till you can throw coconuts at your friends (or sharks).
Because the game is in such an early state, this category will not be in the final score.
What am I supposed to do? Is there a story?
At the moment, there is no actual story other than a simple crafting and introduction tutorial at the beginning. All you’re given is that you’re a survivor of a plane crash. The developer plans to create some type of end-game where you’re rescued.
However, there is no real back story or lore.
Also, there is very little content in the game. There are about a dozen or so crafting recipes, a small collection of fish and wildlife (SHARKS!) and a small variety of island types. This means you’ll technically explore the entire game in a few hours.
Of course, it is Early Access, but I’ve tried games in this stage of development with a lot more in terms of content. I feel they could have implemented more with a little bit more effort (especially sharks).
Is the game pretty? Are the sharks pretty?
For an Indie developed game, the game features superb visuals. The shading, lighting and textures are really well made and adds a significant amount of realism to the game, which is important in many survival simulators. I am not too sure about optimization issues or performance issues, as I have yet to encounter any.
The sharks don’t look that great though (-0.5 pts).
Bugs? Cockroaches? Glitches?
Being a recently released game, there is bound to be many bugs and glitches. Some allow you to fly on sharks, others have sharks swimming in the ground and others allow you to hit sharks from 30 feet away with an axe. However, there are not very many game breaking bugs. Some of the glitches are actually helpful!
The developers have been doing very well keeping up on the game’s glitches and bugs; regular patches are a constant occurrence for this game.
How large is SharkLand? I mean the world map?
The game is procedurally generated, meaning that the map is infinite. As you continue to explore, the game generates new islands and biomes for you to visit, so no worries about running out of rocks or sharks.
However, with the lack of island types, there is not much to say about this feature if every island is the same. This will change of course in the future!
Right now, the game has some good potential here, as there are not that many games around island survival, but it needs to step up in terms of content, or else many people are going to find themselves tired of the game very quickly.
If the developer works to constantly add new and exciting content while fixing bugs and issues, this game could become very successful for fans of this genre. Oh, and they need less sharks!