Stranded Sails – Explorers of the Cursed Islands is a new exploration-based farming game for the Nintendo Switch from Lemonbomb Entertainment. What sets it apart from other games in this genre is a seafaring atmosphere, which makes its relaxing survival gameplay different enough to be worth your attention.

Stranded Sails finds a worthy home on the Nintendo Switch

Farming is one of many things you'll be doing in Stranded Sails

Stranded Sails – Explorers of the Cursed Islands starts with the promise of an exciting journey. After choosing to play as either a girl or a boy, you’re to go on a voyage with your father (the captain of a large ship) and a motley crew. Things don’t go as planned, however, and everyone is shipwrecked on a stretch of islands. The first few hours of the game consist of your reassembling the group and establishing shelter and food sources. The goal of the main quest is to build a new ship and escape the islands.

Food is key for exploring in Stranded Sails since even walking around the various islands will sap your energy. While you can sleep in your bed and replenish your energy, eating food builds your energy bar back up on the go. If you’re not creating extravagant dishes, then you aren’t going to go far.

Surviving as a castaway is a lot less stressful than you’d think

Farming is simple in Stranded Sails. Using your shovel to create plots, you plant the seeds you find for various crops such as tomatoes, corn, onions, and even eggplants. Just make sure to water them with your bucket full of water that’s taken from a fresh water source.

By cultivating your farm with a variety of ingredients, you’re able to stock up on more energizing food selections prior to setting out to discover more of the archipelago. You can easily lose yourself when focusing solely on creating various recipes and ignoring the larger quest. It isn’t particularly complicated to cook, grow crops, or fish, and if you experiment enough you can consistently make dishes to feed your crew and keep them happy. By keeping them happy, you’ll be able to get various tool upgrades that make your life on the island easier.

There are many recipes you can discover with experimentation

Apart from crafting food recipes, since Stranded Sails is a high-seas adventure on an island, there are treasure maps that you will also receive. These treasure maps can be used to find and dig up buried treasure on the island. Yet, these aren’t the only secrets that the island holds. As you uncover these secrets you will have to fight skeletal ghouls. Combat is hack-and-slash and fairly simple, so encounters aren’t difficult as long as you have enough food to regain your energy.

Overall a pretty package

The visual style of Stranded Sails works well for it. While detail is retained with structures and characters, the environments are low-polygon and angular, and the colors are attractive throughout. The graphics aren’t technically demanding, so the game overall runs well in both handheld and docked modes. Additionally, the soundtrack is excellent, contributing to the gentle atmosphere with sweeping and soothing oceanic compositions.

As you progress through Stranded Sails, your camps will evolve

Stranded Sails – Explorers of the Cursed Sails is a game that’s perfect for portable play on the Nintendo Switch, a worthy gem in a sea of similar games worth the 15 or so hours it will take you to complete. It isn’t grindy and retains its focus while also understanding the importance of allowing you to meander with some fishing or farming.

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.

Release Date: Oct. 17, 2019
No. of Players: 1 player
Category: Adventure, Role-Playing, Simulation
Publisher: Merge Games
Developer: Lemonbomb Entertainment

A review code was provided by the publisher.

Our review policy.

Stranded Sails - Explorers of the Cursed Island

24.99
8.5

Overall Score

8.5/10

Pros

  • Visual aesthetic holds up nicely
  • Unique seafaring approach to survival foraging
  • Progression is polished and focused
  • Sweeping soundtrack that's easy on the ears

Cons

  • May be too short for some as a simulation game
Daniel Thompson
Hey folks! I'm Daniel (Danny) Thompson and I've been writing in the games industry for quite a few years. I have a deep love for the industry that's rooted in the people behind the games that you enjoy.

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