Pirates have always been a popular theme for video games. There is and endless ocean of possibilities in the genre. Sailing, pillaging, looting, and of course, lots of adventure. Lemonbomb Entertainment recently released a pirate game that is like no other. Stranded Sails : Explorers of the Cursed Islands is a management adventure game that will keep you busy for days.
Your father is the captain of a ship that is about to set sail for colder climates with a ship full of settlers. After brief preparations, you are off, but soon you encounter a terrible storm and the ship crashes. Torn to pieces and the crew scattered, it is up to you to reunite the crew, figure out where you are and get your adventure back on track.
Your adventure is centered mainly on exploration and resource management, with a bit of combat thrown in to spice things up. Once you gather up your crew, you must set up camp, farm, make food to keep up your energy and gather resources to craft items to assist in exploring the surrounding islands. Cooking will require you to discover each recipe from the ingredients that you acquire along your travels. This will be one of the most frustrating parts of the game as you have to place ingredients in correct positions, with little help from the game.
Most of your time will be spent exploring the 4 surrounding islands, or at least rowing to them. While there is a lot to do in the game, it seems that you are mired down with menial tasks that can take away from the fun. I understand that resource gathering is an essential part of gameplay, but when you are forced to spend 5-10 minutes rowing between islands to get the needed supplies, without any action, it can get dull. Not to mention that you spend the first few missions gathering up your crew, then they just stand around the houses you build them instead of helping around camp. Then there are marathon battles that become exhausting because of the repetition. It would have been nice to see some middle ground.
Game graphics are bright and colorful. Each island you visit has a unique look to it that adds to the style of the game. This helps when trying to figure out where partial maps lead to. Traveling the ocean in your row boat is handled very well, as you can see yourself rise and fall, even without visible waves. While the variety is nice, it still boils down to just a few places that you visit over and over. The music is reminiscent of a good sea faring adventure, but there isn’t enough of it. Often you are left listening to your own footsteps or the rowing of your boat.
Stranded Sails : Explorers of the Cursed Islands is out now on XB1, PS4, Nintendo Switch and Steam with a price tag of around $25. As much as I enjoyed some of the elements of this game, I was equally frustrated by it. The company has been releasing patches to fix many of the glitches that have plagued players, but there are still many others that have been left unchecked. The title has great promise, especially for entry level gamers, but they will get frustrated by the many problems with gameplay.