Stranded Deep

Genre: Survival / Open World / Crafting
Developer: Beam Team Games
Gamemode: Singleplayer

It could have been so nice, but it was not granted. The open world crafting survival game lets you wake up in a rubber boat after a plane crash. Its description says: Scavenge, discover and survive. The developer Beam Team published it in January 2015 and promised to add Coop mode but did not do that yet after several years passed by now. They wrote about having already different biomes in this game, which we could not discover till now. The islands look pretty much alike and they managed after one and a half year to add some rocks for cliffs and a few more plants. Dynamic weather is back now and if it rains the view gets blurry and the sea turns into scary black.

You start to paddle in your boat to any of the small caribbean islands nearby and craft any tool to hunt fish or chop down plants. Basically what you would also do in real life after a plane crash. So far so good, but now you will need also water to survive. Cooked seawater would just be salty in real life but in this game you can drink it. Additionally you can build some water collectors that collect some drops of dew over night if you find any tarp. If you don't find any you are screwed. Same for the water bucket that you'll need to cook any water. The developers did end up to clutter almost every island with one of those so you will find an unrealistic number of them around. You are stranded in the pacific ocean and the world is a waste dump. Coconut trees are rare, food, even potatoes, will spoil within a day and snakes can bite you. Um… really?

The Cast away game gives you the possibility to dive into old shipwrecks and find a bit loot to make surviving easier, but if you expected to find any beautiful underwater world you got something wrong. Other than Subnautica you will not find much underwater except to some fishes and the sunken shipwrecks, a dark blue view and the handful loot, which is mainly a few tools, medicine and pieces of a raft motor. Diving can be dangerous because there are sharks and mantas around, that will attack you but you can easily kill them with a machete and hopping into a stranded ship can get you trapped by bugs they tried to remove meanwhile. So the only tension is, will a bug trap me? Unfortunately the developers give you no tutorial or note about how things work, the building menu is a scroll menu but how to scroll through you'll only find out if you search in the net for it, the fishes need to be skinned with a knife on the ground before cooking but no one tells you that. During building things will just break down if they aren't supported and you won't get any materials back. Pillars to avoid this got removed of the game, on the positive side they added half walls for balconies, those got then pillars automatically.

We would forgive the developers about half of it if they wouldn't pretend to have a lot in the game as current feature that you can not find at all. The announcement about the current features sounds rather like a thrilling trailer to a very exciting game and the game itself is then rather boring. You can kill yourself by diving too long, meeting a shark, falling from a coconut tree or just starving. The early access game doesn't really provide much more than the possibility to build a house and go exploring and find the same items all over again and again. By this the game gets very fast boring and you'll end up in a hang out on the beach simulator not knowing what to do and how to go on. On the plus side the graphics are really very beautiful, but there is nothing terrifying or challenging in this game, neither is there any story or goal yet. I guess the main problems would get solved by adding a tutorial and the coop to this game.

A spark of hope did begin to glow, when the developers added a map editor to the game to give the people the possibility to add an island they could create themselves, but the capacities of that editor are so limited that its not really such an advantage. For example choosing textures isn't possible and things you drop might just sink into other objects and get by this invisible and you can not pick them up anymore. Somehow they manage to disappoint the players so often with their few updates that waiting for them seems not to be worth it anymore. Unfortunately the game stayed underachieved and did not live up to its expectations. The regular updates deceive us about the fact that they aren't giving much new content, but are only busy with bug fixes most of the time. If new items get added it is usually something that turns out to be pretty useless like the crates you can now pick up from ships, they give you far too few space to store anything.

We recommend: To take another look at this game in a year because it is not worth to buy it yet, it was the disappointment of the year 2016!