If you’re looking for a unique gaming experience, Stranded: Alien Dawn will be a pleasant surprise. What I assumed would be a few hours of gaming to pass time has quickly become one of my new go-to games already.
If you’ve ever played an early access game before, you know to expect a lack of content and bugs. So when jumping onto the Stranded: Alien Dawn early access preview that was exactly what I expected. However, what I actually saw was so much more than that.
Firstly, looking at the current content in Stranded: Alien Dawn, you would think it’s a full release. I hadn’t quite expected the game to have so much to do. Yet as I powered through the tutorial, it started to become increasingly clear this was an impressively feature-rich early access game.
Not only does Stranded: Alien Dawn feature a full tutorial while the game is still in early access, but it also offers almost an hour’s worth of tutorials. This in itself should show you just how feature-rich Stranded: Alien Dawn actually is.
Personally I’m blown away by how detailed the tutorial is, I’ve played many early access games without a clue what I’m doing. But with Stranded: Alien Dawn by the time the tutorial ended, I was ready to dive in, even with the most complicated game mechanics.
At the moment there is only one map. However, since the game offers a section for choosing scenario, region, and moon, it seems safe to say that new areas or maps will be added in the future. It will also be interesting to see what effect changing the moon will have on the gameplay, or if it will be purely a cosmetic change.
You start Stranded: Alien Dawn with four survivors of your choice, each of them having their own strengths, weaknesses, and even areas where they are interested in growing.
I love the idea of having multiple survivors to choose from, knowing that each time I start the game again with new survivors, it will present a new challenge.
The survivors crash land on an alien world and must work together to build a new colony, and more importantly, survive.
Both building and controlling your survivors reminds me of The Sims, but instead of tackling bills, family, and professions, players must make sure they are ready to survive hordes of Starship Troopers-style bugs that rain down on their group.
With tons of new research options available, before long, players can start upgrading to electrical items and focusing on creating deadly traps. You can even build motion sensors and circuits to control buildings on their own unique circuits.
As well as defending your colony and keeping your survivors, well, surviving, players must also make sure that the following survivor needs are met:
Not meeting these needs can result in your survivors having a full-blown meltdown and even trying to destroy things around them. Once they get into this state, the only options are to let them blow off some steam, or try and knock them out, but make sure to take note of their combat level, as trying to knock them out could backfire.
Stranded: Alien Dawn is a unique concept that merges gameplay from The Sims with tower defense-style gameplay, with a refreshingly large amount of content for a game that is currently in early access.
The vast map is filled with alien plants and creatures, some of which will feel familiar to home, while others are uniquely alien. Everything on the map can be observed and studied, which once completed, offers up more information on how to best take advantage of these alien resources, or even grow them yourself.
If you’re looking for something unique and challenging to play this winter, I highly recommend giving Stranded: Alien Dawn a try. With 85% positive reviews on Steam (at the time of writing) it’s definitely one to try. Considering the game hasn’t had a full release yet, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this game.