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Genre: Action :: Players: 1 :: Released: 30/6/09

Stranded - Mysteries of Time Review

Developer: Glu

Pros

Game Features

Rating/100

Huge game
Interesting plot
Simple controls

Cons

Nothing hugely new
Poor sound effects

Sound
Vibration
Help
Save Option
Highscore
Suspend/Resume
See Compatible Handsets

79

Graphics

79

Sound

58

Controls

85

Playability

81

Lastability

94

Review Details
Handset Sony-Ericsson K800i
Time Played 4 hours
Game Progress Episode 4 - finally can use the Enclosures

Anannya Sen’s Review

Review Date: 01/7/09

A huge sequel to the hit original.


The original Stranded game was certainly a favourite of ours. I remember the game actually required you to play it at specific times (synced with the time of your phone) in order to fully do everything in it. We still also get the odd comment on our site, even though the game came out almost three years ago. And if you never played it or read our review, you can check it out here. It's probably the longest review Costas ever wrote and the game not only won an award from us, it won most innovative mobile game at the Gameshadow awards in 2006.

But that was then and this is now. So what's changed? Well, the plot for a start. This time you are not trying to escape the island, but you are unlocking a mystery which involves time travel. Yep, once again the Stranded producers show us they are big Lost fans. Then there are the graphics which are beyond simple 2D and have a 3D look to them with polygon shading. Not the best graphics but certainly an improvement over the old ones. Finally we have the music which is a bit spooky or you can choose effects which really aren't that numerous.

So what's stayed the same then? Well, you can still fish, but you will need to make sure you have bait. You can chop down trees and other stuff with your axe and collect the wood and whatever else is left behind. And you have a shovel to dig, which allows you to find stuff. Again there are little side quests you can do by talking to people, such as collecting 10 logs of wood for a lazy soldier. Some can only be done if you get to a certain point of the game. The trading element is there again with shady characters willing to buy and sell you stuff. The controls seem to have remained almost the same, movement and actions is still point and click. The main button or 5 will change icon whenver you can do something.

Once difference is the bow and arrow. In the old version you could shoot it easily at animals. In this version, you really have to aim. There is a reticule which has a sweet spot at the top you have to hit. Wait until the rotating ball hits the sweet spot, press the main button, and your trusty dart will find its target. Which is a necessity, as these just aren't any animals you are after. You get to meet dinosaurs.

Yup, that's right, dinosaurs. The game plays like a mix of Jurassic Park, Lost and Memento. After you wake up in an army facility which has all kinds of research going on, you will eventually get to travel through time, checking out the past and the future. Without giving away too much of the plot, there's a mystery to solve which will have you jumping back and forth through time, collecting stuff and talking to people.

The time element from the first game is here again as you only see certain animals at certain times of the day. This is true for the past as well. So if you need something specific you may have to wait until nightfall to get it. Thankfully you don't have to put your phone away for ages this time, unlike the last game. Instead you can go take a quick snooze on your bed which autosaves the game and moves the clock by 5 hours.

The game isn't that difficult or I guess really that innovative. Collecting things, talking to people, fishing and taking out animals isn't really new. The time travel element adds good variety but what makes this game interesting is the plot. It's done in a way to almost make it seem like you are watching a TV show and I have to give props to the developers. Sure, it's a bit cliched at times, but I certainly wanted to keep playing it to find out how it ends.

Which I can't do right now. I have played the game for about 4 hours and aren't that far into it. In fact I've got to the point where things are just starting to get really interesting as I can experiment with animal combinations to create some interesting results. But alas, I have other games to play and will have to revisit this massive game later.

If you are looking for a massive game with an interesting plot where you go round collecting stuff and talking to people this is for you. If not, there are plenty of other titles on the market. While this is a really great game, there is nothing there that different or worthy enough to warrant an award. I really enjoyed playing it, but have seen these types of games before and to be honest was expecting a little more innovation. Still, a worthy effort that will probably keep you playing on your phone for weeks! I will be but ssshhhh, don't tell anyone.