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Stranded: Alien Dawn | Crashed Rimworld

Discussion on Stranded: Alien Dawn | Crashed Rimworld within the Gaming News - EN forum part of the Gaming News category.

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Post Stranded: Alien Dawn | Crashed Rimworld

We know the rough Bulgarian, the Bulgarian yogurt producer, but we know less the Bulgarian video game developer. And yet, for a few years, the Haemimont studio has been successful: with the latest Tropico of course, and especially with the excellent city-builder Surviving Mars, which left me with a very good memory.

Today, they are tackling Rimworld. And they are not pretending. Where many clones have tried to vary the atmosphere a little (the Middle Ages for Going Medieval or Clanfolk, Chinese mythology for Amazing Cultivation Simulator...), our Bulgarians take up exactly the scenario of their illustrious model. Four survivors of a spaceship crash on an unknown planet and are going to survive by using turf technologies. They start out in a corrugated iron hut eating survival rations. Then, after cutting up tree trunks and melting down quintals of metal, they strut their stuff in a comfortable villa, stuffing themselves with fruit pies and mushroom croquettes prepared in their high-end Mobalpa kitchen.

3D: a promising technology. To convince us to buy their game rather than the just released Rimworld DLC, the Sofia developers have a big argument: the switch to 3D. And not a low poly discount 3D, no, Stranded: Alien Dawn is very beautiful, with a splendid playground, an abundant fauna and flora, and detailed animations for every action. So obviously, don't expect Crysis or Red Dead Redemption 2, but compared to the vast majority of other survival/management games on the market (which often make do with 64 × 64 pixel sprites to represent their characters), it's very luxurious.

It's Rimworld, so it works.
Watching the fields grow. Let me kill any suspense about this game right away: it's Rimworld, so it works. You'll build a nice fortified compound with an impeccable building system. You'll watch your fields grow as you wait excitedly for the first harvest. You'll be amused by the mood swings of your four survivors as they burn out or binge eat. You'll curse yourself for not having thought to weave warm clothes when winter arrives. We know all that, and the formula still works well. The game even allows itself some refinements in terms of electricity management, with a system of sensors and control circuits to optimize the energy consumption of the base.

Malicious turrets. The combat part is a bit more basic than on Rimworld, as it is close to a classic tower defense. At regular intervals, herds of giant insects will try to ravage your vacation camp by attacking its main entrance gate. A few turrets and fences placed with malice are enough to massacre the first waves without too much stress. Between the attacks of giant cockroaches, the alternation of seasons and the exploration phases by blimp to find resources outside the map, Stranded: Alien Dawn is well-paced. I found again the good feeling of Rimworld, I obsessed about the planning of my base, in short, I had my regulation dose of playful happiness.

Dozens of expeditions are necessary to hope to find a new survivor.
The endgame is a bit of a letdown. The problem: it is very difficult to find other survivors. Where Rimworld quickly sends us refugees to make the tribe bigger, its Bulgarian clone is very stingy. You have to go on dozens of airship expeditions to hope to find a new survivor on a big chance. I must admit that after a while, I ended up doing some save scumming before the expeditions: I reloaded the game three or four times, until the filthy random generation gave me a positive result. In practice, I still spent most of my game time with my four starting survivors.

Staffing problem. Of course, we get attached to these little characters. And maybe more than in Rimworld, because there are fewer of them. Specializing them to death (so-and-so becomes an elite cook, another maximizes his skill in combat or crafting...) allows the base to function properly. But this severe limitation of the population is still frustrating. After five or six years of survival, the waves of enemies become so massive that it is difficult to repel them, even with nice rows of perfectly placed turrets and four survivors armed to the teeth. And don't get me started on those stupid solar flares, which go off on a whim and paralyze the power grid. If they happen during an attack, it's game over.

This early version of Stranded: Alien Dawn kept me captivated for a good twenty hours, before the end of the game. Honestly, I didn't mind: I could discover the game, enjoy it already, and prepare myself psychologically for the "real" game that I'll launch as soon as it arrives in version 1.0 in a few quarters. I don't have many doubts about the final quality of the product. It's up to you to decide whether you can wisely wait for the full experience, or whether you need an emergency Rimworld-style game infusion to cure your seasonal depression.

Despite some small weaknesses at the end of the game, forgivable on an early access game, all the lights of Stranded: Alien Dawn are green. The game offers a few dozen very satisfying hours of survival/management, its final version already has its place reserved on my hard drive. What do you think about it?

Genre: Survival, Colony Management
Developer: Haemimont Games (Bulgaria)
Publisher: Frontier Foundry
Platform: Windows
Download: 6 GB
Planned Release: NC
Language: English
Current Price: $30
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