Stranded: Mysteries of Time is a sci-fi adventure game by Glu.
Stranded takes place on a mysterious and lush desert island. The game opens with very little info as to who you are and where to go. With a little exploration, you realize you are a scientist working at a secret facility. The plot immediately reveals a genius scientist and his time machine. Shortly after his presentation you discover that the time machine has been sabotaged. When asked if the scientist had any enemies he replies: “Time travel can create unknown enemies.”
I won’t get into spoilers but the game is surprising in its design. You can travel millions of years back in time to the time of the dinosaurs, or you can travel one year into the future. There are also times of day, so there are different things happening during day and night times that will help you in your quests. A good tip is if you need to grow something, plant it in the present then travel a year in the future to harvest.
I’ve got to note how funny and clever it is that the time machine is fueled by wood that you must chop down yourself. No flux capacitor, no lightning and no more getting trapped in the past.
I found it fun to play the game throughout the day rather than one big binge. Play one mission, then navigate away from the game and it’ll run in the background. I enjoy adventure games but this one seems to be better suited for playing on a TV screen rather than a mobile. Fitting everything on to the screen must have been both a design and an art challenge because it feels cramped.
I give this game 3 stars out of 5. Stranded’s graphical issues may be slightly alleviated with a bigger screen as per the iPhone or BlackBerry Storm, but there is a greater issue with this genre on mobile. It’s nearly impossible to make a great top-down adventure game. Be prepared to either squint or get really close to your device in order to not miss the details.