There are a lot of survival games out there. Really a lot. The problem of that is, that these games are all pretty much the same. You have almost nothing in an unfamiliar environment, like snow, desert, space, oceans, or the alltime-favorite zombie-apocalypse. You have to gather ressources to craft things to stay alive. Sometimes build a home, sometimes just protect youself and travel through the world. But the start and the basic gameplay stays the same. And we have so many survival games, that innovation is rare. Stranded Deep is actually nothing really new so far, but it uses a new setting and slightly changes the standard gameplay-aspects of survival games.
In Stranded Deep you are … stranded on an island. Well, actually on a small boat in front of an island but the first thing you do is swimming to that island and there the survival-part starts. The island itself is not really big, maybe 30 metres long and with a few plants, mostly palms. And an old survival-gamer starts with cutting wood, which is possible because of a knive you have right at the beginning (what a coincidence). You cut wood, get sticks, gather plant fibres, a few palm branches, and then you see that you have no regular crafting menu. The crafting is different, but easy explained. You throw everything on the ground and create a ressource-cluster, then you can click on it and see what you can build with the things laying in front of you. There is no guide or crafting book, you have to figure out the possible tools and buildings yourself. So if you want a roof, but can’t build it, maybe you need more sticks or branches and put them to the rest.
With that you can build axes, hammers to build a basic house or a raft to go fishing (and to avoid sharks) or visit other islands. Because your island is small and the ressources are limited, but in the distance you can see about 4 new islands, sometimes with shipwrecks on them. Shipwrecks can also be found underwater and should be explored because there you can find the cool shit, new axes, machetes and stuff.
Stranded Deep is “Early Access”, so there will be bugfixing and more content. The current state has surprisingly almost no bugs in it, although I died because of one (hunted a shark, which was swimming on my island, killed it, flew with the dead shark in the sky, fell down, dead). The list of craftable items is very short yet, but there will be hopefully more content soon. There will also be a Coop-Mode, according to the developers.
The islands are all the same, except one of them maybe has a broken boat next to it or the other has one a few barrels on it, but there has to be more different islands and especially bigger islands, with jungles and maybe a small volcano, just to have soemthing to explore or to settle. And “settle” brings me to another issue, if you leave your island the content and buildings might be lost after you return (happened to me).
Stranded Deep has an interesting setting with new possibilities. If there will be more crafting-content and more to explore (bigger shipwrecks and islands), this game could become a very good survival-game.