Stranded – exactly what I don’t want to be with this game

I love abstract logic games.  They are like a private little treat for me.  I certainly have my favorites, but trying out a new one makes me a bit giddy.  So imagine my chagrin every time I try one that is anywhere near as abysmal as Stranded.

Game Information
DesignerJames D. Muntz, Jr.
ArtistKeith A. Gardner
Year Published2009
# of Players2 - 4
Playing Time20
Mfg Suggested Ages8 and up
CategoryAbstract Strategy
MechanicDice Rolling, Pick-up and Deliver

Info courtesy of More Info.

Stranded is a game that in theory sounds like it could be an interesting mental challenge.  Each turn players have to choose one colored piece to remove from the board, and then must move to a piece of the same color as the one they just removed in their row or column (or diagonally, but since you can’t move over the center “pit” this usually only adds one possible square to move).  If a player can’t make this move, they are officially “Stranded” and are out of the game.  However, let’s throw in one more curve ball, the player doesn’t get to choose what color they will remove and move to, that’s decided for them by a roll of the die.

I wanted to initially be ok with the die being used.  After all, this merely presses you into positions you might not desire, but are still heavily logical.  Essentially, just forcing you to make the best of the situation, right?  Wrong.  Given that you typically only have one to two options available for where to move to in any given color, this merely gives you the illusion of still having choice.  Instead what you are left with is an exercise in following rules, with no more real logic or skill than a game of Candy Land.

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Price ($29.99):   
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And as if this insult to the logic gaming genre wasn’t enough, the components are annoying to boot.  Each space has two colored pieces stacked on top of it.  These interlock via a shallow lip.  When you move your piece to that spot, you place it on top, clicking it into place.  But take a wild guess what happens when you attempt to move your piece again?  The two colored pieces come tumbling off, leaving you futzing with getting the pieces back on for nearly as long as you actually spend playing the game.  The whole thing is made of molded colored plastic, so it seems like the least they could do would be to have molded a little more of a lip on each piece.

These kinds of games are what gives gaming a bad name in the eyes of the American public at large.  It’s not a compelling game.  It’s cheaply made.  It doesn’t even begin to live up to the hype on the box.  These are the kinds of games that drives away new gamers, who think that gaming is “boring”.  Gaming isn’t boring, this game is.  The name of the game is Stranded, but that is exactly what I wouldn’t want to be with this game.


This entry was posted by The_Null_Entry on Thursday, November 21st, 2013 at 11:59 am and is filed under Uncategorized . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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