Rokaplay, one of the publishers behind Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands, have just sent out their emails today (October 10th, 2019) with a link to directly download a free demo to your PC. All you have to do is sign up for their mailing list or join their Discord channel! As previously mentioned, this demo will be a stand-alone experience that takes place 1 in-game day before your big journey in the full game. Below is the entire gameplay footage and my experience playing the prologue which can be completed in under 2 hours.
Even though most of the trailers we have seen of Stranded Sails so far included a male protagonist, I was delightfully surprised that you could also choose to be female. You must start by going to sleep in your bed in order to rest for your sea voyage with your father’s crew. Meaning, for the purpose of this demo, the entirety of the story is that of a dream (a la Link’s Awakening). It’s also adorable that you will be guided by a talking parrot.
Controls are simple to use, and the guides where helpful.
Immediately I’m relieved with how simple the mouse controls are and rarely needing to use the keyboard. You can even have quicker access to everything, depending on how you like to play. All new things that you have learned will be recorded in the Handbook, controls will always be displayed until you have used them at least once, and the overall main quest tells you what you need to do! I find it so much more relaxing when everything is laid out for you like this.
Discover recipes, plant crops and make dishes for your journey!
This time, the parrot will give you your crafting station, cooking station, and bed. You’ll also have access to a barrel of apples that will never deplete which you can return to and replenish your stamina. Every action you take, even walking, will tire you out so you need to be prepared for long expeditions. Your main focus should be to find recipes outright or discover them by trying different combinations of food. I hope in the full version this will also not discard your items if you fail a recipe. The rest is straightforward as any farming simulation; dig with a shovel, plant your seeds, water your crops and harvest.
Explore and find materials to craft items.
You’ll start with only 3 slots to carry your dishes. However, you can unlock and expand with a larger backpack later. The first time you explore the island will be to catch some fish where indicated, which is also nice and simple. Then, when you get your axe, you can cut down the thorns that were in your way to access new locations. Once you’ve gathered wood, metal scraps and rope pieces, you can begin to craft kits and items to continue playing and reaching more areas.
Fight ghost pirates and find treasure!
Finally, inside a sinister cave, you’ll find your sword which can be used as a lever or a weapon to fight ghost pirates! When you touch totems inside the cave, a few enemies will surround you, all with their own unique abilities or fighting styles. It’s pretty handy that they are all color coordinated and it becomes easy to learn their moves in order to avoid getting hit. Also, don’t forget to look everywhere for treasure! Upon exiting the cave, you’ll find a rowboat on the beach. Take it for a ride and access new archipelagos with new items! When all is done, you’ll climb back aboard your shipwreck and wake up.
I had a lot of fun playing Stranded Sails: Prologue and highly recommend you try it out for yourselves before the full game releases on October 17th, 2019 for PC, PS4, Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch!