Welcome to Stranded: Alien Dawn, a 3D top-down planet survival sim where you'll be managing a group of marooned survivors in an unpredictable environment and making vital decisions to overcome adversity and ensure they survive. Keeping your survivor's alive is going to be tough, do you think you are up for the challenge?
Every decision you make carries the weight of consequences and could have untold effects on the journey of your survivors. In time, you will discover ways to create intricate structures and defensive fortifications, but for now let's ease you into the basics.
Thrown straight into chaos as your team of survivors crash land onto an unknown alien planet, things will need to be actioned right off the bat. Collecting materials around the crash site and scavenging spaceship debris is a good starting point for your survivors. Resources they scavenge from the crash site on the first day will be vital for survival whilst you get your bearings. Through scavenging they will find items such as emergency rations, first aid kits, scrap metal and even some weapons! Emergency rations are especially important as there will be very little food for your survivors from the get go. Food will be limited at the start, so you'll get them to hunt and explore for ingredients and develop their cooking skills with a whole new set of ingredients.
To survive the first night on this alien world, building a basic camp is crucial for your survivors to have a place to rest and eat so they can continue their scavenging efforts the next day. As if it couldn't get any worse than crash landing on an alien planet, you'll need to build a base from scratch! To set up a basic camp, you'll need sleeping spots, some shelter from the elements, and a campfire to keep your survivor's warm before the sun goes down or you may end up with an unhappy group of survivors!
Everything you build will require raw materials such as scrap metal, sticks, wood, and stone, and you will find these by having your crew salvage, cut and mine what they can find around them. With effort and hard work, your humble beginnings will help your camp grow larger. The scrap metal that was picked up from the spaceship debris will likely be your most used material for the first few days as you use it to build the fundamentals for your base, such as shelter, storage shelves, and stockpiles. From there you should work to discover what your survivors can cook on the campfire, and then look into building a research desk.
Get those stockpiles filled! Constructing stockpiles in your camp will provide a space where your team of survivors can keep all the raw materials they've gathered. Always keeping them supplied will mean you'll never run out of necessary materials, surely! Stack those storage shelves, they'll be useful for storing smaller resources and ingredients that have been gathered to assist you in expanding your base.
Any weapons you find around the crashed pod should be equipped immediately, as you won't be the only ones on this alien planet. Faced with the ever-present danger of hostile fauna, you will need to be prepared for combat at all times! Keep alien wildlife away from your precious resources by building a fence around your base or lure them towards strategically placed traps to slow them down. Don't forget to butcher the meat from the alien wildlife you defeat, as the raw meat and hides are useful resources for cooking and making clothes. Top tip is to never let your guard down in this world, or you may quickly set yourself up for failure.
Survivors play the pivotal role in your fight for survival. Take the chance on four members from a diverse group to form your team on this alien planet. In turn the choices you make will play an instrumental role in their success or their downfall.
The survivors you choose at the start of your game will create unique experiences during your playthrough. Survivors have very specific character traits and personalities which you will have to keep in mind to maximize their potential for survival. Make sure you know what each character's strengths, weaknesses and distinct traits are, you can experiment with loads of combinations for a different experience every time!
Survivors have talents within different skill areas, for instance a survivor could possess high skill points in cooking, but zero skill points in combat. They may also be completely indifferent to, or incapable of, performing certain tasks! Each task you assign to your survivors should match well with what they are specifically talented in, to optimise the workload needed to be done each day. By assigning the survivor with the best skill to a task, you'll soon create a cohesive workflow within the camp that'll for sure supercharge your base growth. The survivor's will also appreciate doing things that they excel at and are interested in!
Keep in mind, overworking your survivors comes with consequences! If you don't moderate your survivors appropriately they can have meltdowns. Meltdowns will occur when a survivor's happiness levels drop considerably low, and could ultimately cause them to wreak havoc within your camp. Make sure you're assigning them time to rest and providing them with recreational activities such as a shooting target or a dartboard, to increase their happiness. Giving them a warm and comfortable place to sleep, and a variety of foods to eat, will also keep their happiness from dropping.
Let's talk about that research desk we mentioned earlier. What seems like just an ordinary desk, will actually become an integral part of your survival journey. We recommended getting this set-up in your camp as soon as you can. As the name suggests, this desk is where your survivors will conduct a plethora of research that will open up doors to completely new technologies. Each new mechanism discovered will be sure to facilitate the further development of your base, defenses and lifestyle improvements. Which order you decide to conduct your research and what you prioritise will be completely up you. Your survivors can research a variety of different things, from brewing tea to how to effectively generate and store electricity, so you'll need to make some strategic choices about what's most important to the situation at hand. Some things may be worth researching earlier than not, but the choice is always yours!
Each play-through of Stranded: Alien Dawn will be unique. You'll start off in a new, randomly select crash-location, and which survivors you pick at the beginning of the game will further shape the choices you make and how you manage your group. Don't be discouraged if things go awry! A key part of the game is taking your learnings with you when you begin anew, in an attempt to do better the next time around.
We hope you enjoyed our overview of the game's basic mechanics and what you might expect at the beginning of your playthrough, we'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
We've got lots more to share with you in the coming weeks so come join the conversations over on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. You can also come hang out with us and the rest of the community over on the Stranded: Alien Dawn Discord and don't forget to subscribe to the Stranded: Alien Dawn YouTube Channel for future trailers, gameplay videos and updates!