There’s a limit to how epic an adventure you can fit on your phone, or at least that’s what you might think. In truth, the limited pixels of a mobile phone’s screen are easily enough to tell even the grandest of stories.
Stranded 2 is an expansive tale of time travel and epic peril. However, it’s got an even grander heritage to live up to, being the sequel to one of our favourite mobile games ever.
It’s a top-down adventure game where you take on the role of Dr. Alex Howells, a research scientist who is the typically unlikely hero of the tale. Hopping backward and forwards in time, you have to unravel the mysteries signposted in the game’s title.
You don’t start of in the most domestic of situations, working in a research centre set within tropical environs. Things soon start going awry though, as a mad time-traveller turns up on the ground, spouting all sorts of mumbo jumbo.
Although Stranded 2’s story is compelling, the way you progress through the game isn’t quite so staggering. It’s broken down into quite simple fetch quests, where you might have to gather wood or find components within the environment.
However, the idea that you’re about to stumble upon an eye-opening mystery keeps you hooked-in, even when what you’re doing simple tasks. We tested the 3D version of the game designed for high-end handsets, and found the lush tropical world of the game brought to life with aplomb.
In time, you get to experience the heights you might be hoping for – encounters with raging dinosaurs and the like – although don’t expect to go reducing them to cinders with a flamethrower. Stranded 2 is always clear about the fact that a T-Rex will always out-power a research scientist.
Even though it’s engaging, Stranded 2 suffers under comparisons to its predecessor. A small game that gradually expanded to draw you into its sun and surf world, it worked as much as a casual five-minute game as a fully-fledged adventure.
Stranded 2, on the other hand, drops you into the deep end rather than letting you willingly paddle into the warm, inviting surf. Okay, so that may be a step too far into gaming metaphor, but Stranded 2’s structure doesn’t end up as accessible as it could be, dumping you into a plot before you’ve really got time to assimilate its charms.
That’s not to say that it’s not a successful game though. Stranded 2: Mysteries of Time just isn’t quite the all-time classic we were holding out for. Whether or not you’ve been tainted by expectations of the original, it still gets a thumbs-up from us.
Stranded 2:Mysteries of Time info
Website/Demo: Glu’s website