Stranded Deep went into early access on Steam on January 23rd. My first reaction to it wasn’t “this looks great,” though, but rather “this looks familiar…” The game does look great (especially for Early Access) but the images on the Steam Store immediately brought to mind a game I played in college: Stranded 2.
In Stranded 2, you play as the survivor of a shipwreck who washes up on a desert island. You have to gather food and fresh water, can make tools to chop down trees, mine stone and build shelters, and even build rafts to avoid the sharks and piranhas in the waters around you. The islands have crabs and turtles, which are good starting food sources, but later you can start planting grain and building fish traps to have a more renewable source.
This Looks Familiar…
So when I saw Stranded Deep, where you play the survivor of a plane crash struggling to survive on a desert island (by spearing crabs, building fish traps, and taking your raft out to avoid sharks), I had an immediate sense of déjà vu.
It turns out I wasn’t the only one! There has been at least one discussion on Stranded Deep’s Steam forums about it, and users link out to a response on the Stranded 2 developer’s forums where he addresses some of the similarities and his opinion on the new contender.
The basic gist of his post is as follows:
- Stranded Deep looks amazing
- The name might cause some confusion
- Deep will not kill his game because it is different and doesn’t support multiplayer or mods, like Stranded 3 (in development) will
While there are similarities between the two games, the Stranded 2 developer has highlighted in an update to that post that he doesn’t intend to take any legal action:
“I clearly don’t want to take any legal steps! I’m not against Stranded Deep! Everyone should be allowed to develop whatever they like. I fully support this idea of total freedom in game development. Only the result counts: Good games. Taking existing ideas and improving them is crucial and should be supported by everyone. I’m doing exactly this myself a lot.”
It looks like Stranded Deep is here to stay without any challenge from the developer of the original Stranded series. That being said, he does want people to know that Stranded Deep isn’t the only survival sim out there. It is nice to see more man vs nature survival sims like Stranded Deep and The Long Dark releasing after gamers’ weathered love affair with zombie survival horror.