Stranded: Mars One: Short Review

     Stranded: Mars One is an interesting endless runner with a nice pixelated art style.  The game's purpose is to have your astronaut gain momentum through levels, collecting as many bolts and oxygen canisters as possible and get to your moon buggy.

     It is very simple game to begin with and has a very gentle learning curve adding slides, air boosts, a rolling landing skill from very high places, and even reversing direction to your astronaut's repertoire.  The change is slow enough to offer a fair amount of fun from the free-to-play game, giving players a good idea of what the rest of the game offers...
     ...but that entertainment value leaks out as fast as the supply of O2 you are constantly losing over time.  The rate is quite high, and any boosted jumps eat that commodity up even more rapidly.  The player is encouraged to explore alternative pathways to get higher bolt and O2 collection scores, but many of the paths can lead to imminent doom with no way out- leaving the player frustrated with being penalized for the exploration that is supposedly encouraged, adding to the problem of draining O2 cutting your potential time to roam the landscape.  There needs to be a balance in place to make the risk worth the reward, and when it isn't there, issues arise.

     The Martian nature of the floaty jumps is both entertaining and highly irritating.  It's a nice feature to put you in the exploring a cool space locale mindset, but is an extreme irritation when the astronaut gets hung up on things or turned around and your oxygen level bleeds out at the absurd rate causing you many unwarranted deaths.  Even with the shop allowing for enhancing your suit's abilities, there is much to be desired with the feature.  Even a single wrong jump can lose valuable seconds which lead to a swift demise.  There's something with the O2 diminishment in combination with the slow floaty jumps that adds up to a pretty large problem.

     Personally, I believe this game would've benefited greatly if they would've made it a simple exploration game instead of an endless runner and were just a little more lenient with the oxygen depletion rates.  That being said, Stranded: Mars One is free-to-play with some IAPs, so it's still definitely worth playing.  It's a good 2 to 4 hours of entertainment.

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