Stranded is an excellent interactive fiction game that manages to be what many other games, IF or not, fail to be: educative as well as entertaining. The premise is simple: you are stranded in Ottuck, a small town in the middle of nowhere, on your way to summer camp. To catch up with the rest of the group, you must make enough money to buy a bus ticket. And considering that you have only two dollars in your pocket while the bus ticket costs $26, business savvy is an important lesson to learn here... |
The game, like Infocom's Wishbringer is very user-friendly: there are plenty of help screens, and the town library contains hints to all the puzzles. As the game was designed for kids aged ten on up, the puzzles are geared toward teaching kids about math and basic ideas of capitalism (i.e. sometimes you must spend money to make money). One puzzle involves solving a mathematical word problem, i.e. calculating an area and converting units. Other puzzles are more difficult, but all are logical and solvable with careful thought. The game's parser is a bit unforgiving, but there is no frustrating guessing the verb. You can explore the town at your leisure and talk to various friendly townspeople, and many nicely drawn pictures help enliven the playing experience.
Overall, Stranded is some of the first educational IF to come along in ages... there have been very few of them since the days of L and Giant Killer. Stranded comes highly recommended – especially to IF beginners and their kids. Two thumbs up!Reviewed by: Underdogs