Stranded Sails: Explorers of the Cursed Islands Review

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Stranded Sails Deaf/HOH and Mobility Accessibility

Individual scores

  • Visual Representation of Dialogue - 7
  • Visual Cues - 9
  • Visually Engaging - 5
  • Gamepad Controls - 3
  • Remappable Controls - 0
  • Hold/Toggle Options - 2

Game reviewed on Xbox One. Review copy provided courtesy of Merge Games.

Fan of games where you do literally everything for everyone while they stand around and incessantly ask you to do more for them, there’s a new game out for you! Oh, and it’s a farming game with a touch of combat packaged in a adorable looking seafaring wrapper.

Stranded Sails is exactly what it sounds like; you’re shipwrecked on a cursed island and you have to survive via crafting and farming and exploring and stabbing ghosts.

Accessibility wise, it’s kind of a mixed bag. Its Deaf/hoh accessibility is passable due to its bare-bones style with no voice acting, save for a voiced grunt or “Hey!” here and there. However, there are a few areas I’d like to see more thoughtfully done concerning Deaf/hoh accessibility.

Illustrating the speaker labels and dialogue text size.

While the text is clear and easy to read thanks to the speech bubbles in which it is presented, there are no size options, so if the above text is too small for you to read easily, you’re out of luck. There are speaker labels for nearly every bit of text, save for narration or when your character is reading something.

Gameplay options menu.

I greatly appreciate the ability to choose your text scroll speed, which allows you to choose from slow, medium, or fast, though I’d love to see an instant option for people who need it all to appear at once. All dialogue text is press-to-advance so players have all the time they need to read dialogue in its entirety.

In terms of Deaf/hoh accessibility, that’s pretty much it. Players who rely on sound options and subtitle text should have a fairly easy time in the game with the options available to them.

Where the game fails is in mobility. Namely, you can’t remap controls and a handful of necessary inputs are button holds.

Illustrating the required button holds for game mechanics.

To sleep and eat, the only two ways to keep your character alive, you have to press and hold a button. To move faster than the painfully slow default, you have to press and hold a button. Players unable to perform these actions will be unable to play the game.

There is one toggle/hold option and that is for accessing your item menu, which makes me wonder why the developers didn’t go a step further and include a few more toggle/hold options for other required inputs.

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Courtney Craven

Co-founder and EIC of Can I Play That?, captioner of many things, occasional writer of fiction. Any pronouns. courtney@caniplaythat.com

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