Stranded: Alien Dawn ‘Sow and Sell’ update adds an interesting dynamic to the base game | Early Access impressions

by on April 11, 2023

Stranded: Alien Dawn is a deep strategy simulation where you must keep a group of survivors alive after crashing onto an alien planet. You start off with nothing but the clothes on your back and the resources from the crashed shuttle, but in time begin to build a life for yourself through foraging the planet, researching new equipment, and formulating your own daily schedule. There’s so much to take in, but Frontier Foundry has crafted a compelling and absorbing game where you become thoroughly invested into your day-to-day routine. The latest ‘Sow and Sell’ update adds a brand new scenario to Stranded: Alien Dawn, and it introduces some cool mechanics that help to reinvent the initial approach of survival without choosing to by making you willingly arrive and trade to create a better life.

I had never played Stranded: Alien Dawn before the Sow and Sell update released, so it took me a while to get to grips with the fundamentals. In the first scenario, you crash on an alien planet, then slowly start to build a life for your three survivors. Collect resources, built a home, storage, and weapons, fight alien threats, plant food, and so on. The more you research and unlock, the more options become available to you, and in time your straw beds and makeshift shelter become a nice big house with growing crops and electricity-powered appliances.

The tutorial takes in excess of a couple of hours, but it gives you all the tools you need to play through the scenarios. Everything from the basics to building defences and keeping the morale and mental health of your survivors high and healthy is included. It’s impressive how much Frontier Foundry has done to equip new players with the skills and knowledge they need to play Stranded: Alien Dawn, and it definitely helped me when it came to the time I was ready to dip my toes into the Sow and Sell update.

Stranded Alien Dawn Sow and Sell Update Impressions 1

Unlike before, your survivors haven’t crashed. They’ve willingly arrived on the alien planet to set up a trading outpost to be able to become a wealthy bunch of farmers, starting small with the dreams of buying out the entire planet. You use a new currency known as Galactacoins to help haggle with passing traders and buy new technologies to help your empire thrive. There’s a lot of variety in these options, and I enjoyed becoming the space trader I am now, albeit a relatively new player to the series.

Like the base game, you start off small by finding new plants and understanding their benefits. As time goes on and you put in the hard work early, you’ll be able to grow a host of crops with various benefits that can then be traded to earn more money. Certain items will get you more revenue, and part of the fun of the Sow and Sell update in Stranded: Alien Dawn is understanding the lay of the land, learning what trades will benefit you the most, and what won’t. You’re still managing your farmer’s health and well-being, so it’s important not to push them too much. You can post job offers to bring in new workers. Factoring in their personalities to the camps, how much they’ll cost, and then renegotiating a contract are all things to think about, but it’s another layer of the tapestry of the game that makes it a satisfying process overall.

The Stranded: Alien Dawn Sow and Sell update adds a new survivor to the mix, and with it comes new challenges and opportunities. Vincent Santiago is an expert haggler who can get some good deals with other traders, and adds a new dynamic to your group. The update brings in some new research options such as the ability to counterfeit money, making an already huge game even bigger. It’ll take quite some time until you’re at a comfortable pace, especially with the new mechanics, but the scenario is perfect for those who enjoy the intricacies of trade, and are already having a great time with Frontier’s epic strategy title.