You begin by visiting Hiigara, "Our Home", where you speak to the natives to learn what fish you're after and where they can be found. After that, it's off to some body of water to go fishing. Unfortunately, in your haste to get marooned, you seem to have forgotten your fishing pole, so you adopt the local custom: throw rocks at the fish! While this might at first glance appear to be an action-packed method, the soothing music and delicate timing turn it into a Zen experience: enlightenment through fishing, patience, and especially patience while missing the fifth fish in a row.
Fortunately, as you turn in fish, you gain experience which lets you train the four essential skills of the rock fisherman: knowledge, quickness, throwing, and rowing. Unfortunately, this is also the point where the atmosphere can break down. Depending on how you place your experience, you can either find yourself becoming a fishing god or wonder why you seem to be no better than when you first started. The experience given by each type of fish decreases as you catch more, so bad choices early on can make the later portions of the game tedious as you slowly build up the points to get those essential skills.
I don't think any of us would have predicted that ball physics and fishing could go well together, and playing Stranded doesn't do much to convince us otherwise. There are a few nice surprises, like the fact that you can throw a stone up into the air, where it flies farther before plunging straight down, but in the end, it doesn't quite feel like a ball physics game, just a game that happens to have a little ball physics in it.
Still, the calm atmosphere, simple but solid music, and sometimes-hypnotic gameplay definitely make for a unique and refreshing experience. It may not have taken home a prize, but it's fun to play, and that's a victory in my book.