Raft Survival Game Review
What is Raft and what does pre-release mean?
Raft is an open water survival game developed by Redbeet Interactive and published by Axolot Games, where your stranded on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Your goal is to collect supplies and build up your raft so you can survive and explore! All the meanwhile being harassed by a shark. The game currently has different modes where you can control the difficulty or even remove the threat, or the need to gather entirely so it can be played peacefully by anyone.
Pre-release means that this game is not yet complete, so by purchasing it you will also be receiving updates as changes are made to the game. They may add new functions or objects, or just address glitches. With that in mind, I personally haven't encountered any game breaking glitches.
So how does it work?
When you first turn on the game you're asked to create a world. There are several different difficulty settings. Creative removes the need to gather and stops the shark attacks. Peaceful you still have to gather, but the shark leaves you alone. Easy, Medium and Hard are pretty self explanatory. On the regular modes, the shark will attack your raft every so often (I assume based on difficulty) and will also bite you when you go into the water (I also assume the severity of this bite will be based on your difficulty).
When you first start you are on a 2x2 raft, which is incredibly small. You'll want to collect the supplies floating by and build it larger so you can place objects that will help you provide your basic needs. Because yes, despite fending off constant attacks from sharks, you also have to worry about your thirst and hunger meter.
Hungry too often?
Fish fills you up way faster than beets or potatoes!
You build a raft, you fight a shark. What else is there?
There are tons of islands to explore, and you'll need to do some diving in order to gather certain items to progress. Some islands will require you to build up the height on your raft just to access them. In this game you'll want to craft the research table as soon as you've covered your food and water.
On the research table, you will place the different items you collect and "research" them. This will unlock all the recipes that you can make with the items that you have. It does consume one of each of these items to research.
Certain resources will only be found on islands or in the ocean surrounding those islands. You'll need to make shark bait to distract the shark so you can swim around underneath and grab things. You'll find new plants that you can grow on your raft on top of the islands and may need certain items to gather all the available resources. By default you can make a stone axe and chop down the trees for planks.
You can kill the shark!
If you stab the shark with the spear, eventually he will die and might reward you with a shark steak. It may take a few encounters though.
So just sharks?
Nope. There's other creatures that I personally have not yet encountered. I know the seagulls attack your crops, but I'm not sure what other encounters may be dangerous. There are eagles and pufferfish under the steam achievements for hunting and I would assume they are more dangerous, and likely give rare resources that will be needed for something fancy.
So how is the game right now?
I believe there's room for improvement, however for the asking price of $20 I would say it's a great investment. There's plenty to do to keep yourself occupied and build up for a while, but I imagine once you've made yourself a nice enough boat you'll want to shelve it for a while. However, that's one of the great things about buying pre-release is that eventually you will be bored again. When that happens you might come back to find new features, or just find that you'd like to build up again.
The game is multiplayer, however the resources do not scale based on how many players there are. I believe up to 5 can play on one world, but whenever the host logs out the rest will be as well. I find this game to be a lot more fun with another person though especially when dealing with the shark. I believe that on hard mode you absolutely need another person to help you resurrect on the bed.
As I've mentioned before, I haven't come across any game breaking glitches. I have fallen through my raft once, however it was only one occasion and I have invested quite a bit of time into it and there was an object I was going over so that may have had something to do with it.
Overall I think this is a great game with great potential and I look forward to seeing the future updates!