Have You Played… Salt?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

When it comes to survival games, there’s a definite emphasis on struggle and conflict. Not so in Salt, possibly the gentlest, most soothing survival game of all.

I spent so much time with ship sailing Salt, boating from island to island, gathering wood and food, calmly looking for treasures, and very occasionally battering at a plate-faced pirate. And the game has continued to evolve since then, adding in a new UI, far more things to do, more interesting ships, and constantly improving the look of the thing.

But most crucially, it remains just so gosh-darned relaxing. You need to find food, but not so much. You need to avoid danger, but it’s fairly easily done. For the most part it’s about bobbing about on the ocean, contemplating which unexplored island you’ll head to next (once you’ve got a sextant to start mapping, of course.) You can get it on Steam for £11, or $15 via the game’s site.

From this site

26 Comments

  1. robby5566 says:

    tl;dr

    Salt is painfully boring, but we have to churn out one of these suggestions every day, so now that’s a desirable feature.

    • John Walker says:

      I think you only qualified for the “dr” part of that, you enormous twerp.

      I adore Salt, hence writing about it for this feature. Do feel free to smear your unpleasantness elsewhere.

      • les_bloom says:

        I had never heard of this game, but it sounds great. Sounds like something that I might enjoy while waiting for No Man’s Sky. Thanks for sharing :)

    • Dingbatwhirr says:

      Ah, it’s robby5566, the vanguard of the ‘my opinion is objective fact’ brigade. Please pass on by. There is no place for you in the tolerant, peaceful dales of the land of RPS, where subjectivity is rightfully acknowledged as such, and numerical scores are an object of mirth.

    • Ancha says:

      Congratulations, you win the award for stupidest comment of the day.

      Salt is a fantastic zen like exploration survival game. After a long day of work sometimes I’ll boot up Salt just to decompress.

    • stanonwheels says:

      I would probably have passed over this, but now I’m going to buy it just to annoy you.

      • Sandepande says:

        Seconded.

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          Plot twist: robby5566 is a clandestine marketer trying out a new reverse psychology method of getting people to buy games.

          Also, it’s quite fun to notice how *salty* John Walker’s response is, considering the game’s title.

    • Premium User Badge

      InfamousPotato says:

      I really, really hope RPS never pays attention to folks who say “tl;dr”. The reason I love RPS is the delightful words and opinions they provide, and it’d be a sad day if they ever decided to cut down on that because of short attention spans.

      • Scripten says:

        Considering this was… what, three paragraphs long? Makes you wonder just what is *not* tl.

    • xyzzy frobozz says:

      Tl;dr

      Robby5566 went back to CoD.

  2. ramirezfm says:

    Oh, that sounds nice. Everything I read/saw about Salt was how bug ridden it is and how badly it runs. But this, this seems nice. Maybe I should put it back on my wishlist (aka. the list of games I eventually buy and never play)

    • Minglefingler says:

      I’ve not played it in ages but I pottered around in it for eight hours last year without seeing a single bug. I bought the game based on reading one of John’s previous articles on it and it’s exaclty as he describes it. It’s not a game for people wanting excitement (although there was some basic combat against pirates and spiders) but it is lovely. I must dive in again to see how much it’s changed.

  3. gunny1993 says:

    Nope, I fucking live it.

    #BloodBowl

  4. Barberetti says:

    One of my favourite things about Salt is the awesome music that kicks in once you get out into the ocean. It’s one of the most pleasant and relaxing games I’ve ever played. Can’t wait for the upcoming cartography patch.

    Like Minglefingler, I bought the game based on one of your articles on it (the first one I think), so thanks John!

  5. Aerothorn says:

    I’m really excited for this and Subnautica, though am waiting for both to exit early access!

  6. Santos L. Halper says:

    I was umming and ahhing over getting Salt, then noticed there’s a free demo on Steam. Looking forward to giving it a go, as John’s recommendations are normally helpful.

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  8. MrFinnishDude says:

    I love salt because since I was a kid I dreamed about sailing the sea, adventuring from island to island. Salt is one of the few games that manages to satisfy that itch so perfectly.

  9. Premium User Badge

    InfamousPotato says:

    Just thought I’d chime in to say that even though I don’t often comment about it, I really appreciate these “Have You Played…” features. They remind me of games that I forgot I was excited about, and introduce me to good old games that I may never have seen otherwise.

  10. Premium User Badge

    teije says:

    Sounds nice, I’ll check it out (free demo, yay). The wolves in the Long Dark are stressing me out a bit, need something a little more relaxing.

  11. Urthman says:

    It’s super weird to see one of these “hey did you catch this game back in the day?” articles about a game that hasn’t even been released yet.

    • Cederic says:

      Heh, I had the same response. It’s on my Steam wishlist on the grounds I have a backlog to get through and it’s not even out of Early Access.

      So no, I haven’t yet played Salt. I’m looking forward to, when it’s ready.

  12. Dicehuge says:

    Salt is quite lovely, but I kinda wish they get rid of the pirates or make the combat easier. They kinda harsh the buzz of calm sailing and exploration.

  13. fco says:

    tried the demo but didn’t hook me. too crafty.

    if i wan’t a relaxed survival time, i much prefer to play Eidolon.