Subnautica is all well and good for some, but I prefer to keep my head above water as much as possible. As such, Redbeet Interactive’s Raft is a much less stressful proposition. There may be horrible sharks trying to drag you down into the briny depths, but at least you’ve got your own little wooden island to retreat to, right? Previously free and exclusive to Itch.io, the seafaring survival sandbox is set to re-launch as a commercial title on Steam Early Access this May 23rd.
Previous versions of the game didn’t cost a penny, and you can still grab the old free edition (which John reviewed and loved to bits) now. The upcoming re-release via Steam not only looks somewhat prettier, but promises a more interesting and varied world, including reefs to explore and other players to share your inevitably watery grave with. Online multiplayer will be the core defining element of the new edition, making that infinite expanse of blue a little less lonely.
Redbeet promise that their time in early access will give them the opportunity to properly expand on the game’s potential and tune things according to what the community feels works best. They’ve already got some extensive plans for the game, including treasure hunts, sunken cities, stranded ships and more horrible sea-creatures itching to take a nibble out of either you or your wobbly houseboat.
They’ve also got plans to open the game up a little to those players deathly afraid of an ignoble death at sea, nibbled on by countless fish, your skull inevitably re-purposed as a mobile home by a passing crab… That was a bit grim, sorry.
Anyhow, for those players, they’re also going to be working on a non-combative, less resource-strict Creative mode, allowing you to freely explore the oceans alone or with friends in as big or as cozy a boat as you care to build. So that’s nice.
You can still grab the old, free version of Raft on Itch.io here. The new version will exclusive to Steam as of May 23rd, and you can wishlist it now. Until then, you can also keep up with the game via the developer’s blogs on Raft’s official site here.