Raft paddles into Steam Early Access, adds multiplayer

I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but earlier this year Subnautica managed to stir up my appetite for survival games. Which is why I’m both interested in checking out oceanic surive ’em up Raft now that it’s out on Steam Early Access, and sorry that the game’s doomed to have Subnautica mentioned before it in news posts.

This one’s been around for yonks as a free prototype on Itch (though it hasn’t been updated for a while), which John and Brendy were both big fans of. You can still play it if you like, or read on to sea what’s new with the Steam version. Or both.

Here’s the pitch: “Raft throws you and your friends into an epic adventure out on the big open sea, with the objective to stay alive, gather resources and build yourself a floating home worthy of survival.” I haven’t played it, but it strikes me as ‘survival done right’ more than it does ‘survival done novel’ – though I can see why building a base out at sea might be a hook that floats people’s boats.

The headline addition for the Steam release is multiplayer, though it’s also prettier and now includes reefs to explore. Provided you don’t get eaten by a shark.

What’s on the horizon for Raft? Exploring them, first of all: “First, we plan to dust off our compasses and embark on an epic quest with the introduction of landmarks; players will gather clues, set their coordinates and raft towards mysterious destinations!”

Developers Redbeet Interactive also talk about adding “additional wildlife and other dangers” that “will bring more challenge and new ways to defend your raft”, and a creative mode for players who are too chicken to face the PERILS OF THE SEA.

It would be unfair of me to describe the game as ‘Salt but not Salt’, because I looked into it and me getting the games mixed up is wholly to do with both involving the sea, having four letter names that end in ‘t’, and John really liking them. They’re very different games.

I’m still calling it Salt but not Salt in my head though.

Raft is out now on Steam Early Access for £15/$20. Redbeet’s plans being flexible, they don’t know quite when it might leave early access.


  1. Seafoam says:

    Huge wasted opportunity that the sea seems to be so pristine.

    Maybe an oildrum here or there, but why is there so much timber in the ocean? Where’s the plastic? Where’s the sheer amount of garbage that our oceans actually have nowadays?
    Just google images of the Great Pacific garbage patch, so much interesting building material, with a dose of realism and an enviromental message too.
    I mean, I get that theyre trying to go for an escapism feel, but it is still a huge wasted opportunity for something great. I want video game oceans be grimy goddammit.

    • TychoCelchuuu says:

      I am not sure if you’re joking or not, but the ocean is very large, and it’s very easy to go out in the water and see zero garbage floating around, and the “Great Pacific garbage patch” isn’t actually a literal mass of garbage – at its most dense, it’s a few hundred kilograms of plastic per square kilometer of water. So you could be floating in the center of it and not see anything.

      • Seafoam says:

        Yeah I knew that. But if the game is about collecting garbage you might as well have the garbage at it’s densest, as it also is time to time IRL.

        Also I’m miffed how all the garbage you pick up is mostly clean wood and fine metal. Why not have plastic bottles, tires, nets, tarp, laundry baskets, beer cases, plastic bags, or even rubber ducks?
        So much imaginative bulding material that our sea-life is choking on.

    • KDR_11k says:

      One difference from the itch version is that this one does have plastic and plenty of it. At times it seems like the most plentiful resource floating out there.

      Even the header image of this article has two pieces of plastic floating in the water.

      • Seafoam says:

        Oh well look at that.
        When I first heard of the game this bothered me, so I looked up some gameplay and came to the first conclusion. I went and looked up some new gameplay from the newest release and I see that the plastic is more prevalent now!

        Although I will say that the game still mostly relies on fine wood and metal, and the concept is still underused. But in the end these are just opinions.
        I think that grime and trash can be beautiful if done correctly, making it clean is so boring.

  2. R. Totale says:

    I think I’ll wait until it’s on sail

  3. picaroon says:

    Take a bow.

  4. Al Fresco says:

    From the publisher that brought us Scrap Mechanic… languishing in Early Access hell since January 2016.

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