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.