Raft

Icon - Calendar Released: 23 May 2018
Icon - Edited Reviewed: 6 Mar 2021
Platform: PC

Raft

Raft is a survival game where you start with nothing but a plastic hook, on a piece of wood in the ocean (no idea why). Unfortunately, after 3 years in EA the game still feels basic, grindy and artificially extended. I spent 90% of my time scavenging food and purifying water. The other 10% of the time was spent fending off a permanently present shark. There's some great ideas in this game, but it's held back by busy work and poor inventory management. Raft has been in EA for almost 3 years now, which feels slow; I don't think I could recommend buying it until it's fully released at this pace. Not that they need the money, judging by the number of reviews.

Pros

  • Nice art style
  • I like that you start with nothing on a raft
  • Scavanging materials that float past you is an original idea
  • Islands provide a welcome respite from the constant journey forwards, although unrealistically if you miss them it's almost impossible to go backwards
  • Building a floating castle is great, when you're not constantly being attacked by the shark

Cons

  • I don't think I could recommend playing on normal right now, it's really grindy. Constantly grabbing materials and drinking and eating just to avoid dying gets old really fast.
  • The shark is a bad game mechanic. I can understand why it exists but it's a badly implemented idea. If you turn it off, there's no reason to use the hook, and just jump in the water and grab resources. However, there is ALWAYS a shark in the water. Even if you kill it, it comes back 3 minutes later. It takes a huge amount of resources to create shark bait, which only makes it go away for 20 seconds. It attacks the raft every 5 minutes. Right now it's a cheap game mechanic that just adds a constant annoyance and distraction from doing something interesting.
  • The islands are interesting, but suffer from the procedurally generated problem, they're all basically the same
  • If you wash up against an island and you don't have the materials to make a paddle, game over. There's no way to move on.
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