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‘All around us, a perilous depth… Blue as far as the eye can see. Hunger and thirst creep up on us as we desperately cling to life. How did we end up like this?’
Raft is an ocean survival game by Redbeet Interactive. Other than having a vast open world for the player to explore like traditional survival games, Raft is different. You’ll find yourself spending most of the time in an area no bigger than an apartment, which is quite unique for this type of game.
The three of us set out on an adventure through the game while streaming to see if we could tame the rough seas. The first thing you’ll see when first starting the game is a lot of water and a 2×2 block ‘raft’, consisting of some wood and some plastic to keep it afloat. Considering the fact that we are with three quickly makes you long for those days where you actually had personal space.
There’s a few things to take note of while staring at the water for the first time. The first is a shark, which we named Simon. Simon loves humans and would love a bite if you tried to go for a swim in need of more personal space. Simon even tries to help humans bond more by destroying a block of your raft every once in a while, bringing them closer together! The second thing we noticed with our unrivaled observation skills is a seemingly endless stream of resources directly in the path of our wind-propelled raft! There are a few ways to get those resources, but the earliest way is to use a plastic ‘hook’ that you throw at the items. Every player starts out with one in their inventory. Throwing the hook takes some getting used to but quickly became trivial to our superior skills. If resources get close to the raft you can also just pick them up by hand.
There are a couple of basic resources, such as wooden planks, plastic, palm leaves or barrels that can contain many of these items in addition to scrap metal, potatoes and red beets. After hooking plenty of items and discovering the crafting menu, we actually started to suck less at surviving. Jesse worked on increasing the size of the raft until we quickly realized another threat: hunger and thirst. With three players this depletes quite fast so we quickly had to make some grills to cook food and water purifiers to make the salty seawater drinkable.
After finally having some sort of stable food and water supply, I worked on creating a research table. This table allows you to drop items in a research slot to research them for more things to craft. You can also see a preview of the materials required for future crafts so you know what to look for to advance. Not only can you research more items, you can also research upgrades for tools, storage and even crop plots!
While having the time of our lives not trying to push each other off the raft for a change, we noticed that our raft isn’t the only one in the game. Once in a while other rafts appear at the horizon. After crafting some paddles and paddling towards it, we noticed that there’s a nice storage box on each raft that you can pick up containing rare resources usually gathered later in the game! This couples well with the research table and provides us with plenty of things to do while trying to survive at sea.
After gathering enough resources and surviving long enough, we could finally start our preparations for another mystery on the horizon…