Raft is a true indie adventure on the high seas.
When you think of survival and everything, it entails: treacherous environments, fierce or constant predators, and the utmost urgency to acquire resources to stay alive, you’ve already summed up Raft.
With a peak player count of 41,000 and an average online player count of eight thousand, it is evident that people have gotten the message. Raft is a game worth playing.
Story and concept
The story of Raft is fascinating. The player, funny enough, starts on a raft in the middle of the ocean. Eventually, the player discovers the game’s main storyline by gathering suitable materials.
Due to rising sea levels, players are stranded on rafts, adrift upon the ocean in a deserted world. Using this two-way radio, the player gets codes and writes them down in the player’s logbook.
Players will have to face a new demanding boss on each island. The enemies on each island in the story are thrilling. The players also get new equipment at each island to help them along their journey.
The other significant part of the bosses is that the player must constantly develop their kit. There is no way players will beat these bosses with a single wooden spear.
Another great thing about the storyline is that it isn’t complete. The game was made by three college students in Sweden, making it difficult to work quickly. The update-driven story-telling makes the storyline even more fun for many players because it is the same feeling as when people used to wait for TV show episodes with a cliffhanger.
Viewers wouldn’t know the answer until a week later. Even though the developers are yet to finish the story, it still takes players an average of fourteen hours to get to the end of chapter two. The other great thing about the story is that there is a story.
Many survival games do not have a story but a loose narrative that gives the player goals. For example, Minecraft players aim to beat the ender dragon and wither, but little is in the storyline.
Uniquely, Raft is one of a few survival games with an in-depth storyline. The story is one thing, but eventually, graphics and gameplay have to match.
Raft’s graphics are fun and colorful and almost dreamy at times. From the beginning moment when the player wakes up on their 2×2 raft, the world is nothing but a sea in all directions and a blue sky above. Players may feel nervous and disheartened to be alone in the world with so little, and the massive expanse lends to that feeling of helplessness.
Once the player has gathered resources, expanded their raft, and crafted amenities, the world gains more color and character. A soggy sneaker becomes the perfect flower pot for a cheerful flower. Bits and bobs are crafted into tools that provide the player more means of survival.
The color and simple shapes of items that belonged to another time and what feels like another world bring a new sense of wonder and comfort in this new world that the player crafts by hand.
Sound and atmosphere
The music in Raft is a fantastic feature of the game. Though not as epic as games such as Assassin’s Creed or Sea of Thieves, it still does a great job of getting the player into the environment. Music in video games represents the emotions displayed on a player’s screen, and composer Jannik Schmidt does an excellent job.
The atmosphere of the game is also amicable. The ambient sounds of the player drifting through the waves draw the player in and make them feel like they are really on that Raft in the middle of the ocean. The excellent sound and atmosphere make the game feel great, and so does the core gameplay.
Aside from the storyline, the core gameplay is one of the best parts of playing Raft. Survival at the beginning of the game is fairly straightforward, but if you are playing solo, you can find yourself in a multitasking nightmare.
Your starting raft is tiny, so you need to collect resources to expand the raft to collect and store more resources. At the same time, your food and water needs are high, and you must remember to fish and boil water so you don’t starve or dehydrate. All the while, your shark buddy is always circling you and will take a bite out of your raft any chance he can get, which means your attention is being split several ways.
As you progress, you’ll unlock various crafting recipes that allow you to do certain tasks more efficiently, opening up your time for new activities to progress further in the game. You’ll experience more opportunities to expand and customize your raft for growing food, crafting comfortable furniture, or creating a tiny paradise on the sea.
Raft has a full creative game mode where a player can create an entire raft without worrying about resources. You have full access to all crafting recipes and upgrades in order to experiment and create your dream raft. All survival aspects of the game are suspended in creative mode, including Bruce, the shark.
The extensive crafting catalog in the game means that players can spend many, many hours continuing to add to and improve their raft. Creative types will find a great deal of satisfaction in this aspect of the game, and it will be an especially great way to pass the time in between chapter content.
Final thoughts on Raft
Overall the game makes for a solid survival title, definitely worth owning. Twitch and Youtube streamers helped to bring Raft much-needed attention and critical acclaim since its release.
From the thrilling storyline and gameplay that captures the player’s attention, Raft gifts its players’ gameplay that they will not forget anytime soon. With all the existing and emerging survival games in the market, Raft stands out as a unique and genuine experience.
Follow Raft’s development progress to stay up to date on new content and get insights into what’s to come.