Raft is a unique survival game that has some extremely creative gameplay mechanics. At the time of writing, it’s currently in early access, so I can’t speak for the finished product yet. With the limited amount of content this game has in it so far, I had a lot of fun with it. I’ll admit the game took a little bit to grow on me, but after a while, my friends and I had a lot of fun.
Is Raft Worth It? In its current state, it’ll probably only be fun if you play with friends. If you don’t mind waiting for the full release to come out, then get it on sale now in case the developers increase the price.
Why should you get Raft now? I’ll give you my thoughts on everything I like about Raft and everything I dislike. Even though I might sound critical about it, I actually really like the game. It just needs some fixes that I hope the developers make in the future.
The eating mechanic in this game is awful. The mechanic itself isn’t bad, but the frequency that you need to eat is ridiculous. My entire group of friends got so annoyed at it at first that we almost stopped playing.
We would completely fill up on fish and fruit, and then it seemed like 5 minutes later we’d be nearly dead from hunger. Developers, please cut the eating time in half, and it would make a much more enjoyable experience. At least add different difficulty settings that determine how often you need to eat and how much damage you take from enemies.
Part of the reason it’s so annoying is that you need to spend time fishing, and then wait for it to finish cooking. With drinking, you need to wait for the water to be purified. I’d be perfectly happy with these things if it weren’t for how often you need to do them.
One of the first things you’ll notice is that there are infinite amounts of plastic floating in the water. You’ll need this plastic along with palm leaves and wood for practically everything you craft.
You can collect it either by jumping in the water or by using your hook that the game gives you. Jumping in the water is much more efficient, but you’ll have to watch out for the super annoying shark that follows you 24/7 (more on that later).
You can distract the shark using bait crafted by some fish, which keeps him away. My friends and I found that the fastest way to collect resources is to distract the shark and swim around collecting everything. We were able to build up our raft very quickly that way, so we do it whenever we run out of resources.
The hook is actually pretty cool too, as you can sit in the comfort of your raft and grab resources from afar. You can upgrade your hook to give it better range and durability, so that was one of the first upgrades I made.
Wood is a very important resource that becomes very scarce later in the game. Large boats will need a TON of wood for both building materials and for use in powering different crafting stations. It got to the point where we barely had any wood and were starving due to the lack of it.
Some trees on islands will give you wood, but it’s literally impossible to tell which ones do. It’s super annoying walking around to every tree with an ax, just hoping that one will be choppable. Once you get to the large islands, barely any of the trees are able to be chopped. Let’s hope the developers make every tree choppable because that would be an amazing source of wood.
That annoying shark
This is one persistent shark! He’ll follow your raft around, waiting for an innocent swimmer to make his lunch. When you’re not in the water, he’ll periodically bite pieces off of your raft, and the only way to get him off is to hit him with a weapon.
I get that he’s supposed to make things more difficult, but it got extremely annoying once our raft was bigger. You’re able to kill the shark, which takes a lot of hits before he dies. He keeps his damage over time though, so eventually, he’s bound to die.
The problem is that another shark will spawn a few minutes later, and you’re back to the same annoying issue. I wish there were more variety of aquatic creatures that attack you, and that the shark would eat the raft a whole lot less.
The building aspect of the game is where Raft really stands out. You can make your Raft as big as you want, and upgrade it as much as you want. I’ve seen Youtube videos of people creating massive cargo ships in the creative mode which is awesome.
It’s very cool to watch your raft grow from a couple of tiny planks into a literal boat with engines and sails. It gives you a good sense of accomplishment when you have an effective setup that gives you everything you need
How big you build your raft is limited by how quickly you can collect resources. My friends and I actually ran into a major issue where the underwater resources around islands stopped spawning, making it impossible to get better building materials. We were super excited to improve our raft and gear, but that bug completely put a stop to it.
It may not seem like it at first, but there’s a backstory as to how the world became completely flooded with water. The story isn’t complete yet since it’s still early access, but it’s still somewhat interesting. There really aren’t any interesting characters to care about though. In fact, every player uses the same player model in multiplayer (there are player models for both male and female).
The story so far is somewhat similar to how Subnautica did its story, by giving you a small amount here and there, and then releasing the full story when it leaves early access. There are bits and pieces of info lying around, as well as notes from previous humans. They keep adding a small piece to the story with each update, so I’m assuming they’ll finish the story in the final release.
When you first start Raft, you’ll be able to find islands all over the place. My friends and I saw one almost immediately, and all of us got off the raft to explore. We soon realized that the island spawn mechanic is tied to the raft, as the entire island despawned when our raft floated away from us.
Around each island, there are resources you can collect, both underwater and on land. You can chop the trees down and use them for wood, which is extremely helpful. Heading to islands for resources is a necessity since you can’t progress without some of those resources.
When you finally get enough resources to make a radar station and antennas, you’ll navigate to a giant radio tower in the water. The radio tower only spawns by use of the radar station, so you can’t find it any other way. Once you explore the station, large islands start to spawn around the world. Here’s where the disappointment started for us.
The large islands have a lot to explore, but they don’t have any resources around them as the small islands did. There was supposed to be more animals like warthogs and birds, but none of them ever spawned for use. Most trees can’t be chopped down, and there aren’t many food items on the islands.
I’m not sure if it was due to a bug, but small islands no longer spawned for us. Since we weren’t able to get any more of the best resources like ore and stone, we simply couldn’t progress any further. We were looking forward to reinforcing our ship with metal and creating engines, but we couldn’t get the items to craft those items.
It is still in early access, so I suppose it’s to be expected. We played for about 15 hours only to be cut short by this bug, so I hope it’s fixed shortly. If we had seen the animals on the island and were able to get our resources, it would have been 10 times more enjoyable.
There’s supposed to be a variety of them now, but unfortunately, I never saw any besides bears and sharks. Both of them can be killed, except for one huge bear on the biggest island. This one stupid bear killed almost all of us, but one of my friends was able to carry us all to safety. Normally we are able to take on the bears super easily, but this one is invincible.
The game also includes things such as net launcher that allows you to catch animals. Three new animals recently released are the Llama, Goat, and Clucker (a weird chicken looking thing). They all produce resources that you can use on your raft.
If you’re looking for a game to have a few hours of fun with your friends, then Raft is a good game for you. We ran unto some annoyingly stupid bugs, but that probably won’t be the case for everyone. I’m sure there will be much more content coming in the future, so I look forward to the full release.