“Raft”: A Survival of the Fittest – and the Most Patient


Even while doing basic tasks, you should always keep a look-out for a shark attack! Courtesy of Steam.

I sometimes think about what it would be like to be stuck at sea. Raft will meet all of your needs for a survival game. The story is simple: In 2023, the Australian continent sank due to global warming, and by 2028, every major landmass on Earth is practically underwater. Other than a few leftover islands, nothing is left, and the main character (you), drifts away on a raft, trying to salvage whatever is left.

The main goal of the game is, obviously,  to survive. On the bottom left of the screen, there are some important bars to keep track of: hunger, thirst, and oxygen (when underwater). For the thirst gauge, drinking water or eating fruits will fill it up. All types of food fill the hunger gauge, other than water. For the oxygen meter, all you need to do is be above water. If any gauge goes down by fifteen percent, the character is too weak to run. If it reaches zero percent, you start to lose health gradually, and eventually, it’s game over.

Personally, getting food and water was the hardest part, so I recommend making a water purifier the first thing so that your character doesn’t die of thirst. To eat, fishing was the easiest way to get food. Once these basic survival issues are taken care of, it will be much easier to enjoy this game, but it’s definitely a tall hurdle you need to overcome at the beginning.

The start of the game is simply about gathering as many materials as much as possible. Courtesy of Steam.

At the start of your adventure, your only possessions are a 2×2 raft, with a single hook. This doesn’t mean that you’re completely hopeless, though. Occasionally, you’ll see some stuff floating around the ocean, like wood, leaves, and barrels. Using the hook, you can gather your first few materials. Everything has a use (and that is not an overstatement when it comes to a survival game!), so I recommend getting everything as much as possible. You can also get items by diving into the ocean, but it’s riskier: the waters are shark-infested, and they can be a handful if you are new to the game. I’d say to stay away from going into the water for the first few days, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you are free to try it out. Sometimes, aggressive sharks can tear up the raft if they get too close, but you can defend against them by making weapons.

Sharks can really mess up your progress. It’s best to get used to fending them off from your territory. Courtesy of Steam.

After getting some items that float around the ocean, try to make some basic tools. My suggestions are a spear, hammer, water purifier, cup, fishing rod, and grills for cooking. If you have enough palm leaves, I also recommend making a net, because you can connect it with your boat to automatically collect floating materials in the ocean. When you’re able to collect more materials easily, you start to get more creative – expand your raft, convert it to a floating house, add a second story, plant vegetables and fruits, and more. The endless possibilities and methods of survival were one of my favorite parts of the game.

With some patience, you can eventually see significant progress, which is one of the most satisfying aspects of the game. Courtesy of Steam.

Speaking of endless possibilities, If you spend enough time drifting around, you’ll eventually find an island or two. They usually contain a lot of important materials, like wood, fruit, rocks, etc. I suggest that you keep a lookout for these islands, as they are very useful for finding materials that you can’t find floating around in the ocean. With that being said, you also need to make sure to anchor your raft, or else it’ll float away (which I learned the hard way!).

Overall, I can confidently rate Raft a 4.5/5. If you enjoy adventure or survival games, this will be right up your alley. It might take some getting used to at the beginning, but once you start to pick up the pace with gathering food and items, the game will come naturally. If you’re looking for an innovative and somewhat realistic survival experience, Raft is definitely worth giving a shot.