Follow TV Tropes


Video Game / Raft

Go To
Watch out for sharks.

Raft is an indie Survival Sandbox game developed by Redbeet Interactive and published by Axolot Games. It was fully released on Steam in May, 2018.

Alone or together, players battle to survive a perilous voyage across a vast sea on their titular raft. Gathering debris, scavenging reefs and building a floating home, while dodging thieving seagulls and man-eating sharks.

Raft provides examples of:

  • Ability Required to Proceed: A player can not reach Bulboa Island without finding the blueprints for and building the engine from the previous location.
  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Once the advanced water purifier has been build, a player COULD just float forever without ever touching ground again...if the game wouldn't let food run out by having plants such as watermelons not always having seeds.
    • On the other hand, once you build a planter you don't need to worry about the soil losing nutrients or degrading: all you need to do is to keep the plants safe from birds and water them once in their growth cycle.
  • After the End: In the full Steam version, you can discover a secret, flooded platform that reveals that the game is in the not-so-distant future where the world has gone the way of Waterworld and most of the planet has been drowned beneath an endless sea because of the ice caps melting.
  • Advertisement:
  • Action Survivor: Fight off sharks with a spear!
  • Bandit Mook: Seagulls will steal your food if you're not careful.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Did one of the places to survive have to be a *Bear* sanctuary?
  • Companion Cube: Bruno from Bulboa Island built 4 dolls and - according to notes - had a lot of fights with them.
  • Crate Expectations: Crates and barrels are this games equivalent of a treasure chest, giving a ton of ressources and sometimes even recipes or blueprints.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Averted. You will slow down and your sight will begin to blur or black out if you're starving, dehydrated or seriously wounded.
  • Death from Above: Screechers (large, aggressive Roc-like birds) in large islands will fly by and pelt you with rocks.
  • Deserted Island: From a small rock formation to big landmasses. Some show signs of humans having stayed, others are untouched.
  • Advertisement:
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Reinforcing the entire foundation of your raft will require gathering (and smelting) a lot of iron ore and using up a lot of scraps, but it will allow you to sail smoothly without fear of losing raft pieces to a single shark attack.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer: Players can allow friends to join them on their raft.
  • Endless Game: While there is story, the gameplay itself is this.
  • Foreshadowing: Under the water around islands, you can sometimes find submerged little huts. Turns out the islands didn't sink - the sea rose.
  • Green Aesop: Subtle, but every commodity you eventually build for yourself will be made with recycled flotsam and renewable materials.
    • Maybe, but a newspaper on Balboa suggests that scientists were worried the world was getting too *cold*. Gone Horribly Right?
  • Grimy Water: The toxic lake on Bulboa Island.
  • Hearts Are Health: Your life meter is represented by a cartoon heart.
  • Item Crafting: Start building or you won't survive long.
  • Just Add Water: The Pot recipes simply require you to put certain combinations of ingredients inside it to make multiple servings of more nourishing meals. And contrary to the trope name, you don't even need to add water.
  • Lost at Sea: The central premise of the game is to survive this.
  • MacGyvering: Everything you craft is entirely or mainly made of cobbled together scraps.
  • Mood Whiplash: While generally in a desperate situation, the music and views make the game feel at least somewhat pleasant. Then you find the abandoned radio tower that creepily creaks every now and then. Gets topped later by entering Vasagatan which also is pitch dark AND filled with enemies.
  • Mooks Ate My Equipment: The shark will munch squares of you raft and whatever happens to be on them.
  • Mooks but No Bosses: While sharks and bears are stronger than other enemies, there is no actual boss.
  • Nemean Skinning: The Shark and some other wild animals will drop their heads upon being slain, which you can wear as a hat or mask.
  • No Antagonist: There is no real villain and the only threats to you are natural.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Heavily averted. Bows have a very limited range due to the fact arrows will plummet down after a couple dozen feet.
  • Nobody Poops: You need to eat and drink but that's as far as your digestion goes.
  • No Periods, Period: If you play as a woman, you won't need to worry about your menstrual cycle.
  • Organ Drops: You can get and cook meat from enemies you kill. Since they all happen to be animals, it's all good.
  • Palette Swap: The animals you can tame come in one of three colors, with one being more likely than the others.
  • Player Versus Environment: While friendly fire can be activated, the player(s) mainly fight against game mechanics and mooks.
  • Play the Game, Skip the Story: A lot of players forget about building the receiver-antenna setup and simply enjoy survival.
  • Protagonist Without a Past: Played with. The notebook has a bunch of advice from an older sister, together with a family picture. It is unclear what happened to her and impossible to find the original home location (if it even still exists).
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: Choosing to play as a man or a woman makes absolutely no difference to the game.
  • Regenerating Health
  • Resting Recovery: The bed/hammock fully heals an injured player. In Normal mode it allows a downed player to keep their inventory. In Hard mode, it is the only way to avoid a game over.
  • Player Versus Environment: Peaceful mode only has players deal with hunger, thirst and oxygen. Mooks don't attack (some like bears and lurkers only when provoked), inventory is kept and players can swim out to things without risk of life.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: The player can find a few notes, read some newspapers on the windows of a shack and listen to a few of the radio announcements to find out what happened/is happening.
  • Survival Sandbox: Or should that be Survival Sea?
  • Super-Persistent Predator: A series of them, actually. A shark is always circling your raft. If you manage to kill it, you get a few minutes of peace... until another one takes its place and continues to follow you to the ends of the ocean.
  • Threatening Shark: One will stalk your raft and attack it every now and then, destroying the squares you build unless you drive it away. Naturally it will eat you if you linger in the water too long.
  • Unbroken First-Person Perspective: If one ignores the main menu, then the game does this.
  • With This Herring: You start on a 2x2 raft with nothing but a plastic hook to reel in floating garbage, with no food or water and a shark eager to chew on it and you. Good luck.
  • Wham Shot: Once you reach the radio tower, the game is over, right? Nope, and you find out by finding a billboard and newspaper clippings explaining the entire world has been flooded, and there might maybe be an utopia that still has enough dry land to survive out there.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: You need to reel in resources like wood and plastic using your hook to build things to keep yourself alive like water purifiers and fishing rods.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: