I had not heard of Salt before, but a friend recommended it to me thinking it may be something I was interested in (knowing my love of sandbox games) and so I decided to try it out. I know there’s a demo available, but instead I watched some “Lets Play” on YouTube and a few trailers and videos that Lavaboots Studios released.
The game is about exploration and adventure, with some crafting tossed in. You start out on a remote island and wander your way around collecting resources to help you get to other islands. Crafting is very simple, but you’re not given a lot of information about what you can craft. I wandered around picking up wood (E) and plants, and then stumbled into a pickaxe and a chest with a few treasures inside (some cloth, 2 gold, etc). With those items I was able to create my first “ship” a raft that barely floated. Boat control is a bit difficult, but fun. I parked my boat at the nearest island that I could sail to, and started the true adventure.
The lands are filled with pirates and other treasures to be found. I was running out of food so I created a bow and some crude arrows. Painstakingly snuck up behind a deer and made a quick meal of him. It didn’t fill me up, so I wandered some more and found a few mushrooms to eat (which gave me a buff). I only got one pelt which isn’t enough to make any armor yet, but I’ll hang onto it.
The pirate I ran into almost killed me but I landed the last blow. He dropped a bit more gold, and a key for – I have no idea what. I hear you can use them for pirate treasures, but I haven’t found any yet. Salt reminds me a lot of Banished, even though the two games are completely different. It’s a slow paced game where players may feel that they have “done it all” once they reach some specific goals (making an actual ship, getting a full set of gear, etc). It is still in early access, so there’s a lot of work to be done yet, but I really enjoyed my casual stroll through the different lands, trying to search for neat treasures.
After leaving my boat at the 2nd island and wandering for a bit, I noticed a ship in the water. I was excited – until I realized it was MY boat, sailing away with the tide, without me! I didn’t have enough cloth to make another boat, so it was really important that I not lose it. I swam out to sea in an attempt to rescue the ship, and some how managed to get it back on shore. I did too good of a job, and was unable to push it out to sea when I actually wanted to leave. Thankfully the water once again worked its magic and freed my boat from the shore for me and as it drifted out I managed to climb on board so I can head out and explore yet another island. There’s no map, and I don’t have a compass or other means of guessing where I am at the moment, but I know you can craft / obtain those items. For now I have just been going off of guesses. I leave a flag on the beach where I land so that I know I have been there before. I try to make sure I explore the entire island before leaving, and pick up everything of note.
There are no levels, classes, or progression per say, but I don’t need those things in a game in order to enjoy it. I’m liking the very calm and quiet excitement that comes from finding a new item to use, or a new ruin discovered. Next I need to find / make some better weapons, I keep losing arrows to deer, and I’d like to be able to hold my own a bit longer against pirates.