Drifter is an open-world sandbox space trading game with a procedurally-generated galaxy 100,000 light years across made up of tens of thousands of star systems to explore and features an original soundtrack by composer Danny Baranowsky.
User reviews: Very Positive (94 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 4, 2014

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

“Hello!

Because Drifter is an open-world sandbox game we feel like it’s a good fit for Early Access. The game is already enjoyable and relatively bug free, however, it is missing a number of features that we feel should be in the game before calling it 1.0. We hope that this way you’ll be able to have fun with the game while it’s still being worked on; this will give us the ability to create the best game possible based on your support and feedback.

We’ve also created a roadmap on the Drifter wiki (http://celsiusgs.com/drifter/wiki/Development_Roadmap) so you can see where the game is currently, and where it’s headed, to help you make an informed decision before you support the game.

While there will likely be some bugs and hiccups along the way, we will strive to ensure that Drifter is playable and relatively polished during its journey to completion.

Thank you!

Early Access Pricing


Because Drifter is still in development, and as a way of saying thank you for supporting us, the game will be $11.99 while on Early Access. This is 20% off its intended full price of $14.99.”
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Recommended By Curators

"A procedurally generated sandbox of fun, guns, trading and missions. So far I've been having a great time."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (7)

July 1

The Year of Drifter!



The Beginning of the End

Don’t worry this isn’t a post about how we’re giving up. It is in fact the complete opposite of that!

Drifter has been in development for quite some time, almost going on 4 years now! It’s been somewhat slow going at times mainly because it’s a fairly big game and we’re a pretty small team. That said we definitely wouldn’t be here and Drifter wouldn’t exist as it does if it weren’t for the support of amazing people like you who believe in us and have been supporting us along the way.

Trying to juggle development and promotion over such a protracted development cycle has caused a lot of slip ups and it feels like its been hard at times to keep the momentum going. Thankfully we have been fortunate enough to have a game that suits itself well to Early Access and that people have been playing and enjoying it for quite some time now but it is about time we thought about pushing it towards version 1.0 and a proper release.

While there is still quite a lot of work to be done it feels like the end is in sight and if we can maintain a steady pace of development and enthusiasm throughout the rest of the year we’ll be very close to if not at 1.0 before the year is out!

That’s the idea behind The Year of Drifter: we’re going to try and turn the final push towards 1.0 throughout the rest of the year into a celebration of the development of the game. It’s my feeling that this will not only help us keep our pace up but it’ll be pretty interesting to you so you can stay tuned and watch as things come together. We’ll be trying some new stuff as well like live streaming and feature polls and, despite it being a single player only game, I have some ideas of some in-game events that we’re going to be running later on in the summer and going into the fall.

It should be an exciting time and I’ll hope you’ll join us!

Posters

As part of The Year of Drifter, and considering that folks have occasionally complained about the cost of shipping, I’ve managed to figure out how to offer FREE SHIPPING on the remaining posters and I’m offering a special deal where you can buy a poster and a copy of the game together as well.

Not only is it a sweet poster but buying one helps support the development of the game!

http://driftergame.com/posters.php

0.6.2 Is Incoming

I’m just putting the finishing touches on 0.6.2 and that’ll be released by this weekend most likely!

I’ll reserve a full post to go into the gory details but in 0.6.2 I’ve finally fixed the last of the docking queue bugs so you should never again get stuck waiting to launch your ship!

Also you’ll be able to buy special containers that you can permanently place in space as extra storage that you can use while mining (or being an evil pirate) so you don’t need to go back to base as often.



Finally I’m introducing a new mechanic where you can override the hyperspace jump cooldown if you need or want to jump more quickly. Obviously there will be a risk to doing this but I think it should add an interesting dynamic to the game.

0.7.0 And Beyond

After 0.6.2 I’m going to get back to working on the exploration related feature I keep teasing* as the next major milestone but do keep an eye on the Development Roadmap to see a broad list of what I have planned for the coming weeks and months.



*And no, it’s not wormholes (precisely).

14 comments Read more

February 20

Drifter 0.6.1 Released!



Drifter 0.6.1 has been released!

The biggest change for 0.6.1 is the UI overhaul started in 0.6.0 is now nearly complete. Most of the UI in the game now supports keyboard and gamepad interaction. It's not quite 100% but it should be pretty good for couch gaming at this point.

We've also updated and added a number of new item and equipment icons.

In addition to this there are a large number of UI improvements and bugfixes, you can get the full details in the release notes page on the wiki: http://celsiusgs.com/drifter/wiki/Current_Build_and_Known_Bugs

Existing save games from 0.6.0 should still work with 0.6.1.

Enjoy!

6 comments Read more
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About This Game

Drifter is an open-world sandbox space trading game with a procedurally-generated galaxy 100,000 light years across made up of tens of thousands of star systems to explore and features an original soundtrack by composer Danny Baranowsky. Take on the role of a spaceship captain attempting to eke out a living among the stars by trading goods between star systems, hunting pirates for bounties, mining asteroids for valuable ore, or even becoming a pirate yourself. The choice is yours!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP SP1
    • Processor: x86 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 1.5 compatable
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X 10.6
    • Processor: x86-64 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 1.5 compatible
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu Linux 12.04 LTS or equivalent
    • Processor: x86 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB OpenGL 1.5 compatible
    • Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
25 of 29 people (86%) found this review helpful
11.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
Early Access Review
In its current state I can hardly recommend this early-access game. I bought this game following the anouncement of the developer that the release 1.0 version would occur in 2015 and checking quickly the current "roadmap".

Apparently the developer insists on making a game with 20k systems in a huge galaxy and I was not impressed after 11 hours of gameplay, which is pretty much all I needed to exhaust the current content of the game, having made more than 60 millions creds in that period of time. Now I am fully aware of the early access status and I do not mind missing features or placeholders.

The current graphical content is pretty nice, music is ok. What bothers me is here below and is mainly about gameplay, UI and game design:

A. TRADING
  • Economy is not dynamic - if you like to trade, that means you find a route or two and with each jump it will reset the quantity of good on each planet, allowing you to "grind" the same spot all the time (boring really quick though).
  • In fact, trading is pretty straight forward, you calculate how much profit you make per ton on each merchandise and depending on the quantities available on each station (and your cargo capacity) then you start the grinding (hundreds of times).
  • Asteroids systems! Sucks. Depending on your spawn point after jumping, you may end up having to cross the belt 2 times to reach the station.
  • Launch from starbase sequence - 10 seconds wasted (I use this timeframe to setup my navigation). Option to deactivate game cinematics (or shorten them)?
  • Wait for docking bay? Wtf mechanic, occurs NPC ships are docking and you may end up waiting up to 40 seconds doing nothing.
  • Horrible UI - hope it will get improved. For example if you check the (nice feature) remote trading offers, you don't see the quantity of goods in your current station and you cannot purchase directly from this part of the UI. Basically you have to press ESC (or the cross) three time, then press a button to exit the pilot area, press a button to go the trade area, then press another button to go to the stock exchange. By then, you better remember which goods you may make a profit with, and if you have creds and space left, well, you have to redo the whole thing again to fill your cargo.

B. COMBAT
  • Pretty simple technique, it only gets difficult when you face multiple enemies. The AI basically charge you, pass you by, rotate and repeat. It is bugged for the slower ship if you get close enough to it and the "thougher" enemy in game is actually only a time waster (well, till you get more decent equip, with the max gear, they are sitting ducks and blow very fast like anything else)
  • Itemization is too simple. I expected a simple game in terms of combat but to that level?!? So you have Guns and Missiles. Guns are divided in 3 main types, each of which has 3 main archetypes (low damage+fast, average everything, high damage+slow put it simply)
    - kinetic, uses ammo and consume little to no energy
    - beam, continuous high damage and low range
    - energy bolts, average damage
    Missile are divided in 2 main types which are rockets (dumbfire) and missile (guided) with variants like MK2 shooting and locking faster or dual fire launcher.
    And that's it.
    Defensive systems and upgrade rely on the same simplicity and archetypes, i.e. your can setup armor that increase your speed/manoeuvrability at the cost of HP's, or setup an armor that reduce those while increasing HP.
  • No encounters beside missions. Well, civilian ships you may attack, but that is pretty much it.
  • Once you found a technique (even vs 3 opponents) to dish out damage while allowing your shield to recharge (taking a few hits is inevitable), combat really is simple and quickly boring. Beside, once you upgrade with anything but starting lasers and equipment, you roll over anything. Boring (if I did not mention it several times already).

C. MINING
  • You can buy a mining laser, which take the space of your guns. You drop more Ore when you finally destroy an asteroid.
  • You can destroy asteroid faster than with a mining laser with your normal weapons, you don't get the extra Ore drop yet you still mine faster than with mining stuff and it makes it up for it.
  • Once you go back to a station with your cargo full hoping for profit, surprise! You can do only one thing with the various types of Ores which is find a mission which ask you to provide some.

D. BOUNTY HUNTING & MISSIONS
  • Patrol missions - the most rewarding and also the longest - are a pain in the neck. While the mission spawns some pirates (usually offering individual bounties that are altogether worth 3-4-5 times the final reward) which is nice, you still have to go through sometimes 5, 6 or more waypoints with no visual feedback if you cleared that one or not. At the end for a simple game, it tends to get you to do a lot of things in a complicated manner. Also, sometimes... well actually most of the time, you cannot complete the mission because somehow there is either a bug or a ship spawned or goes anywhere but near the waypoints (2 or 3 hours of my playtime where actually spent drifting in circles in the same galaxy till eventually I gave up)
  • Other missions and single target missions are ok, nothing amazing though.

E. PIRACY
  • Most likely the most fun. Civilian ships spawns around stations (or if you want extra challenge, attack miners in asteroid belts as the rocks are the most dangerous).
  • Sadly not challenging at all, unless you shoot 3-4 ships and make them all hostile, civilian don't help each others and no security force shows up or anything.
  • Loot system is currently frustrating at early stages, as most of the time ships do not drop anything. If they do drop stuff, it is only equipement. This makes it pretty profitable to grind some civilian ships for a while, especially when you are already geared with with decent stuff (I personally prefer the 3 guns/2 missiles fighter) and usually destroy any ship in 1 passage. Sadly there is no much point anymore at this stage for making money.

F. USER IINTERFACE, GUI & SETTINGS
  • Keybinding lacks options. Why is there even a "mouse control" option ('m') if I cannot assign stuff to mouse buttons?
  • Too many unecessary steps and chores (going back and forth) are induced by bad UI choices. In a game of this simplicity you would expect more attention to such things (do the developers play their game? or games at all?)
  • The acceleration mode is slow to engage and could also be improved. Ending up waiting 40-60 seconds to reach a station is fun the first 20 times, then it gets annoying.

I did not expect a complex game, neither that is what I wished for. I was fine with an Elite-lite concept. Yet, considering the game is to be released in 6 months, I fear most of this time will be set to fill in the graphical place holders and add a few new features. Although the base is not solid and this game, even at realease, may only be "fun for a few hours". Its prettiness (both graphical and sound, which are both more than decent for the price tag) won't make me forget that I personally prefer content (and I do not mean 20k systems here, but a gameplay reason that will ensure I will be willing to spend enough time to be willing to visit them). Content that may drastically lack even at the end of 2015.

I reserve myself the right to modify or remove this review should I be sufficiently and positively suprised by the final product which I really hope. This game has potential, but in its current state and even for such a low pricetag I cannot recommend it.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
37.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 30
Early Access Review
There is nothing happening with this game aside from meaningless trade item updates.

Whats actually wrong:

1. No factions. This alone breaks the game by it's very nature. There are things to do like trading and mining but these things are pointless given the fact that you can just hang around a space station killing everyone who leaves and then selling the loot to said space station without anyone being upset about the means in which you acquired these goods.

2. There is no galaxy. It's just an illusion. All solar systems are basically empty, sure there may be a star and some planets but the only thing to interact with is space stations. A vast majority of the galaxy has zero space stations so there is no reason to venture beyond more than 3-5 solar systems in your entire play though. Also, every Earth-like planet is literally Earth.

3. No AI whatsoever. All enemy ships follow the exact same pattern of attack. This is most evident if you alter the games files to allow yourself enough speed to outrun the enemy. All enemies will spot you, dive towards you firing at you while never trying to lead you with there weapons. They will fly by you and turn to shoot again. If you go faster than them by editing the games files to get in front of them they will ignore you and turn away from you to shoot at where you should be.

After collecting all the ships and playing through the game I initially thought there was a lot of reason to think Drifter had a really bright future. However, after seeing none of this games issues ever being addressed in an honest light by the Dev and seeing updated that included literally nothing but items the players could have added themselves by playing with the game files I cannot recommend this game to anyone. Nor do I think anything is really going to come of Drifter. Instead of making a game I believe this developer is concentrating on making the illusion of a game.

Tip: You can save at a station, exit the game, reload and the station will have 50% of it's inventory respawned!
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
8.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 8
Early Access Review
I'm reviewing version 0.6.1:

I wouldn't recommend the game in this "Early Access" status.

Pros:
-interesting to see how the game works
-different ships, few weapons and other ship-upgrades
-space-fight is kind of funny (because it's not really hard)

cons:
-UI (menus, space station,...) are ok, but sometimes you have to go through so many menus for easy repetitive tasks like selling stuff, buying stuff,..)
-no space stations or other things in more than 90% of the galaxy. so there's no point in exploring right now beside mining, space-fight and a few missions (also space-fight or flying from A to B)

This game feels like a like an (rough) idea and reminds me of the game "galaxy on fire". I hope the Dev will do something with it. I'll look at it again in 2 years.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
Early Access Review
TL;DR - This is almost good. Ensure that you really want this game before buying it.

I don't think I've had this much fun with an early access game before. If you like games such as Flash Trek, Elite Dangerous, X Rebirth, EVE Online and are fondly looking forward to Star Citizen, then Drifter is the game for you. Without delving into detail, Drifter is your basic space flight sim with elements of combat and trading. Your ultimate and only goal is to make bank. How you make this money is totally up to you; mine asteroids, trade with stations or become a gun for hire. You're thrown into a massive, procedurally generated galaxy, with thousands of star systems to explore. The ship designs are sleek and unique, and combat is dead simple. Even if you've never touched a game like this before, I can guarantee you'll pick up the controls easily. Super fun, I can't wait to see what the future has in store for Drifter.

Pros:
  • Literally X for dummies. If you've ever played one of the games I listed above and were scared away by the complexity, don't worry - Drifter is dumbed down to a fault. There are less than one hundred keybinds!
  • Perfect for the potato in your life! I get constant 60fps on my wonderful 4GB RAM / integrated Intel GPU shitbox. This is some next-gen witchery.
  • Gamepad support! Self explanatory. The game requires little to no keyboard/mouse input in gamepad mode - almost every function can be mapped to a controller.
  • Looks super pretty. The lens flare might be maddening at times, but the models and effects are breathtaking.
  • The combat is idiotproof. Point and shoot. It's poetry, really.

Cons:
  • The game has been in (slow) development for four years. This might be a personal thing, but just seeing this really raised some red flags with me. The developer has made some recent claims about returning to the game, however. They've made the promise to have full release by the end of the year (as of July 1, 2015)
  • Very, very little to do. You can take missions, yes - but that's pretty much all you can do. There are six or seven kinds of missions and all of them are almost the same, barring very slight differences (kill this ship in this system, deliver this item from this system to this system, etc)
  • Everything looks the same. There are maybe ... twenty or so different ships. Out of these twenty models, I've only ever seen eight or nine of them while roaming the galaxy. Out of the eight or nine, there seem to be only four kinds of 'pirate' (the only ships you're tasked to hunt with the kill missions) ships. The planets and the suns are nothing special, really.
  • Limited gamepad support. The only qualm I have with the gamepad support is the fact that you can't: calibrate the sticks or change stick control (eg. map movement from left joystick to right joystick)
  • The combat is mindnumbing. There is no such thing as 'altitude', or 'variable height' in Drifter. All of the action takes place on the same level on the y-axis. It's simple, but it's not exciting. It boils down to playing a game of chicken with your enemy while holding down the fire button. Not only that, but the combat AI is stupid.
  • Much too expensive for what the game is, currently. I wouldn't pay more than ten dollars for this to be honest. Wait for a sale or buy it as part of a bundle.
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56 of 60 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
Early Access Review
If you want to play Elite: Dangerous but can't run it, this is the perfect game for you.
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