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:
Overall:
Mixed (142 reviews) - 69% of the 142 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 4, 2014

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

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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Recent updates View all (17)

August 26

Drifter 0.6.11 is out!



Drifter 0.6.11 is now live!

Things continue to come together for 0.7.0! The Material Synthesis UI is nearly done and I've also embedded Lua support this week as the first step towards adding scripting to the game. For example one plan is to replace the current mission system with fully scriptable missions, which is pretty exciting! There's really a ton of stuff that will come out of this scripting support, but let's take it one step at a time :)

That said this week's build features some new equipment icons from Sven and I've gone and cleaned up a few things under the hood but there isn't much new feature wise.

The full details as to what's new in 0.6.11 are listed below and are also over on the wiki: http://celsiusgs.com/drifter/wiki/Current_Build_and_Known_Bugs


7 comments Read more

August 19

Drifter 0.6.10 is out!



Drifter 0.6.10 is now live!

Work continues apace towards 0.7.0! I've been working away on the Material Synthesis UI this week which is coming along nicely.

That said this week's build features a bunch of new launcher icons that Sven's been busy with and I've fixed a few bugs and tweaked the NPC cargo drops so they're not quite so ridiculous.

The full details as to what's new in 0.6.10 are listed below and are also over on the wiki: http://celsiusgs.com/drifter/wiki/Current_Build_and_Known_Bugs


5 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 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
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Mixed (142 reviews)
Recently Posted
F.G Kid
1.7 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 23
Updates are actually starting to pick up. Game has a promising future.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
stilz
0.6 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 17
Been waiting for a long time for this game and still not finished. Move on to something else.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
KyleStevins
4.2 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 16
after playing for an hour or so this game has left a weird impression on me. the intro tutorial is garbage and the gameplay is lack luster where there isn't much content at all. Besides this being a terrible game i'm already addicted. I just simply enjoy flying from star system to star system and I feel like this game has ♥♥♥♥ing incredible potential. So here is my note to the devs... make it possible to explore worlds! just that one mechanic will turn this game from a guilty pleasur to a ♥♥♥♥ing fantastic game! please I'm begging you!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tanvaras, Space Pirate!
8.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 7
Drifter - Very small Indie team, but I really find Drifter to be quite enjoyable to play. Currently in Alpha/Early Access but the gamer is quite playable with many ways to play, Pirate, Miner, Trader, and anything inbetween.

The game reminds me of the early days of Elite which is a good thing, as that game was down right addictive. Drifter is one of those game you can pick up and play for 5 minutes or 5 hours and get somewhere regardless of time sunk into the game.

Controls are simple, but this is a good thing. Game doesnt need a PHD in Astro Physics to get into the game and start playing, a few minutes doing the beginner tutorial and you will be away.

At its current state of Early Access, I can recommend Drifter, if Space gaming is your Genre.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
warhawkfighter
1.0 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 23
I honestly don't know what it is. The idea seemed interesting but then I played it...for 63 minutes...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Leafly
20.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 22
Fun game with great controls. Love exploring this galaxy and going on missions.
+--BA
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Particle Muffin
0.4 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 7
Looked interesting long before I realized how often these Early Access games are not "Early Access" but "Happy to accept money and promise access....then only update enough to make it seem like it's still going to come someday"

Updates infrequent, if non-existent....with a procedurally generated universe containing no gameplay to bind it together.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Braingasim
97.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 7
I have been playing this game for about a week now. Started out very confusing since the game play instructions are very basic.
This is a BETA, so you need to go into this knowing that also. There will be tweaks along the way. Possibly resets as well.
I have played MULTIPLE beta games in the past (Silk Road Online, Matrix Online, Americas Army, Age of Conan and more).
I have tested out mining & trading. Currently, its not too exciting, but, its a Beta.
I have tested doing trade runs as well. Its a good way to get started to make some credits. After a few runs, I looked into other things.
The quests mostly seem to all work. I have found a few kinks, but mostly happens when you cancel a quest and the quest item is still in your inventory. If that's the case, just jettison it or abandon it in a station.
The most fun so far for me is doing bounty hunting. Just find a 0% safe system and wait for them to come to you. Please keep in mind, you should at least have your weapons upgraded. The bounty rewards will add up and you will be able to upgrade everything else.
The in-game music is very nice, graphics are also very impressive!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lilz67
2.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 2
Updates in this early access have slowed down to a near halt. I like Drifter, but I can't recommend it as it is and the final product being released just seems farther and farther away every time I come back. Not yet, maybe soon.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Garak the Tailor|trade.tf
2.9 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: June 10
Drifter was a little game I picked up awhile back. And I don't recommend it right now, for a few reasons.

Pros
The drifting mechanic is pretty cool.

Cons
Super confusing, and the tutorial barely tells you half of what you need to know
Icons don't have descritions when hovered over
No form of smaller jets on your craft to say, change direction without just pointing your nose that way and gunning it
Getting around the massive solar systems, even with slipstream, takes an age and a half
The maps are extremely hard to use, as you can't click anywhere on the map to zoom on that point, it has to be an actual planet, star ect.
So far the game is both incredibly bare-bones and incredibly confusing.
Having a drifting mechanic with no method of lock-on to keep your ship pointing at an enemy makes it hard to do anything other than drive at them head on blasting your guns. This turns combat into more of a joust with only the guy with better shields winning.
Your ship is stuck on a 2D plane. You can't fly up or down at all.
No cockpit view.

You could blame me just not fully understanding the game, but the parts I do understand at least basically (the main problem is the game desribes 0 things in the tutorial outside of flying your ship, which is basically WASD and space...) make the game (that's been in development 4 YEARS!!! ) feel like an early alpha demo.

I bought this game cause it had inertia. I should have saved my money and bought Enemy Starfighter, cause that was basically this, with more content, better combat, a better inertia system (there's a key to enable drifting, cause in that universe people realised it was stupid to just let ships drift around all the time) and on a 3D plane instead, with a cockpit view.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 7
Drifter - Very small Indie team, but I really find Drifter to be quite enjoyable to play. Currently in Alpha/Early Access but the gamer is quite playable with many ways to play, Pirate, Miner, Trader, and anything inbetween.

The game reminds me of the early days of Elite which is a good thing, as that game was down right addictive. Drifter is one of those game you can pick up and play for 5 minutes or 5 hours and get somewhere regardless of time sunk into the game.

Controls are simple, but this is a good thing. Game doesnt need a PHD in Astro Physics to get into the game and start playing, a few minutes doing the beginner tutorial and you will be away.

At its current state of Early Access, I can recommend Drifter, if Space gaming is your Genre.

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 16
after playing for an hour or so this game has left a weird impression on me. the intro tutorial is garbage and the gameplay is lack luster where there isn't much content at all. Besides this being a terrible game i'm already addicted. I just simply enjoy flying from star system to star system and I feel like this game has ♥♥♥♥ing incredible potential. So here is my note to the devs... make it possible to explore worlds! just that one mechanic will turn this game from a guilty pleasur to a ♥♥♥♥ing fantastic game! please I'm begging you!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 23
Updates are actually starting to pick up. Game has a promising future.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
114 of 136 people (84%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
37.5 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 30, 2015
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!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
94 of 110 people (85%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 4, 2014
Tons of potential, but in my mind not really ready for even early access. The tutorial was frustrating to figure out, the radial menu is very much not clear. My main problem though is the game is paced way too slow. My first mission I got wanted me to deliver an object to another system. Ok, fine. I figured out how to plot the course and noticed it was 57 jumps away...ok... I did my first jump to see how it works and noticed the jump drive disables for a 60 second cooldown. 57 jumps = 57 minutes IF you jump exactly on the cooldown second every time. That's pretty poor design.

Buy it if you want to support it. There is tons of potential here and I expect it will be greatly improved. This is the reason I am recommending it, but if you don't know how to read my review and can only look at the thumb then I can't help you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
70 of 77 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
29.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 3, 2015
I know this game has missed its original launch window by a lot, however I am so glad they aren't rushing. Even looking at the 8 months since last beta release would make you think this is not worth investing in as it may turn out as vapourware. I'd implore you to follow the main Dev on Twitter @celsiusgs as he is always tweeting screenshots and progress. As well as interacting with fans. I just tweeted him an hour ago about an issue and he already responded.

So far (version 0.53) it is a lot of fun. You start off with a capable, fast ship with a pair of small lasers outfitted. From the first few minutes, without upgrades, I was able to pick a fight with 3 other ships, destroying one and escaping in my damaged ship. I wish I had better macro support on Mac, my Saitek Command Unit would cover most of my controls but it's a painful process on my platform. That being said, the controls are pretty straight forward but I'd like the option to access all options from the keyboard. If I am walking into a situation that I know I may not be able to handle then I plot an escape route. It would be much quicker to hit a key to engage my pre-planned jump rather than click on my ship then click the jump button from the radial menu that pops up.

Trading has been fun, although I'm less of a trader. Prices do very heavily system to system so its worth taking the time to learn some good routes and run them. Myself though, I prefer taking patrol missions to chase down pirates for funds. Now exploring is where this gets really fun for me. Since its a 20,000 star system, procedually generated galaxy there is so much unknown. There is greater diversity, more detailed systems and features that will make it all the more fun down the road but as of the May release I already enjoy exploration. I played Outer Empires online for a few years and I loved exploring the 20,000 star system galaxy for years.

When NPC communication comes out it will be far more interactive and immersive, I look forward to that as an Explorer. So far my interactive choices are protect, shoot or leave alone. Pretty fun choices but the promised NPC comms system will be a huge step forward.

Well thats my impressions of the current version.

The progress towards 1.0 is taking a bit of time but the new features, graphical updates and love being put into this game make me patient to wait. Until then I'll enjoy what I can currently play: 8 ships as a trader, explorer, pirate, merc, etc in a 20,000 star system sandbox. Somehow I think I'll occupy my time.
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86 of 104 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: November 9, 2015
I backed Drifter on Kickstarter. It got funded in juni 2012. More than 3 years later next to nothing has changed. Might still have potential, but the developer probably doesn't care anymore. Very infrequent updates change next to nothing.
I'll revise this review if this game ever gets finished.
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61 of 69 people (88%) found this review helpful
33 people found this review funny
Recommended
20.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: February 5, 2015
If you want to play Elite: Dangerous but can't run it, this is the perfect game for you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
60 of 70 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 4, 2014
I've played Drifter for 70+ hours pre-Steam, and while there is a steep learning curve at the moment and a lack of content in some areas, the level of detail and the all around playability already make it one of the better space trading sims out there.

One of the first things you'll notice when starting a new game is that your ship follows the laws of momentum, and doesn't come to a full stop every time you thrust in a different direction. Couple this with projectiles and energy weapons that take time to reach their target, and you get tense and often disorienting battles, fighting as much with the laws of physics as with the pirates that want whatever it is you have.

Outside of a few core systems the galaxy is procedurally populated with star systems and destinations, some friendly and reliable, others viciously hostile teeming with marauders. there's trading opportunities everywhere, and it's up to you how safe you want to play it.

As for the trading, it's a steady if slightly shallow source of income. However the framework for it is in place, with regional price differences and the need to balance what you can carry with what will make you the most money, and with this being Early Access new content is always in the works.

Like with trading, the available missions are steady cash flow but a touch mundane, with patrol missions being the preferred combo of seeing new places and blowing up things.

All in all, the fanatical level of polish and the overall level of detail, combined with the devotion of the devs and the steady stream of new content make Drifter a very highly recommended purchase.
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54 of 62 people (87%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
8.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 1, 2015
So you feel like playing an open world space game, but you don't want to go HAM and play one of the super complex/hard ones like Elite Dangerous, Oolite or even EVE? This game got you covered!

Drifter has all the elements you would expect from a good space exploration/"simulation" game but packaged in a much more casual way, while still feeling very sandboxy with little handholding.

Things you can do with this game:
  • All the activities you would expect you could do: Trading, bounty hunting, mining, courier jobs etc.

  • Play with your left hand while drinking a cup of coffee with your right hand! Drifter has very simple controls and you can reach almost everything with your WASD hand. Only the occasional mouse input is needed. Gamepad's an option too.

  • Experience the thrill of a newtonian physics model! But this time it's much less of a mindfluck because it's restricted to a 2D plane.

  • Play it on your old computer! Has constant 60 FPS on my ancient Linux machine which has only 2GB RAM which it has to share with the low-spec Intel integrated graphics card. Yep! Awesome performance!

All in all even with the limited scope of the early access beta Drifter has hit a wonderful balance of simplicty and open world space simulation and I'm excited to see how the final game will look like!
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