Taking A Look At Aloft

Taking A Look At Aloft.jpg

Aloft was quite a fun game to explore during the Steam Next Fest. You get to glide around to a bunch of different floating islands. Many of those islands are corrupted or have something wrong with them that you first must cure.

This game needs some work before it gets released. If a game is going to have helpful tips, they need to be helpful. Telling a player to go do something when they don’t even know yet the control buttons for the game and not saying which buttons to press. It is not very helpful.


Even more so when it’s not exactly initiative which buttons to press in the first place. I’d say it took me a moment to learn to glide around. With the game just saying to explore the rest of the islands to find a way to escape.

I lost count of how many times I accidentally closed the glider just as I was opening it up to try and glide off somewhere or drive it into the ground. If you are running off a cliff and then attempt to glide off while still pressing forward it slams the glider downward usually into something close to it.

At least when you fall off an island and can’t get back up to it. The game will after a while of falling say it’s time to return home. The same thing happens when you get killed. You are returned to the starting island that is marked as your home on the map.

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In this game, there is also house building. With snap mode on things did not just snap together. I even thought perhaps I had it off. It was even less accurate when I pressed the R button. Which thankfully they display on the screen.

There were many spots in my stature with massive gaps on it. The only time snapping seemed to work was attaching walls to the foundation. I then had similar issues again with the ceiling.

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There was also then the classic it’s hard to get into the opening of your house if you made it one wall tile high. I would have hoped by now games would have been able to solve that issue. I guess not. Granted this is just an early demo of the game with many features that seem to be toggled off from the get-go.

I at least now have a house built for a hobbit. I guess my character is just too tall to easily enjoy it. Not that I had any further plans to go inside it. I could not craft a bed yet till I ended up discovering the blueprint for how to do so on another island.

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While the crafting system had you discover some things. It’s not like they were trying to make it hard. You could only add items that would craft things together. I could not, for instance, put three rocks and some rope to see if that would create a new recipe. It would stop me at a rope, and two logs, and I'd have to see what remaining items I such as sharpened rocks had to finish things out.

I also found it strange that when you learned a new recipe you did not craft the item. I learned how to make a pickaxe then ran off to go break some rocks open. Only to realize when I opened my inventory to add a pickaxe to a hotkey that I did not have one in my inventory.

It’s kind of strange you both must discover recipes by crafting with different ingredients. Along with having to find recipes on other islands to craft things. I suppose that is one way to content-lock a player from advancing too quickly once they learn what is needed to make what. In a game where you can go around exploring like this, you would think the crafting system would be a bit more open.

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At the very least, the exploration in this game is amazing. You can usually see off in the distance the next island(s) you can explore. While out gliding you can also see a house icon which I used to position myself, so I was exploring in a direction away from it.

One of the first islands I ended up exploring was corrupted. Any time I attempted to cut a tree, for instance, it told me I needed to remove the corruption node. This was quite a missed opportunity by the game to guide and show me for the first time what a corruption node was.

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While an island is corrupted there is also this strange dark filleter that gets applied while you are on that island. Making it quite dark and even strange to explore around the place. I even met my first enemies on this island.

I then did what any sane person could do not knowing what a corruption node looked like. I just went around trying to hit everything with a pickaxe. At one point I made the incorrect guess that perhaps I had to clear all the mushrooms that kept popping when I hit them since they looked corrupted.

removing the corruption.jpg

I then ran across this thing. After seeing what I could or could not damage it. I realized I could hit the two ball things at the base of this plant. Once they exploded it would drop down and open a ball I could attack in the middle.

After so many hits it would close back up. I would then have to defeat some adds that would spawn before repeating the process till it was destroyed.


Once it was destroyed this island looked so much better. I ended up running back to a spot that had water and a stone that I could learn a recipe from. I could now make a leaf bed. I however did not care to do so since I wanted to explore other islands for a while.

Some islands I would go explore would have multiple corruption nods that would need to be destroyed before returning the island to normal. They were not always above around either. Sometimes I had to find a cave network and go exploring through it just to find the node. Which I rather enjoyed doing.

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Many islands had nothing wrong with them. I could land, explore, and possibly loot a new item or recipe. Once I felt I was done with an island I'd move on to the next one.

Then there would be islands with issues other than having a corruption node. The game hinted that some kind of special book needed to be crafted. Since I have yet to find any kind of recipe for a book restoring those kinds of islands for now will just have to be a mystery. I was having too much fun going around exploring anyway.

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Even more so when I found a cave to explore. On this one island, I ended up finding salt crystals. It seems like some islands have a crafting ingredient on them for you to discover and bring back home that you don’t have on your home island. Giving you a reason to go out and explore.


The nights in this game while on a corrupted island can get quite dark and spooky. Giving it a vibe that I was not expecting from the kind of gameplay I was expecting. After exploring the island, I failed to find the corruption node on the surface. Thankfully I found a cave network by pure dumb luck and defeating it.

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Perhaps the thing that impressed me the most was finding a dial with a map on it. Now since it is just a demo, I could only hope all the other regions of the map are already created. As this would be a decent-sized map.

You can already see in the little tile I'm in. I’ve discovered about a dozen or so floating islands. I can only assume they are color-coded with which islands I've cured or already been on.

Final Thoughts


While I had quite a lot of fun exploring around in this game. It felt like a little more polish was required before it should have been put on Next Fest. The animation from running around to attacking felt a bit off. Attacking creatures sometimes causes issues finding me if I could use the terrain in a way to my advantage.

I dare say if this game removed the combat systems and replaced them with puzzles needing to cure corrupted islands. Along with the current exploration, crafting, and building already in the game. That would be something I'd be down for. As it stands, this game left me feeling a bit “meh” and I just don’t care for the current state it is in to want to keep playing after the demo.

Other Content


Screenshots were taken and content was written by @Enjar about Aloft. This was during the Steam Next demo.