Adrift is a tower defense/dual-stick shooter hybrid, where players select a ship from one of three classes and team up to defend their colony from all manner of hazards that emerge from the depths of space.

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Adrift is sorely lacking tutorials in-game, sorry! But don't worry you can learn how to play here.

Posted by RileytheBrown on Oct 11th, 2013
Basic Other.

The first time you fire up Adrift you may find yourself asking "How the hell do I even play this?" That's our fault, we haven't had the time to put tutorials into the prototype yet, sorry! Don't worry though, in this article we'll be teaching you how to play for real.

The game can be played with either a gamepad or a keyboard and mouse, so we'll go over both.

NOTE: There is currently no dragging in the game so when you are equipping parts in the shop, simply click on the part you want, then click on the destination slot.

For those unfamiliar with dual-stick shooters, the right stick simply has to be pressed in a direction and the ship will fire accordingly. Similarly the stick can be held in that direction and the ship will continuously fire until the stick is released.

NOTE: The controller is only usable once in-game, so on the main menu and lobby you will have to use a keyboard and mouse.

Enemy spawning will not start on it's own, this is to allow you to familiarize yourself with the game a little bit before starting. When you a ready just press F2 and the waves will start.

What You See:

1 - Minimap (White is the main base, Blue is your ship, Green is your teammates, and Red is enemies)
2 - Cargo Capacity
3 - Population Meter
4 - Money
5 - Experience Bar
6 - Control Prompts
7 - Ability Bar
8 - Your Base!

Your main objective when playing Adrift is to protect the colony in the center. The colony has two components that you have to keep track of so that it can survive, health and population.

Health is very straightforward, if it reaches zero the colony blows up and you lose. However the colony can sustain some damage and you are able to repair it back to full health as long as you have the money for it.

Population is a little more complicated, every time the colony takes damage, the population will go down.  You can’t recover lost population, and once it reaches zero you’ll lose, so try to avoid population loss as much as possible.

Scrap is the main form of currency in Adrift and it is dropped by all enemies that you destroy and can be picked up by flying through it.


Each ship has a certain cargo capacity of scrap that it can haul before it has to return to the colony and deliver it.  Every time a ship delivers scrap it is split evenly between all the players, this scrap can then be used to buy new ship parts, turrets, and to pay for repairs.

In our demo, you win if you are able to survive for 10 rounds and defeat the boss.  When you defeat the boss the game will fade to static and you’ll be returned to the main menu screen.

Known Issues

  • Adrift currently only guarantees an unbroken UI in fullscreen mode and in windowed mode with resolutions smaller than your monitor (yeah it’s weird).
  • Networked multiplayer is working, but not finalized.  Non-host players have been known to experience some lag.
  • If a player drops from the game, their ship remains as an indestructible object.
  • If a player drops, then tries to reconnect mid-game, some really crazy stuff is going to happen so it’s best to avoid this.
  • The lobby does not currently support gamepads, you’ll have to select you ship, color, and name using a mouse and keyboard, but once in game you can use the gamepad.
  • The lobby is placeholder, sometimes it can be hard to see if “Ready” is checked.  If the game will not start, make sure everyone is readied.
  • Controls are defaulted to the gamepad, to use a mouse and keyboard, fire once with LMB before opening any menus.  To switch back to a gamepad just fire a shot with the right stick.
  • There is no way to quit the game currently, just hit Alt + F4 to exit.
  • On Mac, there can be an issue with the “launch” button being invisible, just switch between fullscreen and windowed mode to fix this (Ctrl + Cmd + F).
  • Enemies will not start spawning until the host presses F2.
  • Enemy waves can be separated by up to 45 seconds, and on occasion they will wait for the next wave before attacking, don’t worry if there is a long downtime between waves.

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