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Flotsam, the game about building a floating town out of garbage, is now on Steam

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Flotsam is a bit like Sim City meets Waterworld: You have to build a town and take care of its people, but you've got to do it on the water, using scrounged bits of floating crapola, and then sail your settlement across a sprawling world full of ruins, underwater cities, and great coral reefs brimming with life and garbage.

We described Flotsam last year as "part city sim and part survival game," because there's an element of Frostpunk in there too. Your city is a home, and its people must work to survive, doing jobs like fishing for food, scavenging for the flotsam required to expand the town, or collecting rainwater—because drinking seawater will kill you, you know. It doesn't look nearly as punishing as Frostpunk, though: Maintaining supplies will obviously take some effort but the environment doesn't appear to be actively working to annihilate all forms of life it encounters, which is a pretty big plus in the "not dying horribly" category. It even looks like it could be a fun place for a vacation. 

Flotsam went into Early Access release on Steam today, and the developers expect it will stay there for about a year while they flesh it out. "We want the full version of Flotsam to be a completely replayable experience, with an ever changing world, with new biomes to travel to, with more varied landmarks. Keeping player feedback in mind, the plan is to enrich this world with more ways of interacting with the different landmarks and their inhabitants. With multiple options of salvaging, scouting and traveling the world and ways of using resources," developer Pajama Llama wrote in the Early Access FAQ.

"We plan to have more guidance with game spanning quests, huge projects to craft, and extra stories about the flooded world. For example drifters, including the animals you rescued, might evolve to have more varied needs, quirks and abilities. Some might be unlocked as starting characters. We aim to add more buildings and boats, enabling you to face increased threats to your town."

Flotsam is currently available for ten percent off its regular $25/£20/€23 price, which is expected to go up by about 20 percent at full release.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.