Captain your own flying island base in wind-powered crafting survival game Aloft's new co-op demo

The crafting survival genre is really going through a big second wave right now, and it's brought all sorts of wild new settings for us to explore, now including the tops of giant floating islands. Survival sandbox game Aloft brought a new trailer for its co-op demo to the PC Gaming Show today to share a look at building, fighting, and flying through the sky with friends.

It's all rather serene and majestic at first, with canvas sails erected on your grassy landscape, wooden docks for diving off of with your crafted glider, and a sailing ship-style captain's wheel for steering through the sky. Other than flying, you'll build windmills, pulley systems, and other contraptions to automate your path through the clouds and also cultivate crops and animals. 

(Image credit: Astrolabe Interactive)

Me personally? I'm all about those treehouse bases with rounded walls you can see in the trailer. Crafting games are usually about building wood cubes and I sure don't mind a little architectural novelty. Speaking of surprises though, I'm pretty sure that's some kind of big, stone sky whale there at the very end of the trailer. Can I live on top of the whale?

Unlike survival games with stationary buildings, choosing where to explore will have ramifications for your base in Aloft. "Fly into storms to increase your windmill power, fill your water reservoirs, and even use lightning to forge powerful tools," says Astrolabe Interactive. "Clouds and weather events can bring resources and riches but are also full of dangers, natural or otherwise."

Those unnatural dangers are the fungal corruption disrupting the world's ecosystem. You can catch quite a few of the gnarly little suckers in the trailer as players fight off aggressive mushroom fellas with legs while exploring through fog-shrouded and spore-infested forests.

Alongside the new trailer Astrolabe Interactive is introducing a new version of its demo. I jumped in to try just a bit of its earlier demo last month, putting together my first small wood shack (as is tradition) on the bright and grassy island I spawned on. This new version of the demo allows co-op with friends and also brings interface and visual improvements that Astrolabe has been working on.

You can try that demo over on Steam now and wishlist Aloft until it launches later this year.

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.