Adrift tells the story of an astronaut who’s been marooned in space after her space station is torn to shreds by disaster. But “adrift” is also a fine descriptor for the game itself, which hovers between the narrative-centric style of Gone Home and Firewatch and a more mechanically dense and demanding experience those other games eschew.
If they sound like two incompatible ideas, I’m sorry to say that you’re not far off: Adrift’s mechanics often obscure or even actively detract from the story it attempts to tell. That often feels like the intent — Adrift is thematically chock full of this kind of discord: hope and horror, dazzle and dread. The end result is an unshakable experience — but one that never congeals into an excellent game.