Game On: “The Flame in the Flood” requires much planning, quick thinking
Over the last few years, Kickstarter has been a very popular way for people to solicit funding to get their projects made. There have been several games to come from this new method. “The Flame in the Flood” was a game that was kickstarted and created by Molasses Flood which is made up of ex Bioshock, Halo and Rock Band creators. “The Flame in the Flood” is very different than the other games made by its creators because it’s more of a survival adventure game.
There have been many survival games recently but none that require you to plan as much and think as quickly, because of the challenge level and the fact that you aren’t alone. You have a dog companion that you are responsible for.
“The Flame in the Flood” is very difficult and you will die very often but if you are willing to learn from your mistakes you will eventually make it though and the feeling of that is very satisfying. One of the things that makes it so difficult is the environment is procedurally generated meaning that every time you die the world is different the next time you load your game.
You play as a traveler named Scout, accompanied by her faithful dog Aesop. They travel down a river through the wilderness of America after a great flood that wiped out civilization. You use a raft to travel down river but in order to survive you must scavenge for food and supplies along the way. The graphics and art style is beautiful; the graphics look hand painted and are colorful. Even though it is procedurally generated there is a lot of details in the environment and plenty of diversity in things you can find. As you travel there are many threats to your safety, so be on the look out for dangers such as snakes, wolves and bears.
Unfortunately there isn’t really any combat so running is one of your only options. If you have the skills and material you can make traps which you can also use to stop predators, but resources are hard to come by so you will have to run a lot. If you do manage to kill an animal you will earn enough meat to keep you fed for a little while but you run the risk of dying in the process.
A good portion of the game is traveling down river on your raft which takes some fast reflexes as you navigate the currents. The river has many twists and turns and if you take too much damage from rocks your raft will break and you die instantly from drowning. Not only do you have to find food and other resources, you have to find things to repair and upgrade your raft or else you won’t survive the trip. These travel sections are very different than the moment-to-moment survival and exploration sections. These are more like mini games that test your reflexes. This juxtaposition in game play keeps things interesting because at one moment you are racing down the river and other times you are just strolling looking for resources.
Overall I enjoyed “The Flame in the Flood” the graphics are gorgeous and the gameplay is difficult but rewarding. If you have played a survival game before you will like this game but the fast- moving action sections and getting killed by animals can get a little frustrating sometimes. If you pay attention and learn from your mistakes you can survive and progress which feels very rewarding when you make it to the end of your journey and find out the mystery of what caused the flood.
Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail him at [email protected]
System: Xbox One, PC ESRB
Rating: T for Teen: Violence, Blood
Developer: The Molasses Flood