I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I’m not the biggest fan of survival based games, where you need to manage your characters various statuses like hunger, thirst, fatigue, etc. Don’t get me wrong here, there’s nothing wrong with these style of games like Don’t Starve, but for whatever reason, they just don’t really click with me.
When I heard about The Flame and the Flood, I was initially interested, not for the actual gameplay mind you, but the fact that the developer, The Molasses Flood, was formed by a number of former Irrational Games employees after that studio kind of fell apart. I’m a massive fan of the Shock franchise, so naturally, I’m pretty interested with what these former Irrational folks are up to.
Last week, their first game, the aforementioned Flame in the Flood, launched and I decided to give it a go. For those who don’t know, The Flame in the Flood is about a girl named Scout and a dog named Aesop. The two live in a world that has been ravaged by some sort of disaster where the waters have risen, leaving behind island like landmasses in its wake. It’s up to the player to keep Scout alive, managing her hunger, thirst, warmth, and fatigue as you not only travel down a river but explore landmasses for supplies as well. Along with being a rogue-like, where the map is changed each time you play, the game features a permadeath mechanic so not managing those meters is a good way to see a Game Over screen.
While the game does feature a robust crafting system, typical for these types of games, a big draw here comes in the form of Scout’s raft. Players will use the raft to navigate down a body of water, moving to various locations to hunt for supplies, craft new items, find food, and upgrade the raft itself. Interestingly enough, the raft is affected by the water’s current, so the player will have to make choices as to which way to float down the rift as not all locations can be reached in a single playthrough. It’s an interesting mechanic and one that I find helps break up the typical exploration aspect to these games.
Pictures are worth a thousand words as they, so I put together this handy video if you want to actually see the game in motion rather than picture what it’s like in your head. I haven’t played it nearly enough as I would have liked, but from what I have played, it’s a lot of fun and in my opinion it’s worth checking out. If you’re a fan of survival style games, then it’s a no brainer.