The Flame in the Flood
Game review on
Sharna Barker / Tue 7th Nov 2017
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OVERVIEW The Flame in the Flood is a survival game that will test both your skills and craftiness as you explore various environs. You'll feel stranded and alone at times, but with your trusty companion by your side, surviving from day-to-day doesn't seem so bad.
Scout and her dog, Aesop, must journey through a forgotten post-societal America ravaged by an apocalyptic flood. They raft their way down a river, scavenging for food, water, and other supplies to stay alive.
The game doesn't delve too deep into backstory, instead leaving you to your own devices as you explore the harsh environment. This works in the game's favour, with a focus on survival rather than getting distracted by a complicated plot.
The gameplay is the real star of this game. As you travel down river, you'll find camps, churches, farms, and other places to scrounge for items that are vital for your survival. You can craft items from what you find to help you better survive the elements and any injuries you might sustain. Everything can be cured, and as long as you know what you're looking for, you'll do a decent job of surviving.
There is an aspect of RNG to the game so that you'll never find the same items in the spot twice. This definitely builds on the survival aspect of the game and while it may feel unfair at times, it forces you to think on your feet.
Death is somewhat permanent in this game. When you die you either start right back at the beginning, or you can choose to continue from a checkpoint if you reached one. Aesop also comes back with whatever he was carrying from your last run-through, which in a game like this one is a small mercy.
Nevertheless, you might find that you end up dying more often than not because of how easy it is. You could die of starvation or dehydration or drowning due to lack of food, water, or your raft being destroyed. You can also be attacked by wild animals while you're crafting items or reading something. Scaring the animals and running away is an option but if you're not careful, you'll end up falling victim to them instead.
Sleeping seems to the only time when you're truly safe, but hunger and hydration are still both concerns you need to be mindful of.
The Flame in the Flood has an interesting style and look, enhancing the character and tone of the game. When Scout is injured or sick, you'll definitely feel sympathetic just by looking at her.
The game looks and run smoothly in both tablet and docked mode on the Switch, due partly by the unique visual style of the game.
The music provides a nice accompaniment to the game and overall tone. It matches the theme that the rest of the game has going for it, with slight undertones of a Western. When you're sailing down the river the music is peaceful and quiet, becoming more upbeat when you enter a new area.
There are sections that don't have much or any background music but again, it just adds to the feel of the game, and the sense of isolation.
While The Flame in the Flood may have an aspect of RNG that will frustrate you at times, either when you're attacked or you just can't find enough food or water, it's still an enjoyable game to experience and play. The unique art style and the overall tone of the music will endear you to it and as you keep playing, you keep getting better and surviving longer.
Review copy provided by The Molasses Flood.