Lots of titles are added in Steam’s game list every day and more specifically, a lot of indie ones. It looks like there’s a trend though lately with survival games being the main focus of companies and it makes it quite interesting since you are able to see how each developer approaches the subject of survival and through what theme he/she does that.
Flame in the Flood is a survival game, made by The Molasses Flood, where the player has control of a girl that is trying to survive in a flooded world. In order to make that happen, along with her canine companion, she embarks on a journey going from island to island in an attempt to find supplies while at the same time trying to avoid all kinds of dangers.
The game is still in early access so for now we can only check out its roguelike mode, the “Endless Survival.” In this mode, the player is trying to survive for as long as possible. The final game will have a campaign mode and I suppose that it would have a save function as well. Even if it doesn’t though, I wouldn’t be surprised since one of the stronger points of the game is the feeling of the survival journey it gives the player. Something that you can’t have if you play the game over divided gaming sessions.
Regarding the mechanics of the game, they are quite simple. I say that as a compliment since I’ve grown tired of seeing overly complicated games that ask of you to learn 30 different schematics and recipes in order to be able to cope with the game’s challenges. Flame in the Flood has certain important factors that play a major role in the survival of our main character and it manages to showcase each of those in such a way that the player doesn’t feel lost due to too much information. There is a pretty good learning curve to the game and you can understand what’s going on after only 5 minutes of having played the game.
Throughout each playthrough, you gather various items that you can combine in order to create other items that you might need on your journey. You can craft for example, bandages, in case you get wounded, or herbal tea, in case you catch a cold and want to get better faster. The game is also procedurally generated so the world is different in each playthrough giving it a lot more replayability value.
The location the game takes place at is also quite important since you’ll quite often find yourself riding a raft on a downstream river on an attempt to get to the next island without hitting too many obstacles in the way. You can dock on various locations and go searching for more supplies.
The graphics of the game are made from sketches that coloured in a modern approach with an emphasis given on strong shadows in places where there is big light contrast. In all other cases, the characters blend nicely with the environment, the destroyed items lying around and the backgrounds that altogether create that reality where you think you are in a flooded world. The game was created via the use of the Unreal Engine 4.
The music is equally as good but I’m quite sure most people won’t notice it much. I felt as if the default settings of the game had the sound effects a bit too high but later, when it started raining in-game, I realized that despite the fact that the sound of rain was really loud, the game managed to give me that strong sense of loneliness and survival.
In my first playthrough, I managed to live for about 4 days, something that I later realized was quite hard, since my next playthroughs didn’t go just as good. Despite that, just like with any other good roguelike game, you die and learn.
You could lose in various ways, be it that you get dehydrated or you start bleeding out. I personally lost after I got attacked by a wild boar. Sad but true…
Flame in the Flood made me look forward to playing a survival game.
The game is already available and in early access on Steam (Windows, Mac and Linux) and it costs 19,99 euro. Other than that, it will also be available on Xbox One.
For now, the company has the game still in Early Access and is waiting for the community’s feedback in order to improve it and prepare it for the full release which is coming in the early months of 2016.
-Konstantinos “Kelfecil” Christakis