The Flame In The Flood Review
The Flame In The Flood is another of those permadeath, crafting, survive-as-long-as-you-can type of games; a rougelike in other words. And while it uses all the regular mechanics in order to make you curse at the skies for dying too quick, it has its own charm embodied in the lively surroundings, charming music and emotional bond with the game’s main protagonist.
The world suffered from immense floods and civilization as we know it disappeared when water started to rise. In this realistically constructed post-apocalyptic world staying alive for another day is the main worry of all survivors of this near-future wasteland. The background setup is more real than you think, with today’s constant warnings about global warming and its potential consequences; it’s just a matter of time when all coastal regions dive under water, making The Flame In The Flood a sort of word of caution, or better to say a warning in the form of video game about the fate our society might experience in the near future.
But, that’s something for other’s to worry about, let us talk about the actual game. You start your journey poorly equipped, without anything left in your inventory. With only your faithful dog by the side. The first region (or better to say, a tutorial area) will show you the game’s basic mechanics and prepare you for facing an unforgiving world of The Flame In The Flood. After leaving base camp, you’ll embark on a long journey, filled with danger, where even a simple rain can be your worst enemy, not to mention large animals which will be tough to run from and ever tougher to kill.
You play as a little girl stranded in the wild, with a sole purpose of surviving for as long as you can (in the case of sandbox game mode). If playing campaign there is the main quest line enabling you to finish the game. But, that’s going to be much tougher than you think.
Let we get one thing straight right on; the game is, like all other roguelikes out there, tough as nails. You’ll have to worry about many things that can mean the end of a journey. A constant focus is required from the player at all times. The butterfly effect is real here, one wrong move can have a massive impact. So a cautioned play style is essential if wanting to survive long enough to get to the next checkpoint. Yes, the game has checkpoints but they are loosely scattered around the world so don’t you think that having an autosave option will help you much; you’ll still be dying a lot, and reaching the next checkpoint will be as rewarding as finishing the game. There is a hardcore mode, bringing fewer supplies laying around and faster diminishing of stats.
When mentioning stats, you are responsible for four basic stats which must not reach zero. Hunger, thirst, temperature and rest gauges follow you all the time. It is important to take care of these since they all have to be relatively filled in order to stay healthy and be able to traverse hostile surroundings. The game basically has two gameplay elements. While on foot, you’ll search for supplies, battle animals, and crafting stuff. While on your raft you’ll sail down the river, trying to avoid obstacles, and reach ports. Farting part is especially tricky since you’ll start without any upgrade, left to the mercy of the stream; a single mistake can drive you off the course, making you hit every single obstacle, and if raft’s durability reaches zero, you’re done.
When equipped with a couple of upgrades, rafting will be much easier. So, make sure to upgrade the raft at every opportunity. It can be especially infuriating when you somehow pick up all of the supplies at one place, fill your stat meters only to drown in a matter of seconds after you go rafting. And rafting can’t be avoided; you’ll have to travel through the river in order of reaching new areas, so make sure to upgrade the raft as soon as an opportunity emerges.
There is plenty of crafting in The Flame In The Flood, you’ll build tools, food, weapons, traps, clothing, etc. Supplies are relatively easy to find, except if playing on hardcore difficulty. Some supplies can be used on their own. Others need to be combined with other items in order to build something, while some first need to be refined (crafted from basic ingredients found) in order to be able of using them. Animals can be pretty hard to avoid, and they are deadly, believe it. One wrong move and you’ll be suffering from bleeding, broken limbs, lack of energy, or something else as bad as those. When facing bears, wolves or boars, be very careful. If not having the tools needed to defeat them, just run.
If you have adequate traps in your inventory, you can kill them and get your hands on some meat and pelts. But, being hit just once will give you more problems to worry about. As you progress, more crafting diagrams will be unlocked. But since the game will get harder and harder the more you advance through the world, they won’t make you overpowered; instead, unlocking new diagrams is crucial to stay alive.
Your follower, a dog, can carry a couple of items, warn you about threats. But it won’t fight animals making it pretty useless if some wolf starts running at you. The game can get tedious after a while, especially if making some dumb decision which ultimately leads to your demise, but if being patient enough and playing smart, it can be finished. After you finish it, you can test your skills in sandbox mode, trying to survive as long as you can.
The graphics are beautiful, and the art style is unique, making The Flame In The Flood one pretty little game. You’ll often catch yourself just gazing at the river, or admiring the beautifully crafted surroundings. Soundtrack also is top-notch, calming you with southern melodies, putting some light on game’s gritty tone.
The Flame In The Flood is a proper survival simulator
It is a type of game that will punish wrong moves. That’ll not cater to the player. That’ll always make you feel like being one step away from facing a complete disaster. If you ever wondered how’s it feel to be stranded in the wild with only a couple of helpful items, and a goal of reaching back to civilization. The Flame In The Flood is for you. If you like roguelike games, The Flame In The Flood is for you. But, if you like to feel powerful, to strike your foes down with just one swing, to have all the hints needed to progress always at your disposal, it’s better to skip The Flame In The Flood, since it will only get your frustrated. For all others, The Flame In The Flood shouldn’t be missed. And be sure to check out our guide for the game.