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The Flame in the Flood Preview

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“A rogue-lite river journey through the backwaters of a forgotten post-social America. Forage, craft and evade predators”

The Flame in the Flood caught my attention a few months ago. A kickstarter from the art director of the Bioshock series, as well as a team of veterans from Bioshock, Halo and Guitar Hero. Not a bad set of experienced creatives to have on an indie project.

The gorgeous art style, the graphics, as well as the soundtrack – I was sold on the trailer alone. It did the job of catching my attention pretty well.

I’ve recently been enjoying my rogue-lite/rogue-a-like games, as well as playing the early access game ‘The Long Dark’, another survival game.

The Flame in the Flood combines these 2 genres very well; the art style and soundtrack suit it brilliantly. Survival games can seem daunting at first. The style of The Flame in the Flood just takes the edge off for me, makes it a tad more approachable.

As it stands when I played, TFITF is early access and only has “endless” mode available, with story mode coming soon.

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You find yourself stranded in the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on your back, luckily for you a dog dragging a backpack finds you and you’re off on your way to survival! Or most likely certain death.

Your canine companion helps with finding resources around the various islands (think back to Fable helpful mutt). He means well, but barking at everything and even the gear you discard gets a bit annoying, but who can stay mad? He’s trying to help……. I think?!

Survival comes in the form of watching over your character’s vital hunger, thirst, health, warmth and fatigue. In order to keep everything ticking over you forage for whatever you can and use various resources and materials to craft weapons, traps, food and medicine. Sounds easy enough? As each play through is procedurally generated, you might not find what you need straight away. My first run through I tried standing toe to toe with a boar (Don’t!) and came off worse for wear with broken bones and lacerations. As I couldn’t find anything for a splint or to help heal my lacerations they got infected and left untreated you do indeed die.

My second run through I came across the resources to not only snare a boar but made myself a splint, then I died of exhaustion, after all of that!

 

My current playthrough is turning out much better and I’m even managing to plan for the worst. I’ve got more penicillin than a chemist and I’m jerking rabbit and boar like a pro! It’s safe to say the difficulty does start increasing the further downs the procedurally generated river you go, twisting and turning along the currents. I say difficulty; I mean more things trying to kill you.

Wolves start appearing in packs and I’ve started having to weigh up risks of scavenging against taking on more than one predator. There are other aspects throughout the game to start considering, your raft being the other point of your focus. You can dock up at repair islands and make repairs or improvements to your raft. Parts of my play through seem to be scarce and few between, bits and pieces can be crafted but nothing made quite just yet.

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For a preview in an early state, The Flame in the Flood looks great, the art style is gorgeous and music/soundtrack is fantastic, it suits each environment and period of either dread, fear, fight or travel well. I’m really looking forward to what the story mode brings. As it stands right now, it doesn’t have the longevity on its own, but I’ll use the endless mode for a taster of what else is to come.

TFITF would suit any gamer, it’s easy to get to grips with after a few deaths, you learn a bit more as you go and form solutions from where you went wrong, like a good rogue-lite game should.

If you’re not a fan of survival games this shouldn’t put you off, the crafting elements, visuals and soundtrack are great. It’s genuinely harrowing in parts, whether you’re crawling with a broken leg after getting away from a wolf or being thrown about on your raft.

To my surprise (given its early access release) I have experienced no bugs. The Flame in the Flood is well worth checking and I’m really looking forward to coming back to this one as it updates and nears full release. As it is, it’s unusual, it’s beautiful and oozes creativity.

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