The Flame In The Flood

User Rating: 7 | The Flame in the Flood PC

The Flame In The Flood is a procedurally-generated survival game, set in a flooded Post-Apocalyptic America. You travel on your raft, stopping at the many islands to gather supplies to help you survive.

Your character is assisted by a dog who can carry a small amount of supplies and will help you seek them out. Your concerns are hunger, thirst, temperature and general health. You will need to find supplies, craft items and make sure you have enough food and water.

You will be juggling three inventories: your own, dogs and raft. Items on the raft can only be used in the dock area. Other reviewers seem to think the menu an inventory system is clunky, but I didn't have a problem with it.

When you travel on your raft, you must avoid obstacles since your raft can only take so much damage before capsizing. Your job is much harder when it comes to manoeuvring in the rapids, although some of these sections are avoidable. You can repair it at the Marinas as long as you have the supplies to do so, and perform upgrades to enhance its durability, control, or features. The raft is quite cumbersome but becomes easier to control when you get the Rudder upgrade.

In the main mode on the standard difficulty setting, if you die you can reload your progress at the start of an area. These areas take a while to get through especially if you stop off at many islands along the way. The game does autosave at each island if you want to stop playing.

The gameplay loop of: raft, explore; repeat sets it apart from other survival games, but it becomes tedious. The amount of islands is the problem. Supplies can be rather scarce, and it seemed an obvious idea to increase the amount of supplies but lower the number of islands. The areas feel too similar too. There's certain templates, so the Fishing area is always the same with only the plants switched out.

As you progress, you are introduced to new wildlife, from rabbits, boars, wolves then bears. Rabbits can be caught by snares or box traps, but the larger creatures need to be taken down with spear traps. Wolves can also be killed by feeding them tainted meat. Apart from rabbits, the animals pose a severe threat since your character cannot fight. Usually, if I saw a wolf, I fled and left the island. Wolves are difficult to kill and gather their pelts because they come in packs. You will probably only have a few tainted meats/traps; so can't defeat them all. If there's a single wolf, then it's a good opportunity to go for the kill to acquire the meat and pelt.

It's important to ensure you upgrade your clothes as you progress because it gets progressively colder with more chance of rain. You will end up dying of hypothermia if you don't deal with it.

I liked the art style but the main character's face does look quite ugly. The camera angle can mean some areas are obscured by foreground objects.

It took me a few attempts to get used to the gameplay mechanics. One cause of death for me were the stinging ants which are quite rare. If you don't treat the bite, it will turn into an infection. If you don't treat the infection, then it turns into Sepsis, which is deadly.

Overall, I think it is a decent game, but does seem a little simplistic/repetitive.