The Flame in the Flood Review
Indie games are great, and Xbox is one of the best at getting relevant games into the hands of the right people. Without the PR company and the ID@Xbox program, I may not have known The Flame in the Flood existed. That’s not the companies fault, it’s mine for not being aware. And I’m so damn glad I found out, because The Flame in the Flood might be one of the best sub 20.00$ games on the market. With cute graphics, and outstanding soundtrack, and lots of strategic appeal, The Flame in the Flood might be one of the best indie titles available on Xbox One this year and the developers as The Molasses Flood deserve 100% of the credit!
Survival games seem to be the hot genre right now, and as more and more companies pump them out, the market becomes diluted and at some point, the cream must rise to the top. The Flame in the Flood will rise to the top quickly because it is doing what most survival games don’t, or perhaps can’t, do. The Flame in the Flood is simple. So. Damn. Simple.
This is not a slight in anyway. The older I get, the more I value a more accessible game. Unlike a game like ARK where you need to worry about so many different factors – dinosaur health, taming, cooking, building, etc. – The Flame in the Flood is basic. Make sure you stay warm, sleep often, eat, and drink. That is about it. Sure, there is a pretty deep crafting system for bandages, food, weapons, traps, and clothing, but while deep and fairly expansive, it is so simple. The Flame in the Flood is accessible to a wide audience. Not only does it make the game more appealing to the masses, it will generate more revenue too.
The story is fairly simple, and without loads of dialogue, it might be hard for some to comprehend. Essentially, you are alone with a dog, stranded in a flooded region. Your only mode of transportation is an upgradeable raft, and if you are not careful moving through the rivers and rapids, you will crash. You will be required to keep yourself alive, fend of wild animals, upgrade and repair your raft, and more. If you die, it is game over.
The game offers to modes: a campaign mode with a set start and finish – the goal of the game is to make it through all 10 regions without dying, which will take you a LONG time – or an endless mode where you see how far you can get. The game works on two clocks/timers: you are tracked by the number of days you have traveled and the number of miles you have gone. My first experience? 2.1 miles, before being torn to bits by a wolf, escaping to my raft, but eventually dying between destinations.
You will find numerous locations to explore as you move down the river: farms, camps, forests, churches, and more, dot the banks and islands found throughout the game. Each area offers something different: farms, obviously, are stocked with food and water; churches provide guaranteed shelter, as do most camps. Knowing what you can find, and where, is incredibly valuable. You can never paddle back up the river, so if you have two locations near each other on opposite sides of the river, you will need to choose. You will only visit one.
If you are between major releases and really want something wildly addicting and insanely fun, then The Flame in the Flood is something you will want to pick up. This title will easily find its way into Indie Game of the Year contention, and it is well deserved. To be honest, I haven’t played a ‘smaller’ game this fun since Ori and the Blind Forest. And I think I like this equally as much, which is some of the highest praise I can offer. Good job The Molasses Flood on creating something so incredibly amazing, with so few low points!