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The Flame In The Flood

A rogue-lite river journey through the backwaters of a forgotten post-societal America. Forage, craft, evade predators. From the Art Director of BioShock and a team of veterans of the BioShock, Halo, Guitar Hero and Rock Band series comes The Flame in the Flood. Travel by foot and by raft down a procedurally-generated river as you scrounge for resources, craft tools, remedy afflictions, evade the vicious wildlife, and most importantly, stay ahead of the coming rains.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

The Flame in the Flood is a survival crafting game in which you go down a river looking for resources (food, items to improve your weapons, etc) and try to survive the elements and wild beasts.
The graphic style and atmosphere is remarkable, and I loved the soundtrack.
However, despite not being a very long game (around 7-10 hours), I found it quite repetitive.
In any case, it's a good option if you like games of this style.
✪✯✪✯✪✯✪ 6.3 / 10 ✪✯✪✯✪✯✪

Review from Steam

The Flame in the Flood is a pretty average survival game that does a lot well, but fails to stand out from others in the genre. The game's look, feel, and sounds are all charming and do a great job of creating a compelling post-apocalyptic setting. Contrary to other reviews, I turned off the game's soundtrack and found that it vastly improved my experience.
While the Flame in the Flood's gameplay is enjoyable, there are definitely a few glaring weaknesses. There are dozens of items to craft and upgrade throughout the campaign, but I had crafted almost every item by the game's midpoint and at no point was I really desperate for supplies. It quickly became advantageous to just bypass as many landings as possible as there was little I needed to reach the endgame. Regardless, the game's biggest weakness lies in its repetitiveness. While repetition is pretty common in survival and roguelike games, every landing in the Flame in the Flood quickly feels the same. The layouts may vary and the loot may differ, but nearly every landing looks the same as the last. Despite its imperfections, I'm glad I played the Flame in the Flood and would recommend it, but it's one of those titles that I likely won't be revisiting.
+ Excellent art style
+ Great atmosphere and sound
+ Excellent premise
+ Ability to upgrade tools and equipment
+ Nice, simple UI
+ Includes an endless mode
- Very repetitive
- Frustrating storage system
- Camera angle can be difficult at times
- Performance issues
- Clunky combat
- Low replayability

Review from Steam

Its a good game! The two biggest reasons people seem to hate the game is either it is buggy (hasnt happened to me) or is hard.
And yeah, it is hard, but hard in the way all survival games are. Just hoard health items and anything edible, use your jars in the rain and seek shelter asap, and just leave the island if you see active wolves running around. I only had trouble in one section of the game where my raft was at 10% HP and it was all rapids, so I kept drowning, but otherwise nothing too rage-inducing.
Need help for region 7 and the relevant campaign quest? craft a torch, sprint straight down the middle of the map so the wolves follow you but dont attack because of the fire. Stop right before the bear and run around that area a bit. If you do it right, the bear should start attacking the wolves, leaving his den so that you can read the note on the left machine with enough time. Either have a second torch for the run back, or get lucky that the wolves are dead/still pre-occupied with the bear that nothing attacks you

Review from Steam

Took me 14h to finish my first campaign. Starting out is the hardest but as you learn to keep certain things stocked and how crafting and dangers work you quickly advance through the regions.
The game has a handful of invisible checkpoints every now and then allowing you to continue after death without too much lost progress.
Stylistically I love the vibe of the game. A kind of lonely western feel. And the mechanics of the game remind me a lot of FTL, though not quite as deep.

Review from Steam

Expect to die. A lot. But also expect to be obsessed with making it to the end or keep going to see how far you can make it. The soundtrack to this game is as amazing as the game is, and the story is well-crafted. I've replayed this game multiple times, both on Switch and PC, and every time is enjoyable.

Review from Steam

I rather regret sleeping on this one. I bought it a while ago and simply forgot about it. While looking for something to play from my library, I decided to give it a chance. I'm glad I did.
Flame is probably the most comparable to Don't Starve on a superficial level, as the player gathers needed things along a flooded river path in a post civilization scenario. The game consists of stop offs with random resources for your journey, where you maintain your food, water, thermal insulation levels, etc. Unlike Don't Starve, it's not a sandbox, but a linear path and you're not trying to build your own little space, but simply survive the journey to wherever exactly you're going. Indeed, I had little idea where the story was going- there is a plot, but it's very generalized and feels like your destinations are mcguffins.
Scout, the protagonist, is a cute if strangely designed backwoods heroine with a visual style that reminds me of Picasso's cubism interests. She is accompanied by a loyal dog named Aesop, who helps her find resources along the way and warns of danger. There are very few speaking characters to encounter and almost none of them have any real importance to anything going on. Beyond that, you occasionally find a quilt that tells a brief story of someone who lived in the area before the flood, but that's mainly just flavor text. Your journey is very isolated to Scout's day to day. By the second half of the game, Scout has almost no communication with anyone anywhere. I understood why, but I found this to be disappointing. Scout's journey is a little too repetitive, as once you get to region 6, you've seen basically everything. I would have appreciated more NPCs for color commentary.
Typically, I find most survival games with crafting systems to be obtuse and tedious. I'm never interested in learning what eldritch combination of junk is required to upcycle something into some doo-hickey. It's rarely ever fun, imo. Flame does an okay job with it, outside of an overly limited inventory system and occasional need for a workshop to assemble something. I feel like if you don't like heavy crafting systems, Flame is fine. I played around 2 short sessions to get a feel for things and it wasn't hard to pick up, although the sub-menu can get annoying to keep diving back into.
Flame forces you to think tactically. Scout can't fight at all (with one less than potent and costly exception), but she can assemble traps to kill the predators roaming the woods with, assuming you were lucky/able to bring along the resources to make said traps. Because resources are sparing, you need to pick what stop offs you're going to hunt animals at. Still, sometimes animals will attack each other, saving you the trouble if you're fortunate (unless it's a bear fighting something else... GTFO of there immediately, it will not end well for you!). One such strategy that I found useful was when the snakes begin showing up. I was able to lure boars and wolves alike towards them, which went a long way to saving valuable gear.
As for what I mentioned before, Scout can eventually use a bow. Outside of bear hunting, this weapon is buggy at best. It frequently needs to be coaxed to show its weird aiming reticle and it's not accurate at all. Arrows are very expensive to make and you don't get to re-use them.
Musically, this game is on point. I loved the John Denver-ish backwoods ballads that would pop up during some river sequences. Very professional sounding. All other times, there's either silence or vague musical tones in the background.
One has to mention the rafting. I'm mixed on this one. Riding the rapids and dodging rocks was usually kind of fun, but even when you get your rudder installed, the raft handles like a drunk shopping cart. There's weird interactions where Scout's boat just won't turn right, probably due to how the currents are angled in a spot, so occasionally I'd smash unintentionally just trying to turn Scout's raft around but the game kept fighting it. Another time, she got stuck at the base of some rough water and got locked in place for almost a minute. The boat was a bit too stubborn to control well.
Speaking of controls, I ran into a weird bug at times where Scout would just start running in a single direction and nothing would stop her short of restarting. No idea why. I think they had some issues on non-context (click x to pick something up) actions with the controls. Aside from the raft, it's very noticeable that the bow does not control well at all either. Otherwise, Scout moves well enough.
The thing is, this game lacks replayability. It's a long journey and from region 6 on, there's no more NPCs to meet, nothing new to do, and the individual regions get extremely long. Boredom can set in, especially in the second half, so I recommend just playing in modest spurts by that point. I dunno, I feel like the game is missing content or something by then.
Flame is a mixed bag, but I generally enjoyed the charming backwood design and simple crafting flow in the first half of the game. The second was getting closer to a dreary task, and sadly, I have little of positive note to say about it. After a while, once I had my cold weather gear going and the raft was built up, it was rarely worth stopping at camps and forests anymore. Flame is not outrageously difficult once you understand what the game expects you to do, but you can still get unlucky with predators along the way.
Flame needed polish and a little more content, but I generally liked my experience.

Review from Steam

A fantastic survival game which is challenging and relaxing at the same time. The best choice for lazy evenings!