What I have learned from survival games, especially indie ones, is that it is NEVER going to be easy. The same can definitely be said for The Flame In The Flood. If it isn’t wolves that kill you, it’ll be drowning or starving or even getting an infected scratch from some thorns somewhere. If anyone found this game a piece of cake, then I worship you.
The Flame In The Flood is a survival indie game that started on Kickstarter; as a continuous fan of small-time games that set out to bring out a different aspect of what it means to be a gamer, I was more than excited to play it.
First off, the aesthetics are leaning more to the cartoon side of art style, which I personally enjoy a lot because it makes the game seem like it takes itself less seriously. This is not to say that this isn’t a serious storyline or such, it just means to me that The Flame In The Flood was developed with heart. The way the game plays out, you spend little time on one patch of land as you travel by raft. The rapids and the gorgeous scenery when you finally come to calm, open water are breathtaking. Seriously, a big thumbs up to the artists here.
The character, Scout, has a rather peculiar face, but the unrealism in this simple and small aspect is another addition to what makes this game odd and gives off a very Don’t Starve vibe; a lot of the sounds and art themes reflect it, but in a 3D form instead of a flat plain…plus it doesn’t look as morbid and frightening to even sit on the start screen.
When it comes to the actual mechanics of the game, it’s pretty straight forward. You click around or use the WASD Keys to move around. A little dog follows you carrying his very own backpack, which is ridiculously useful if you’re someone like me who hordes everything they see along the way. You can click around in the inventory and make traps or food or clean water etc, and it’s just simple enough so that anyone can enjoy it in that sense. However, I will say that those rapids are the bane of my life on this game, and I often die from drowning eventually.
Gameplay is the key in TFITF, as this is what drives you through the game. There is very little story so it is up to the player to kind of create their own story as they venture through the wilderness and those horrible rapids. I adore games where you can craft and have to feed to survive, it creates a realistic experience that just drags you deeper into it and makes you feel so much more apart of this adventure.
Now, the soundtrack. The soundtrack is to die for! I honestly get an uplift whenever I hear one of the songs start playing, and there are actual lyrics! There are lyrics to the songs, which you don’t often see, especially in Indie Games. The Artist is called Chuck Ragan and the music is very folksy and gives you that drive to push through the rapids and the harsh wilderness. It’s seriously amazing!
Coming to the end, it’s time for the little things here and there that I was a little unhappy with. For one, I’m a lover of customisation. No customisation to the character, or at least some alterations to her clothes when you change, is really lacking. I feel that these sandbox games do require some form of it if there is no storyline the character must follow as they are, but for the company size and effort they put in otherwise, I don’t hold it against the game too much. Another thing I noticed were the occasional sound errors, when sometimes a sound would stick and keep repeating, sometimes very annoyingly as it does not allow music or other sound effects to occur after it, and I ended up having to shut the game down. Hopefully that bug will be solved in the future.
Overall, Fire In The Flood is a beautifully constructed piece of art that I have enjoyed playing, and I have played over 20 hrs and still have only managed to survive for 10 days at a time. I recommend this to any gamer who adores challenge and cute art styles as well as the beautiful sandbox survival which has to be one of my favourite genres.
Have you played The Flame In The Flood yet? What are your experiences and how long did you survive?