The Complete Edition includes various gameplay enhancements and a Director’s Commentary mode.
Full disclosure. I have zero survival skills. If I were to be put in a situation where I had to gather resources and stay alive it would be game over.
The Flame in the Flood is a rouge lite procedural generation survival game. You play as Scout and by your side is your dog Aesop. Very little story is given to you. Your purpose is to survive as long as possible.
When I first heard about the game I skimmed through the general premise. Assuming that there was more of a linear style to it. Beginning middle and end. It clicked in once I woke up near a fire in the game. I got my first objective, gathered a few items and hopped on my raft to get moving. While floating through the upstream I noticed a few waypoints pop up in the distance. I couldn’t decide which one to hit so I went to the nearest one. I arrived on another island with further resources and a few wild animals who didn’t take kindly to my presence. Being the nut that I am I tried to attack the animal but was met with a vicious attack leaving me severely injured. I got what I needed and left the island post haste. On route to the next destination I passed one of the waypoints. It hit my then that I can’t go back. I can’t back track. The river flows one way only. It all started to hit me the type of game this way. Every decision I made had to be on the fly. Every decision was crucial to my survival. True fear sunk in, something unlike I’ve never felt in a game.
Part of surviving in The Flame in the Flood is what you would do in a real life scenario. You need to eat, drink and sleep to ensure you always have the energy to keep on going. Your raft, when damaged needs to be repaired. You are not a soldier, you are not a fighter by any means. If your life is in danger by a wild animal you need to figure out a way to survive the encounter. You can’t bring out a machine gun or attack with a sword. With the game being procedurally generated no play-through will be the same. Just because you saw something on a specific island before does not mean it will be there again.
In regards to the inventory system you are limited to 12 slots. Once that fills up you can pack a few things on your dog but not too much. Managing your inventory is a challenge on its own. Throughout your travels you will gather plenty of items to help stay alive but you will quickly run out of space and have to make the tough decision on what to keep and what to discard. What you get rid of might be the exact thing you need to survive throughout the night.
Visually the game presents a unique style. Somewhat reminds me of mix between a painting and a stop motion movie. It’s truly a treat to look at. Soundtrack is hands down something that would play in your head if you were in this position. It was arranged by Chuck Ragan featuring The Camaraderie, The Fearless Kin and other special guests. Its a unique blend of suspense with exploration/on the road again type of tunes. Overall audio & video on this game are just standout. If you can play this with a good set of headphones I strongly recommend it.
As with all games reviewed on the Nintendo Switch I confidently say that this is where The Flame in the Flood stands out the most. Since the game is over once you die you’ll be playing multiple playthroughs and making tons of mistakes in the process. Having this portable will allow you to just check out one island for a few minutes and dock your system before heading out for the day. The checkpoint/save system in the game is quite generous as well. Personally I’ve grown tired of rougelite and related games, however The Flame in the Flood is a cut above the rest. It truly feels like a survival game without going too far. It hits all the right beats with tight gameplay, amazing presentation and an endless mode. Regardless of the system you choose I highly recommend picking it up.