High Stakes is a series based on the weekly Game Burning Podcast, giving impressions about some of the games we discussed on the show.
The Flame in the Flood – PC; 19.99$
The Flame in the Flood is a survival adventure game in which you drift down a great flood that destroyed society, stop at some locations from time to time, collect and craft items, and overall try to survive as long as possible.
It is unique in it’s area progression mechanism in that you can only go down the direction of the flood- if you missed a location, you cannot go back upstream. It is lost, forever. In this, the game has a bit of rogue like elements in it, locations down the stream act like rooms in a great dungeon.
From time to time you encounter other survivors, and you are faced with the options of fulfilling their requests to collect more items are new crafting recipes. As a survival game, it does a great job making resources scarce, and make specific resources used in overlapping recipes- like alcohol, used to sanitize rags for bandages, but also to make torches, which is the main tool for fighting off wild animals before getting the abilities (or materials) to build traps.
The inability to face aggressive enemies – i.e. wild animals like boars and wolves – is in my opinion one of the main weaknesses of the game. Maybe you get access to weapons later on (from watching the trailer, I realize there is a bow in the game), but at the beginning of the game, it becomes annoying discovering a wild boar protecting a location. The game’s inventory system makes this issue even more problematic, since too often you’re required walking back and forth between your raft and a campfire to get the materials you need to heal yourself from a wolf attack and then constructing the trap to kill it.
The ailment system, on the other hand, is one of the game’s strong suits. You’ll get conditions such as ant bites, scratches from thorn bushes, cracked bones and so forth, each have a set of tools and items that you can use to fix. The game even has basic medicine recipes such as making penicillin from mold, or several types of herbal tea to kill parasites caused by eating uncooked meat. It is really the highlight of this adventure, in my opinions.
Overall, i enjoyed my time with The Flame in the Flood. It hits close to my sweet spot for survival games, having enough stuff to do and fiddle with, making the game feel full of substance. The music is amazing, especially the country/western-folk songs that play while you cruise on your raft. The aesthetics are striking, and i love their environment design- the only weak point there is the design for the main character, the looks outright ugly.
Bottom line: worth the price.