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So yesterday I was messing around with The Flame in the Flood. It’s a survival rogue-like kind of game. Y’know, you start with nothing, gotta scavenge for materials to make tools, scavange for food, water, that kind of thing. If you die it’s game over. I of course neglected to take screen shots but here’s the launch trailer. Oh yeah, the soundtrack is pretty good, too.

Anyway the two main hooks here:

Hook 1: The world is mostly flooded. You (and your trusty dog companion) are on a raft being swept downstream. At the start you don’t have a lot of control but you do need to avoid collisions with rocks and stuff because your raft takes damage. If it gets destroyed you drown, game over. As you are swept along there will be little islands you can dock at…if you can fight the current to get to them. These are where you’ll scavange/craft/sleep, but each is pretty small and stuff doesn’t respawn. Once you clear out an island you get back on your raft, never to return.

There are different kinds of islands and each is marked by an icon so while the world is randomly generated, after a while you learn what tends to spawn on each kind of island which helps you choose where to go (it is often the case where you can see several but not be able to get to them all since you’re always being swept downstream). The twist to the hook is that the farther you go on the river, the more deadly the islands become. First there is nothing to harm you (other than lack of food/water, or the cold), then there’ll be wild boars that are easily avoided, then wolfs that will track and kill you. And that’s as far as I have gotten.

Hook #2. At the very start of the game you see this dog find a body and a backpack and he drags it (the backpack, not the body) to where you are camped. The dog (Aesop, his name is) will accompany you and he has his own backpack/inventory. Well surprise! When you die and the game starts over… it is the same dog! And whatever you left in his backpack in your previous life is in there, which helps you get a head start.

So some ‘runs’ you’ll just gather good stuff, put it in Aesop’s backpack and then suicide yourself to get a better start on your next run. And that’s about it. It’s not for everyone, but I’m liking it a lot in short sessions. It’s hard and I get frustrated after a few runs and need to take a break, but that’s the nature of rogue-likes.

I’m playing it on Game Pass/Xbox but it is also available on Steam and PS4. It’s an indy so pretty cheap…probably $15 or so when not on sale.



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