Flame In The Flood Nintendo Switch Review

Flame in the Flood

Flame in the Flood
7.2

Poken Tournament DX

7.2/10

Pros

  • Great, creepy art style
  • Keeps me coming back for one more journey down river
  • Satisfying when it all starts to come together

Cons

  • Frustratingly tight resource space
  • Randomness can make success have little to do with player skill

Rogue lites are having a huge swell in popularity at the moment.  Flame in the Flood takes the genre in an interesting direction.  Players control a young girl and her companion pooch down a procedurally generated river.  

The natural world is both your enemy and your ally in Flame in the Flood.  Players have to manage health, tiredness, hunger, thirst and warmth.  Your success in Flame in the Flood is largely down to how successfully you can keep all of these in check.  Injuries sustained have a dramatic impact on your ability to survive making looking after yourself your number one job.

To do this well you have to forage to collect resources that can then be crafted into helpful equipment.  Crafted items can do a lot to help you survive.  

  • Making food improves your hunger.  
  • Finding shelter can be used to alleviate tiredness.  
  • Water can be found and filtered (if you have crafted a filter) to ensure you don’t die of dehydration.  
  • Fires can be made and sustained to help with warmth.  
  • Injuries can be cured with a variety of different items depending on the nature of the injury.

The first few times I ran into an angry wild boar I suffered greatly, then I discovered I had the resources to create a split for myself and I was able to move forwards with my journey.

Gameplay is split into two distinctive parts.  One is river navigation as you attempt to steer your raft down stream in an attempt to find safe havens to collect resources.  The other is exploration on land to find resources and shelter.  

The river means that you are only ever moving in one direction, downstream.  After each death you are shown a map that gives you an indication of how far you have successfully travelled.  This provides context to the minute by minute trials and becomes a great way to encourage one more run to see if you can get that bit further downstream.

The Nintendo Switch is a perfect system to house Flame in the Flood.  It is an easy game to hop onto for 3 minutes but also lose an evening to.  

Flame in the Flood has an interesting art style that reminds me of the dark stop motion animated movie Coraline.  The protagonist has a misshapen face with huge dark eyes that create an eerie sense of dread from the outset.  Large crows frequently caw around areas of interest and can be frightened away with a shout.  Night effects, especially storms show off some really fantastic lighting effects.

Flame in the Flood is great, but has its flaws.  I found sometimes that the fixed camera made navigating some areas on land to be unnecessarily difficult and the random nature can be frustrating.  Flame in the Flood’s crafting requires players to collect a lot of different resources with very, very limited storage space.  The random nature of the resources can be very frustrating as certain items can be incredibly hard to find some runs but plentiful in others.  This may well be the nature of the game but does mean that your success can often be down to the random nature of the level design rather than your skill.

I’m sure I will keep coming back to Flame in the Flood.  I like its dark art style, the thrill of getting a little further and successfully overcoming a difficult situation.  It has its shortcomings but overall is a really decent little indie game.

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