I was getting thirsty and noticed that I had a fever. I needed to make some penicillin fast. So, I rowed with my remaining strength, but the truth was that it was the current which was carrying me as a combination of cold, infection and thirst had driven me close to fainting from exhaustion. I spotted a lit fire and steered by raft to the outcrop of a small Island, finally some hope at last where I could rest and regain some modicum of health.
As I tethered the rope Aesop my faithful dog got out first. I tried to hurry along the path, frantically looking for the fire, fearful of the glowing eyes I had spotted in the dark. I tried to sneak past them, but my greatest fear realized itself, and before I knew it, I was on the ground dying once again.
This is Flame in the Flood an Indie survival game by The Molasses Flood, which has assured me that my suspicions of not being able to survive for long in the wild were absolutely right. Another thing it assured me of is that if I was ever in a Zombie/post-apocalyptic thriller survivor of a series, I would be the one bet on against and would be the first one to go.
I have had a love hate relationship with survival games, with most of them being depressing. But, what caught my attention in the first place with this one was its outstanding down south excellently written soundtrack, which produces a mix of nostalgia, hope and of times gone by. This is beautifully complemented by an art style which is downright fantastic. It is beautiful and terrifying in equal measures.
I have seen Scout, the main protagonist, die too many times to care now. And although Aesop is faithful to the core, even carrying over the items in his backpack on every reboot, his barks can get a bit annoying at times. The deaths eventually phase out as the learning curve kicks in. You come to realize that the night time is the time of the wolves.
The crafting system is easy and can be done in your sleep, which gives the wrong impression that this game is easy: which it is not. There is a definite science to it all, which does get a bit shaky at times, like making penicillin from fungus. But, generally speaking the crafting element is well done. However, at the moment the whole experience is marred by a couple of bugs, which take away from an experience which could have been one of a kind.
You can either go with the campaign or the never ending other part. The campaign itself has two modes. The easy one which will make things easy by having checkpoints throughout the 10 regions and you will re-spawn. The other one will test your nerves as you die again and again and then decide that it would be easier to learn playing polo than to go back again.
The maps are procedurally generated, but there is always a hint of something deeper which makes you wonder, what happened here. Sadly, this hint is never fully realized as the game is all about the journey and though you may meet a couple of people who will tell you bits of the background story, most of it is just vague. Maybe they will release a proper background story later on. But, who knows.
Would I recommend this game to my peers? Yes, the art style and the soundtrack coupled with the core survival aspect of the game guarantees its place as a good survival game. But, after playing it, there is the feeling that it could have been better, as if you are robbed of a story, which by all rights should have been yours. This game can be purchased for $22 from G2A.com, and you can get discount on your purchase by using G2A discount code from Rebateszone..