The Flame In The Flood is the first game from The Molasses Flood, an indie team comprised of major industry talent. The studio boasts contributions to Halo, Bioshock and Guitar Hero, and the team have poured their skills and a successful Kickstarter campaign into The Flame In The Flood, a survival roguelite coming to Xbox One and Windows on February 24th, 2016.
Roguelites borrow elements from roguelikes, popularized recently by games like The Binding of Isaac and Rogue Legacy. Some of those elements include procedurally generated areas and permanent death mechanics — The Flame in the Flood features them both. In the game, you'll guide Scout and her canine companion, Aesop, on a survival journey downriver, in a forgotten post-societal America.
The Flame In The Flood favors wits and cunning for overcoming the game's brutal wilderness. You'll be scavenging for supplies, crafting traps, preparing food and seeking shelter from the elements, all while upgrading your equipment and the game's signature water raft.
As mentioned, the game takes place along a procedurally generated river, meaning that no two players will have an entirely identical experience. The game randomizes the locations you'll find, and even the river itself, as you fight to maintain Scout's health, hunger, thirst and body temperature — which slowly and painfully diminish over time. Beyond the game's hungry beasts, The Flame In The Flood can kill you in dozens of other ways. Every injury you take carries the risk of infection, having wet clothes can lead to hypothermia, ingesting untreated food can lead to parasites. Even lack of sleep can cost you dearly.
The videos detail just a few of the ways you can avoid danger while using the environment and its natural resources to aid your survival. Forage for crafting materials, scare beasts away with fire, create snares to capture game and lure wolves into spike traps. You'll have to master all of these skills and more if you're to discover what killed society, and ultimately survive.
If you're interested, I've been lucky enough to receive early access to The Flame In The Flood's Xbox One version, and gave some of my initial impressions on this week's episode of our #OneCast podcast. As someone who isn't typically a fan of either the survival or roguelite genres, so far, The Flame In The Flood has been an incredibly pleasant surprise. Perhaps 'pleasant' is the wrong word, considering The Flame In The Flood is a game where intestinal parasites can be just as dangerous as an angry grizzly bear.
Expect our review to land on February 24th, 2016, which also marks the full game's debut on Steam and Xbox One. If you can't wait until then and have a capable PC, The Flame in the Flood is available right now on Steam Early Access.