This will be different than the usual blog posts.  If you know me then you know that I'm an avid gamer.  A game that I'm enjoying a lot these days is "The Flame in the Flood" for the Nintendo Switch. I wrote a review on it last week and I thought I would share. 

Review: 

Originally released in February 24, 2016, “The Flame in the Flood” returns to the spotlight on October 12, 2017 for the Nintendo Switch. The game is a clever twist on the post-apocalyptic survival genre, and one that requires you to continually craft and explore in order to survive the desolate and flooded environment. If you enjoy it’s unique playstyle, The Flame in the Flood has the potential to delight and entertain its players.

You play as a female protagonist with her companion dog. Like any survival game, the goal is to survive for as long as possible while everything in the world tries to kill you. Progress is made by floating down a river on your ramshackle raft. Bumping into obstacles and landmarks damages your raft, but thankfully salvation comes at the hands of new areas to dock and explore. As you uncover new areas, players discover ingredients and materials for crafting weapons, food, and protection from the elements. Once an area has been sufficiently explored, it’s back to the raft and continuing down the river. Raft, explore, craft, and back to raft. It’s a simple premise but is complicated in execution. 

Wild animals can injure and break bones. Ant bites and poison ivy require treatment before they fester into deadly diseases. Rain forces you to look for shelter before your body temperature drops, extinguishing any campfires or torches you were relying on too. Dangerous world aside, your hunger, thirst, warmth, and tiredness are monitored at the bottom of the screen, each one constantly diminishing and requiring attention to stave off death. 

In my first playthrough, hunger killed me. Too busy exploring and trying to upgrade my raft, I succumbed to a basic need. On my second playthrough I made it further down the river, but an encounter with a wild pig and three vicious lacerations later, my wounds festered and became my demise. Armed with knowledge through my past follies, my third attempt was much more effective. I hydrated with clean water. I hunted rabbits and crafted warm clothes to survive. I met lost characters in the world, whose charming dialogue often ended with more supplies. I grew braver and explored new towns, and crafted new recipes – and then was viciously destroyed by my folly of wandering into a pack of wolves. 

It’s a hardcore game but one that brings joy in overcoming the difficulty of the world. For those who find frustration in the loss of progress and having to start over, then this game isn’t for you. The Binding of Issac and Don’t Starve come to mind as similar types of survival games, where the thrill of the game comes from starting up a new “run” and seeing how far you can get this time. The Flame in the Flood isn’t without its bugs and quirks, sometimes ending in frustration at the loss of progress. But at a price of $19.99, the depth and enjoyment that can be had in this refreshing post-apocalyptic survival game is worth testing your abilities on. 

4/5

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the week :) 

 

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