Survival in post-societal America is no joke. While iconic environments like the Louisiana Bayou and the Florida Everglades may have been the inspiration for The Flame in the Flood’s unique look and feel, you won’t see much from our day and age in the game. Instead, only the remnants of a long-dead society remain for Scout – The Flame in the Flood’s heroine – to pick through as she makes her way down the river toward her ultimate goal. What that goal is, how she reaches it, and the things she manages to scrounge, craft, and fight off on the way are what the game is all about.
At an indeterminate point in the future, Scout and her dog, Aesop, are fleeing from a deluge, heading down a procedurally generated river toward some ineffable salvation that she’s been told lies at its end. Hunger, cold, and dangerous predators will hound Scout and Aesop throughout, and it’s up to the player – and a bit of luck, since each playthrough is randomly seeded – to see the pair through their journey. The pair will find items, from bits of herbs to old tools, and will need to use them to craft all sorts of higher-level items for survival. Food and warmth are critical, too… and as Scout moves down the river, she’ll need to avoid dangerous obstacles and rapids on her raft.
Another danger is afflictions: Snake bites, wounds, illness, hypothermia, all of these can affect Scout to varying degrees of acuteness, so it’s critical that you come up with the means to either protect or heal her. The crafting system is deep and multifaceted – there are lots of ways to skin a cat – but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to take risks and get lucky to get the stuff you need.
The Flame in the Flood, like many procedurally generated games, is challenging. But it’s a beautiful game to look at (and to listen to), with a mesmerizing, almost campfire-story feel to its aesthetic, and a real sense of desperation when things get tough. The good news is that, even should Scout bite the proverbial bullet, her dog Aesop will respawn at the beginning with the last high-level item he had with him, so you don’t start each journey over completely from square one.
Thanks to some help from Kickstarter backers, The Flame in the Flood will include even more content than was originally slated, including a customizable raft. Combine the rich level of content with deep survival gameplay, massive replayability, and an ensorcelling aesthetic, and you have a recipe for a must-buy indie title in The Flame in the Flood, coming to Xbox One later this year via ID@Xbox.