With the many recent additions to the Switch’s indie library, I quickly came to realize that one genre that was lacking any representation was the survival genre — that was until I found The Flame in the Flood. The Switch version is a port of a beloved Steam game that brings many new and old concepts of the survival genre together in order to create an experience that can be both calming and haunting.
The Flame in the Flood is all about survival. There are two modes to play on: campaign, which will let you utilize checkpoints in order to make your life easier; and endless, which as the name suggests, revolves around you attempting to survive for the longest amount of time. The Flame in the Flood is one of the first survival rogue-likes that I have played and I quickly came to both appreciate and dread its rogue elements.
As I mentioned earlier, The Flame in the Flood adds rogue elements to the survival genre, which can be both fun or simply frustrating. At times, The Flame in the Flood‘s rogue elements — like randomly generated worlds and items — can be quite beautiful and give the player reason to play again and again; however, this title emphasizes one aspect that many rogue-like games know quite well: difficulty.
You will find yourself dying multiple times as you travel from island to island and for the first few runs you will not even begin to comprehend how to prevent it. Things such as random illnesses or starving to death after sleeping by a fire will be common scenarios throughout your play-through and this in all honesty can become quite frustrating at first.
This does not mean that the game’s difficulty isn’t manageable, because it definitely is. After several runs, resource types and priorities such as gathering flint upon the start of every run will become natural priorities; that is another beauty of The Flame in the Flood: once you become good at it, each run feels truly satisfying.
There would be no reason to undergo The Flame in the Flood‘s many challenges if it wasn’t for how unique the game is. From the beautiful cartoony graphics, the amazing soundtrack, to the unique river mechanic, this game shines and ticks all the boxes for what makes a great survival game.
The river mechanic in specific was my favorite aspect to the game. It directs your boat and creates many dangerous and charming moments, all accompanied by the beautifully crafted soundtrack. You can upgrade your boat as well, giving you another reason to gather materials.
System reviewed on: Nintendo Switch.
Disclaimer: The reviewer purchased a copy of The Flame in the Flood for this The Flame in the Flood review.