Red In Tooth And Claw: The Flame In The Flood

The Flame in the Flood [official site], out Feb 24th, is a wilderness survival game with a difference. Several differences, actually. First of all, it doesn’t involve lots of first-person tree-punching and is more about isometric exploration than campfire crafting. And then there’s the setting – you’re in a drowned world, travelling by raft from one location to the next, searching for food, warmth and – just possibly – signs of life. Human life, that is. Because, as the trailer below shows, the wildlife is deadly.

These are terrible tips. The entire video is a stumbling from one disaster to the next and it ends with the player character reduced to a splatter of jam that would make Tom Savini frown.

The Flame in the Flood has been sailing through the wild river of Early Access for a while and it’s close to the gentle banks of a full release. February 24th is the date for that 1.0 launch and the bears you see in the video above are one of the major recent additions. Snakes too, along with some UI tweaks and the addition of “quests and river caches” to provide added purpose to your perambulations.

Marsh and Alec have both taken a look, several months apart. The main takeaway from those articles is that Alec hates being stuck on a raft in the middle of a raging river, and Marsh enjoys the experience because he feels as if he is conquering the very waters. Both agreed that more direction was needed.

“A campaign mode is promised to come soon, and this may well provide the greater narrative purpose I feel the game is missing. Right now, the Early Access build is all about the endless mode – a roguelike score-attack in which you attempt to beat previous records of survival and distance travelled.”

So said Marsh. I’m not sure how that campaign works just yet but we’ll find out soon enough. One thing I do know – the brief time I’ve spent with The Flame in the Flood left me convinced it’s one of the most attractive games I’ve played in a good while. The music, the water, the rooftop shelters. It’s a gorgeous, broken world.


  1. Shiloh says:

    +1 to the music. Fantastic.

    I quite fancy this but will likely hold off for a while until there’s a bit more variety in the places you can visit. The earlier builds I’ve seen don’t offer much difference in the landings you can wash up on – hopefully they’ll add more distinct environments.

  2. Blackcompany says:

    I hope they nail the hunger, thirst and cold mechanics. They were so awfully balanced when the early beta released that I could not tolerate the game. Felt like being punished just for playing.

    Which is a shame. The game is lovely, and I loved the rafting and the concept. I do. But = and this is true of almost every survival game or mod I have ever played – they feel more punishing with their mechanics than fun or entertaining. Its like an inventory management sim that WANTS your character to starve to death, with a video game hidden somewhere in the background.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Guess what I am saying – besides, “Edit feature, I miss you” – is that I dont mind dying to a skill based challenge like the river or even hostile animals. But I do mind dying to cheap gimmicks and progress bars, and the latter are a problem in this game.

    • Jeremy says:

      I can’t speak directly to this game, but hunger and thirst mechanics can really break the survival feel of a game. If I need to eat 19 meals a day, and drink 48 gallons of water, just to top off my gauges, then the mechanic is off. Or worse, if I go to sleep, and wake up dying of hunger and thirst.. give me a break. Survival games would do much better to lower the daily needs, and dramatically lower the food / water availability.

  3. Kvart says:

    Fire attracts snakes? This is not what Indiana Jones once taught me!
    Anyways the game looks great. Not so sure how much I would enjoy it though, haven’t really been able to get into any survival games so far, even though something in me really wants to.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      I feel it should be camp-fires attract snakes, for the warmth. Having snakes swarm you just for having a torch lit seems a bit much. But then crows apparently attract wolves, so what do I know.

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        Kiwilolo says:

        Ravens attracting wolves is probably the closest to being realistic (well that and boars being mean). There is some evidence that ravens lead wolves to kills as wolf-killed carrion is a big part of a raven’s diet.

        It seems that ravens eat about 20% of what wolves kill (that’s probably why wolves live in packs and eat so much at one time, so ravens can’t take it all), but then again wolves don’t seem to mind ravens being about so there must be something good that the ravens do for them. Ravens like eating from wolf kills because they are very cautious about unknown food sources.

  4. Psychomorph says:

    My body is ready (for 30 meals a day every 5 minutes).

    A hail to survival game mechanics.

  5. Morgan Joylighter says:

    This has the sound designer from the original Bioshock (he’s also doing Tacoma!) and I can’t wait to hear what he’s done. I always felt that the sound design was what made Bioshock so immersive as much or more than any other singular aspect. The creaking and groaning of the pipes, the distant moans and footfalls of the Big Daddies…such an otherworldly and haunting sonic feast.

  6. MultiVaC says:

    It does look like the game has some potential and I’ll definitely check it out because of that, but to be honest they had me at “Chuck Ragan” and I’m looking forward to the soundtrack most of all.

  7. celticdr says:

    I miss Marsh…

  8. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    OOh. I was waiting for this one. Glad to see it’s not staying in Early Access Hell for years.