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Have You Played... Flood?

Squiffy

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

If somebody were to remake Flood, as a spiritual successor or otherwise, and give it something of Spelunky’s feel, it might well end up being my game of the year.

Flood is one of the odder titles in Bullfrog’s back catalogue. It’s not all tycoon and god games in there, but even among the likes of Hi-Octane, Flood stands out as unexpected. It’s a platform game that simultaneously feels like it was twenty years ahead of its time (1990) and a few years behind the curve.

I think it’s so out of time and place because it’s a genuinely odd game. The player character, Quiffy, is a slimy, green quadruped who can stick to walls and ceilings. That makes the actual running and jumping that defines most platformers an afterthoughts. Instead, this is a game about navigating complex areas – sewers mostly – by crawling through pipes and hanging upside down to find a route to the next lever.

As if that wall-crawling weren’t gimmick enough, Flood also played with water, as the title suggests. Taps let forth a flow of water, which slowly filled the level. Quiffy can swim on the surface but can’t breathe underwater, so there’s a time limit. What’s neat is that the water has some basic physics. It doesn’t splash or spill properly, but it does fill up areas more or less rapidly depending how many streams are combining.

Flood probably isn’t a very good game but I loved it. And I’d love to see a remake with the fluid physics, and interactions between fluid types, of Pixeljunk Shooter or Vessel, and perhaps with the procedural chaos of Spelunky.

BRING BACK FLOOD

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Adam Smith

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