Flame in the Flood review for Switch

Game: Flame in the Flood complete edition
System: Switch
Developer: The Molasses Flood
Publisher: Curve Digital
Age Rating: Teen
Price: £14.99 | €14,99| $14.99
Release Date:  12 October 2017
(The game is also available on Steam)

Overall Feeling: I like it a Lot

Recently I saw the movie The Wild, with Reese Witherspoon. Have you seen it? It was one of those movies that I was preparing to watch while working on an article, but meanwhile it captivated me into looking with my full attention. In it, Cheryl goes to walk the Pacific Crest Trail all on her own to find answers about herself. 

That movie comes to mind when I started playing survival game Flame in the Flood. Although your protagonist called Scout will have a much tougher time.

It’s a game that challenges you to make the longest run in the wild. Not actually running, but navigating your raft through the wild stream, trying to get on land to find supplies as often as you can, and trying not to sink your raft. 

Post apocalypse 

One of the key features of the game is the way it sets the mood. This is a world where devastation has taken place, where remnants of society as we know it float next to you in the river. Where even a small decision can turn out to have a big impact causing you to die. Where scavengers can been on the river banks, red eyes following your every move. But it’s also a world where the sun comes up and shows you glorious vistas.

Flame in the Flood sunrise

Set in the South of America after it has all been flooded it’s a game that challenges how you manage your resources too. Trying to find what to keep and what to throw out, which cure or remedy to use against the various ailments you can contract. Knowing what to do when the creatures you meet treat you in a hostile way. And all the while, you are accompanied by the most wonderful country tunes in the background that really set the mood in a perfect way. 

Getting ready for your journey through the wild

When the game starts out, you find ominous surroundings: the crows are doing what they do best, crowing. And a dog is dragging a backpack away from a skeleton. And if that isn’t warning enough, there’s the sign next to the skeleton that says: Do not Idle

Flame in the Flood opening

Is this what the wild has in store for us?

There are several ways to play Flame in the Flood: You can play as a traveler, which is recommend for new players as it has several checkpoints and a normal abundance of supplies. Mind you, when you perish the supplies are gone, except for the ones you have store with dog Aesop and on the raft.

You can also choose to play as a  Survivalist: this means that if you perish, you won’t go back to one of the earlier checkpoints and you have to start over. There are fewer supplies available and you life stats diminish at an increased rate

The journey begins here

You start out in Camp Pinewood, learning the basics. The Dog called Aesop brings you the backpack and in turn, you find the working transistor radio in it. You decide to go and find the source of the radio signal with Aesop. A good campanion too, as he points out resources by barking that you might have otherwise have missed. 

The + gives you the basic instruction of what the game: survive the wild as long as possible. And in Camp Pinewood, you starting point, the game does a good job of guiding you through what you need to know. Be sure to check everything, as there might be valuable resources you need along the way. The most important one is the jar, as you need it to bring water with you. And put tea in as soon as you find dandelion. Or put gas in for your raft.

Flame in the Flood inventory

Here you also find your first Cache. It looks like a mailbox which contains notes with tasks to help you survive. Completing tasks lets you find helpful supplies as a reward. 

Row, row, row your boat…eh, raft

At the river, you embark your raft. That little clip always makes me smile, the way Aesop jumps on board, you throw your staff to him, which he deftly catches, and as soon as you untie from the dock, you’re off. Extra detail: on top of the staff they fixed a jar filled with fireflies…to light the way.

Flame in the Flood boarding raft

Up till now, the scene was set in darkness. But as soon as you float down the river the sun rises and bathes the landscape in yellow light. Really a beautiful landscape. Enough even to forget what’s floating in the river: old cars, dilapidated houses: what kind of disaster has struck here?

Flame in the Flood rafting

Navigating the raft isn’t easy, as the stream has a will of its own too.  You can paddle like crazy, and use X to make some last minute adjustments, but you have only part control over where you go. In the first run I missed lots of landing points, and there is no turning back. After I have died and gone back several times I’m more skilled, but danger is all around: bumping into obstacles damages the raft and there’s only so much damage it can take before you sink and drown. Once you get the proper materials and schematics you can repair the raft at repair stations and even exchange it.

Looting the place to find materials

The campsite and landing docks you come across are all different. Sometimes you can find shelter in an old church, or in a rusted bus. You want to make sure you pick up all supplies you find, as you might not know where you’ll need them. Every building and crate has to be inspected and looted, taking mouldy lumps and rags with you as well. (Used to make penicillin and bandages)


The best sites have a fire going, it’s one of the most important things in the game: sitting by the fire lets you do different thing then when you walk around. For instance, you can make specific  recipes that need heat. Using a filter you have crafted you can distill the water you scoped up with your jar from the river. Drinking it like this is not an option as it’s strongly polluted. 

A good thing too that eventually you learn recipes for things to defend yourself with, like a bow and arrow, a jar with poisonous gas, a torch etc. Because meeting the wild boar is no fun, he’s killed me more then once already. 

The places and campsites have names like Marissa’s Magical Meadow, or Fox Hollow. But despite the nice sounding names they all have one thing in common: everything is derelict and vacated. Pretty soon you will find out why, when you meet some of the very few survivors. Pretty creepy!

Flame in the Flood survivors


Quick thinking, management skills and loving exploration are key in this game. Not a lot of text, challenging gameplay but beautiful graphics. The music is ace, and joins in in setting the mood. A sense of loss, sometimes of hope, sometimes of danger. It’s made by Alt-Country rocker Chuck Ragan featuring The Camaraderie.

Flame in the Flood collapse

The loading times are long and I sometimes feel the game is too harsh. Even with the checkpoints I have seen Camp Pinewood so many time, starting over yet again. Because yes, you can return to your last save, but if you have made a tiny mistake before the checkpoint it might all be in vain anyway. 

As the raft is difficult to manage I’ve often been annoyed at missing yet another landing place that might have been key in my survival, but that might be the essence of the game: survival challenges you in many ways.

I like the game a lot, and was surprised that this survival type of game would be my cup of tea. 

i like it alot
I like it a lot!



    1. Could be! It’s been out for a while already. Playing it in Japanese won’t be much of a problem, though you’d have to look up the instructions of what the info in Camp Pinewood shows you elsewhere. Not much text otherwise!

  1. I love how you brought a cup of tea into your conclusion; I’ll have to try and do something similar to promote coffee. 🙂

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