The Flame in the Flood

If you can handle the wild river - and the odd bug - there's plenty to love in this heartfelt survival game.

The Flame in the Flood will soak onto PS4 with exclusive extras

UPDATE 5/1/17: PlayStation 4 owners will be able to play The Flame in the Flood on 17th January.

This new Complete Edition will, as detailed below, include a new director's commentary and other extras. Here's a fresh new trailer to celebrate:

ORIGINAL STORY 2/12/16: Survival adventure The Flame in the Flood will launch for PlayStation 4 in January via a Complete Edition with exclusive extras.

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The Eurogamer Podcast - Superhot, Devil Daggers and The Flame in the Flood

Also: discover Christian Donlan's favourite meme!

Hello! It's time for another episode of Eurogamer's every-other-weekly video games podcast. I couldn't find anyone in the office that had been playing Far Cry Primal, so this week's all about brilliant indie games instead. Listen, I hear you. It's not my fault I work with a bunch of hipsters.

The Flame in the Flood review

Learning the river used to be a big deal. It's most of what a pilot did, I think, although pilot may be the wrong word in a trade that had a lot of idiosyncratic terminologies. Regardless: you learned the river, and a lot of what you learned about was underwater and invisible. With lines and weights and poles, the riverboat crew came to understand every inch of the stuff that lay beneath the surface - branches they could snag themselves on, rocks that would be their undoing or that might snarl up the currents in problematic ways. The river was always changing, too: every few months, you had to learn it all over again. The river was alive, and you had to remember that it was alive, because it could kill you using all of its hidden tricks and arcana.

I love the river in The Flame in the Flood, a pretty survivalist rogue-lite from a start-up filled with the typical industry luminaries. But I can see why others might not be so keen. On forums and in comments sections, the same things come up over and over. The river is brutal, and the raft you use to navigate it doesn't control very well - at least not before a few upgrades. Yet this is a survival game at heart, and things that don't work very well are to be expected.

The Flame in the Flood is a fairly traditional survival game on land, as it happens: scavenge and craft your way from weakness to fleeting strength as you explore this ragged chunk of downhome, post-apocalyptic, post-Katrina Americana that's delivered in watery greys and greens with sudden bursts of orange or throbbing blues. The levee has not held and the stuff of humanity has turned to rust and rot. Manage a handful of problems, covering hunger, thirst, temperature and the need for sleep, and fight off wild animals who are as spindly-limbed and desperate as you are, cartoonish and angular and not to be messed with. But the spars of land you explore are fairly small, and they're scattered. They're scattered along the river, and the river is a whole other beast.

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I'm as bored as everyone else is when it comes to the old games are like x debate. Games are like books or movies? Hmm. Games are like music? In some ways. Games are like poetry, games are like architecture - all of these connections are interesting and shed a certain light on a specific aspect of what games can be, but they aren't the whole story. How could they be? Games are like games, and the thrill of them is that no other category captures the same strange richness and blend of ideas.

Ex-BioShock devs reveal survival sim The Flame in the Flood

Think Huckleberry Finn and Beasts of the Southern Wild meets Don't Starve.

It's a big day for ex-BioShock developers as earlier we saw a team of former Irrational staffers reveal The Black Glove and now we've got a few of their prior comrades launching a Kickstarter for the dreary survival sim The Flame in the Flood.