The Pitch: A wilderness survival game where a young woman and her faithful canine companion navigate a hostile river in post-apocalyptic America. Basically Don't Starve meets Toobin'.

Current Status: Working towards Steam Early Access, targeting late summer

Links: Homepage

You may not be familiar with indie studio The Molasses Flood, but you probably know the studios they came from - many of their number are "refugees" of Harmonix, Bungie, and Irrational. Their first game is a procedurally generated "rogue-lite" called The Flame in the Flood.

Chad (TMF's environment artist) showed us an early build at SxSW Gaming. In the demo, we got to take Scout and Aesop (her dog) on a short jaunt down the river. The on-land segments were very action-RPGesque, and I found myself fighting off hostile wildlife and collecting bits of nature and raiding abandoned shacks for supplies.

After exploring the area, Aesop and Scout jumped on their raft and headed down the river. The rapids tried to push us onto rocks, which injured Scout. During EBongo's run, Scout had a particularly nasty rainy river rapids experience and ended up with a broken leg, causing her to become severely dehydrated.

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As I mentioned above, The Flame in the Flood is a "rogue-lite" - there's permadeath, but items kept in Aesop's (limited) inventory can be saved between attempts.

While I had Chad's attention at the booth, I asked him a few questions about the procedurally generated environments. He mentioned that they were debating how to handle how the environment changes as the game progresses. Right now, all of the props are used all of the time, but they were considering perhaps having different sections of the game look distinct - for instance, a more forested area or a more rocky area as you move along the river.

The art style really stuck with me after playing this game. Especially when the storm hit, the way the game handled lightning was really striking (no pun intended...). Scout herself is animated beautifully, as is Aesop.

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Bottom Line: The Flame in the Flood is a beautiful, original wasteland survival game with RPG and crafting elements. Anyone who is a fan of survival games would do well to keep it in mind!

Indie HYPE is my series on interesting indie titles that might be flying under your radar. If you're an indie fan, browse the HYPEchives or check out our indie coverage on WOTS!