The Flood – Game Review
Once in a while, new developers are experimenting with their limits, and The Flood by Ondrej Angelovic is one of those titles. While everyone pours hours and hours into a game, wanting to experience the storyline or the intricate gameplay mechanics, sometimes we need to experience a game that allows us to stand still.
This may sound strange, but there is and there is not a storyline embedded in this game. It purely depends on how you experience it. On one hand, the storyline is that a flood has occurred, and you must find your way through the debris, witnessing fallen trees and ruined structures. It’s a gentle reminder that nature is stronger than we think.
On the other hand, the narrative experience is one of life itself. “Simply enjoy the journey and when you lose sight of your path, listen for the destination in your heart.” It’s a reminder that we, as humans, can lose sight of ourselves, of our path that we had set out. And it’s a reminder to ourselves that it’s not about the path, but about the journey and what matters is the destination. In a way, this is a reminder to discover one’s true self, a journey of self-discovery.
The graphic design is done in simple polygons, creating various objects such as trees, rocks, pipelines and even wooden structures. The edges are not rounded nicely as we would expect from modern games, but they are kept harsh, as you would expect from polygons. The colour usage is simple with a variation of green and brown tones with various darker and lighter shades.
The music score is where this short game truly excels. The song, Flow of Things, is created by Jozef Sarissky. It perfectly sets the tone, starting at a slower rate and slowly building up to a stronger atmosphere. While it is hard to describe, it is a great song for self-discovery and emotional rollercoasters, depicting highs and lows.
The Flood is a short narrative-driven experience and immediately upon starting the game tells you that you need WASD to play. Although you can change the input when starting up the game, this input does not save. For those that happen to play with Azerty keyboards, this can be a pain in the ass since we would need to manually adjust our keyboard language to Qwerty. I wish games would keep this in mind, but alas. Sadly, the game doesn’t have controller support either.
There isn’t a real gameplay experience because of the narrative-driven nature of the game. All you have to do is steer the boat left and right while enjoying the scenery caused by a flood. There are occasions where you can get stuck with the boat, for instance on beams in the water, but it’s easy to navigate yourself away from these by using the reverse. It’s a simply enjoy and relax the ride sort of gameplay.
Short games like The Flood are often forgotten by the majority of gamers as these type of games are experiments. However, these experiments are great to experience at least once, and I would recommend it. The design in its entirety is superb to get you those five minutes away from everything. While it will not give you the pleasure of feeling accomplishments, it will give you the chance to stand still. Something we should all do once in a while.