The Flame in the Flood

The Flame in the Flood’s post-disaster journey begins on February 24th

Boy, videogames sure do want out of the narrow, crate-filled corridors of their youth, nowadays! First-person hiking simulator Firewatch has been receiving critical praise all week, in no small part because of its beautiful renditions of the American Northwest. Now The Flame in the Flood, a game about a little girl surviving a post-disaster America, is also striking out for the wilderness with a release date: it’ll be out on February 24th for Windows, Mac, and Xbox One. But it isn’t emotional hardship behind Scout, the young protagonist of The Flame in the Flood; it’s torrential rains, which will be…

Road in Maine

Overland envisions Edward Hopper’s America as an altogether filthier place

America as depicted in the work of the American realist painter Edward Hopper is almost unbearably quaint. The majority of his paintings and prints involve remarkably calm, perhaps lonely, people leading blissfully mundane existences in vintage diners, full service gas stations, and excessively tidy drawing rooms. It is easy on the eye, but you can’t help but despise these privileged, perfectly normal human beings who had nothing better to do with their time but sit gazing out of windows, halfway nude, at skylines and crap. Thankfully then, Finji is introducing these quiet, placid Americans of our national heritage to the…


Before continues to take shape as the prettiest prehistorical survival game

Cavemen games seem to be the next big thing, a natural evolution of the survival genre. Now that the post-apocalypse is becoming a little tired, it makes sense to reach way back to pre-civilization for something fresh. Big titles like Far Cry Primal and WiLD may be the ones people are talking about, but the first recent example that comes to my mind is Before. Before had its biggest public debut during The Game Awards last year, but its creators over at Facepunch Studios (behind Garry’s Mod and Rust) have been posting updates here and there on the game’s progress…


Kôna invites you to investigate an abandoned town in 1970s Canada

The most striking thing about the new trailer for Kôna, an upcoming surreal mystery game from Parabole, is its narration. It has this really odd, stilted intonation that I can’t quite place; the boom and quirk of old timey radio announcer meets the uncanny poetry of The Residents. Whatever it is, I like it. It sets such a strange tone for the rest of the video, which is just as good: as we learn from our dramatic narrator, you play as a Korean War veteran named Carl Faubert who ventures into the Northern Canadian wilderness to investigate a bout of…


Overland turns the post-apocalyptic road trip into a series of delicate dioramas

Overland has the look of something you could feasibly prod. It comes across as a series of cartoon-coated dioramas that are made to be admired up close. This is no accident. As designer Adam Saltsman explains in a new video about Overland, by having “clear, obvious visuals composed on a single screen,” what is usually an inaccessible genre—squad-based tactics in this case—is made “available to a new wider audience without sacrificing depth or challenge.” The idea is to help a group of people survive a hellish road trip across a ravaged America. The most obvious threat are the sound-sensitive beasts…


The Long Dark’s latest update makes surviving in the wilderness more like home

It’s the little things that I value most in survival games—those small, but important details in the environment that let me make reasonable predictions based on my surroundings, or the ability to place items in the world so that I can actually feel settled in my makeshift home. The Long Dark, a first-person survival sim from Hinterland, is as committed to building out these minute aspects as much as they are the larger, more complex systems that make The Long Dark great. A new update from the team, called Desolation Point, gives equal priority to both, bringing a ton of…


Sharp Flint brings a cartoonish beauty to the ice age

It’s hard for me to say no to new survival games, but only because I haven’t found the perfect one yet. The Long Dark, with its lovely low-poly snowscapes and focus on enduring the harsh wilderness rather than zombies or other creatures, is the closest I’ve come to a favorite. But now there’s a new contender: Sharp Flint, by the suitably named EATMEAT Games. Sharp Flint is a paleolithic survival sim about hunting “titans of the ice age” like mammoths and megaloceros. Its earliest images from late last year depict a cold, colorless world with detailed, semi-realistic graphics, but it’s…


Prehistoric survival sim Before is showing off new screenshots

Before is yet another survival game, but unlike most of the post-apocalyptic zombie fests that dominate the genre now, Facepunch Studios has set their world in a time long before modern civilization even existed: the era of cave-dwellers and mammoths, grass huts and spears. The latest blog post outlines a few of the primary systems that will drive Before’s prehistoric simulations and provides a glimpse at some of these systems in action. It doesn’t seem like much is happening in the videos, but creator Bill Lowe assures that there’s “a lot going on behind the scenes.” There are also some…