Humanity faces extinction after climate change makes large tracts of land unlivable. As one of the remaining surviving clans, you must slowly rebuild civilization from the ground up. Taking control as the leader, you will start re-developing technologies to allow mankind to flourish once more. As you begin to expand, you must establish relationships with other survivors and keep everyone happy enough to lead humanity back into civilization.
Floodland has a detailed tutorial that properly guides you on each action you need to take, ensuring that you know where to go when you rebuild civilization. The ability to fast forward time prevents actions from taking too long, allowing you to move past menial tasks and focus on the reconstruction effort. Unfortunately, your survival is dependent on Old World relics, and a lack of supply can lead to unwinnable situations that require a full restart.
Floodland Demo is currently available on PC.
Story – Rebuilding Humanity One Step at a Time
Floodland starts with the generic post-apocalyptic survival situation. Climate change rapidly drove down humanity’s numbers, and there aren’t many survivors remaining. As the leader of a surviving group of humans, you must start rebuilding humanity from the ground up. It will be an arduous task, but humanity faces extinction without your intervention.
The story isn’t remarkable or unique in any way. It does a great job of remaining in the background while gameplay takes a bigger focus. Games such as Frostpunk already focus on humanity’s process to rebuild itself. While the journey to restoring humanity isn’t easy, it’s not nearly as difficult as one might expect. Other games have covered humanity’s expansion, even games such as Paragon Pioneers. The stakes might look high, but they don’t break any additional ground in terms of storytelling. You help humanity rebuild, and surpass the various obstacles in your way.
There will be challenges, but you will overcome them or your efforts will lead to humanity’s extinction. Your advisors never stop reminding you that time is of the essence and humanity needs help. You never switch from this mindset; you always do your best even though in-game humanity can be one of your biggest opponents.
The tutorial does a fantastic job of establishing the story, and your leader character will express thoughts on how things used to be. Other than references to how the world used to be, you won’t have a strong narrative other than survival. Floodland is a post-apocalyptic survival colony simulator, and it doesn’t do anything to distract you from the simulator part. While there are going to be interactions with leaders, you aren’t able to access those conversations just yet.
Your story progression requires Old World relics for research, and there currently aren’t enough to see what the game has to offer. Fortunately, the story never gets in the way of gameplay. It remains in the background at all times, letting the gameplay remind you that humanity’s resurgence is a tall order.
Gameplay – Making Survivors Perform Tasks
Like other colony simulators, Floodland has you controlling groups of survivors to perform tasks. Your survivors are highly skilled, and take on many basic tasks without a university education. It’s not hard to build a proper society if everyone aligns towards your actions. The real difficulty emerges when your survivors are performing jobs and more tasks arrive. Multitasking isn’t a skill the survivors know, and you have to invest in their future education.
The tutorial eases you into this process, showing you knowledge on how you rebuild civilization. You learn how your survivors gather valuable supplies and build structures. You always know how many survivors are contributing to a task, or which tasks are inactive due to a lack of resources. Searching for piles of materials helps you build up a valuable supply.
Floodland wants to comfort you as you play. You always get a reminder of the previous tutorial’s goal, and you learn how to allocate survivors to tasks. It’s a survival colony simulator, and you will have a good idea about what is necessary to revive humanity.
One thing Floodland does well is disagreements you will have with other survivor clans. No one feels safe, and that factors into your decision making. Do you pacify other enemies for short term safety, or buy valuable time for your own reputation? The line is grey and while you may have an idea of what you would do, reality is often different from imagination.
Your observation skills will make you pay attention as you constantly search for resources and how your actions affect world leaders right now. Vigilance is necessary for survival colony games, especially when you expect the protagonists to take another option. Some colonists will also demonstrate great skill if raw strength isn’t enough to resolve a situation.
It’s a pity the game works itself into an unwinnable situation as you progress, because you won’t immediately know it’s not possible. All you can think is that you might have done something wrong, when in fact it’s not a feature that was fully fleshed out.
Audio & Visuals – Peaceful Rebuilding Music
The visuals in Floodland never fail to help you recollect that these areas were affected by something terrible. It’s not a terrible scene to look at, but you feel inspired to stay the course and help the survivors. They have lost everything and have to build from the ground up. The visuals never make you forget that everyone’s lives are in your hands.
The soundtrack is also soothing and relaxing. There are no intense conflicts just yet, and everyone is working towards the same goals. Discontent appears if needs aren’t being sufficiently met, but you have plenty of time to resolve the situation. Otherwise, you are mostly peacefully maintaining everyone’s existence before you move ahead.
Floodland was reviewed on Steam with a code provided by Vile Monarch.