Game Info:

Flood: The Prequel
Developed by: God Inspired Games, Alkain Studios
Published by: God Inspired Games
Release date: June 8, 2018
Available on: Windows
Genre: RPG
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Number of players: Single player
Price: $5.99

Thank you God Inspired Games for sending us this game to review!

Flood: The Prequel claims combat, crafting, and story. True as this may be, Flood contains the barest form of each element. The combat is untuned and uninteresting; the crafting involves interacting with trees and bushes until they randomly grant the drop you need; and the story is poorly written. Broken quest triggers keep me from seeing the full extent of the game, so I don't know what might change later.

The title “Flood: The Prequel” evokes more mystery than the game indicated thereby. The main character, whose name and gender are picked by the player, is transported by an angel into the time just before the great Flood of Noah’s day. No purpose is given at first, but lip service is paid to the providence and wisdom of God. The past’s inhabitants treat the main character as a known villager and expect him or her to perform fetch quests. To wit, the player will collect flowers, rocks, and wood. A few fetch quests later, you might kill a mutated evil rat. The angel then pops up to announce that you were sent to deal with the malignant animal population. And there the story ends or, possibly, breaks (more on that below).

Flood: The Prequel

Strong Points: Short
Weak Points: Rote, luck-based gathering and crafting; Battles which are nearly impossible to lose, slowed down by a poorly-implemented Active Time Battle system; Stilted dialog; Broken or severely limited quest line
Moral Warnings: Animals are fought, either in self-defense or to level up

Rat and woodland animal slaying is accomplished by the old RPG method of entering a static battle screen and selecting the “Attack” command until something is dead. There are limited-use power attacks, special abilities, and recovery items, but there is no need for them. In the first battle of the flower-picking quest, I ran into a wolf, narrowly killed it, and promptly leveled past the point where any hostile creature could do any damage to me. Even the mutant rat went down in one hit after that.

In fairness to Flood, I should point out that these one-note battles are not turn-based. They’re worse. Turn-based battle systems are sometimes criticized for feeling too slow. Sometimes the slowness is offset by an Active Time Battle system. In ATB, every combatant has a bar that fills up over time and is depleted by taking actions. Faster entities might be able to act twice before the enemy can react. Decisions might have to be made on the fly, because the enemy could attack you as soon as their action bar fills. Implemented properly, ATB forces thinking on one’s feet while encouraging strategy. Otherwise, an ATB system can bore the player by forcing him to wait to perform the same action he performed ten seconds ago and ten seconds before that, essentially creating a turn-based system with forced delays. Such is Flood’s combat.

Item foraging and crafting is at least faster than combat. The player character interacts with trees, bushes, and rocks to pick up a randomized item. After several seconds, the tree or whatnot will be ripe for the picking of a different random item. Some items can be crafted into quest-essential collectibles or recovery items. This process is not fun, but it goes by quickly enough.

Flood: The Prequel
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 38%
Gameplay - 4/20
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 5/10
Stability - 2/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 94%
Violence - 7/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Graphically, the game is nothing special. The sound and music are forgettable. The art style is wholly uninspired pixels. Were it not for the dialog and name of the game, one might think that the ancient village is a frontier forest town from 1202 or 1708. I’ve avoided mentioning RPG Maker because that game development tool has produced incredible work in the past and it’s unfair to judge a game entirely by its development method. That said, Flood is built by RPG Maker with no flair, and it shows.

RPG Maker has not prevented stability problems. Flood has broken quest lines. Twice I’ve gotten stuck at the same point in the story, unable to interact with any quest-relevant characters. (I’m a bit disappointed, because I think one of them is Noah.) This end point came after 70 minutes on my first run and about 25 minutes on my second run. No amount of poking around the game world freed up a new line of dialog or a new fetch quest.

Out there is someone who has done something I never did and which you, probably, never did. That person put together a game and released it on Steam. Think of this like writing your novel—you know, the one you’ve had an idea about for years but have never sat down to actually write. The best and worst thing about Flood is that it is on Steam as a testament to someone’s determination to write their novel and as a testament to the shortcomings of that novel. I earnestly respect the person who has more drive than me regarding RPG Maker; with the same earnestness I advise you against playing Flood: The Prequel.