Parents' Guide to

Floodland

By Dwayne Jenkins, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Interesting strategic city builder has unfortunate hitches.

Game Windows , Mac 2022
Floodland Cover

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It's rare when a game set in a post-apocalyptic world contains a message of creating a brighter future over hopelessness and chaos. Floodland is unique as a city builder that prioritizes an overarching story, featuring events that will shake up the foundation of your well-kept society and force you to make difficult decisions. The four clans you can choose from all have their own beliefs and goals that won't align with all your choices. One clan may take offense if you want to build recreational facilities for your people, as they believe that hard work alone makes for a good, productive society, creating division within your ranks. Enjoy the time you have focusing on the micromanagement of resources, because once you begin taking in people from other clans, things get much more difficult. Oddly enough, one of the game's best and worst features is its decision-making system.

Floodland doesn't really allow for mistakes. It's entirely possible for players to prevent themselves from making progress because they can't get enough research points. These are mandatory to create and build anything of substance, and accumulate slowly if you have the correct resources. If not, your progress grinds to a halt as your society crumbles, which costs you everything. Once you make enough progress and gather enough people, you can introduce laws to solidify your society as humanity's beacon of hope ... in theory. But laws, rather than adding intrigue and complexity, exist only to slow the game to a crawl, making gameplay hectic to the point of becoming overwhelming. It also doesn't help that in trying to distinguish one clan from the next, the story fails to define any specific characters with real goals. Floodland has a lot of good ideas -- some of which it executes well enough -- but while it could offer something new to fans of city builders and strategy games, it's certainly an experience that doesn't quite hit the highs of others like it.

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