The single-player game for Flexible Survival deals with a lone survivor, trying to remain alive and sane as the infection ravages through the city. The infection has not yet fully taken hold. In most cases, enemies are single monsters who have not yet formed into groups or factions. The player has limited supplies remaining in the bunker they start in and cannot afford to continue to await rescue. As such, they must venture out into the city to seek the means to survive until the military rescue arrives. The base game lasts for 30 days, broken up into 3-hour turns, making a total of 240 turns. This time can be increased based on player actions.
When they encounter creatures, players must fight, flee or submit to the creatures and face the consequences. Combat is done on a turn by turn basis, with the player selecting their option from the list, then the monster is given an opportunity to retaliate. If either drops to 0 hp or less, they lose the fight, often with a victory or defeat scene playing out. (Sexual) contact with an infected creature will often result in the player becoming infected with that strain as well. Generally, if a player is victorious in combat, they can avoid changes as their 'nanite strain' was proven stronger and would not seek to incorporate traits from a losing creature.
As mentioned, the player's hunger and thirst increase over time and this must be dealt with regularly to prevent a decrease in player morale and to prevent death by starvation or dehydration. The typical way to gather these supplies is to scavenge for them, though they can also be found while exploring or as rewards for performing tasks for NPCs.
Throughout the game are various items, several dropped by monsters, and others found around the chaotic city, which players may wish to use. Many creature items are infectious and should be used with caution. Weapons are scattered around the game for the player to equip for combat.
There are a variety of locations which players can find, but they will have to explore or hunt to find them. These locations may hold items of interest to the player as well as NPCs with whom the player can interact. Many NPCs provide quests and/or are willing to be amorous with the player. There are also pets to be found in the game, which can help the player in combat and often come with ending additions of their own. Locations often contain their own unique set of monsters to deal with, so new players should be cautious when exploring new territory.
Starting a New Game
Main Article: Starting a New Game
The game begins by making a set of selections for your starting character:
- There are six basic stats: Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Charisma, Perception, and Intelligence, each of which start at 12. The player selects one which will gain a +5 bonus (raising it to 17) or opt to get a random spread of stats (from 10 to 18 with the same overall total). This choice can affect your eligibility for starting Feats.
- The player chooses a gender for his or her character, either male or female. The player's current gender can affect the dialogue and interactions with NPCs and can be modified or changed through the course of the game.
- The scenario is chosen next, with 'Bunker' as the standard.
- Further mode changes to increase difficulty can also be activated. Presently, these are:
- Hard Mode: Powerful foes can be encountered and weaker foes level up to match the player. Other difficulty tweaks as well.
- No-Heal Mode: The player doesn't receive basic healing at the end of each turn. Healing items provide +25% healing though.
- Blind Mode: The player cannot hunt or scavenge for specific items. There's a significantly increased chance of finding something while exploring though.
- Select a basic feat from the list available, followed by a fun feat. These grant abilities to your character, bestowing skills or bonuses that affect game play, or even penalties to make it more interesting and add personal flair to your character.
- The final step is the option to remove some types of creatures from the game (banning) or to prevent random encounters with them (warding). Banning removes characters, events and enemies from the game based on flags set on them while warding may still result in creatures of those genders/types being met during scripted events that call upon them. Current flags are: Furry, Guy, Girl, Hermaphrodite, Humorous and Hellspawn. For example, players adverse to M/M content or M/H and F/H content can preemptively remove much of this content by choosing the 'guy' or 'hermaphrodite' flags respectively. But keep in mind, banning these flags can greatly reduce the content in the game, as many NPCs, events and quests are either removed or locked from completion because necessary content has been removed.
In addition to the player's Stats, the game tracks certain other important things related to the character.
- Score - Your current game's score. Points are earned through a wide variety of actions, though a large portion of these points will come from leveling up.
- Level - This represents your overall growth and experience. Gaining a level grants increase hit points, a better chance to hit and other bonuses.
- Hit Points (HP) - This represents your health and will to keep fighting. If you drop to 0 hp in combat, you lose the fight and are at the mercy of whatever you were fighting. Boosted by Stamina and Level.
- Experience (XP) - Your experience points. It takes 10 xp times the level you wish to reach to gain a new level.
- Hunger - How hungry your player is. You die at 100(ish)
- Thirst - How thirsty your player is. You die at 100(ish)
- Libido - How horny your player is. Higher values may result in different actions taken by the player, possibly involuntarily, to sexual situations.
- Morale - This stat affects your chance to get critical hits. Raised by winning fights or eating/drinking (up to 0 only). Dropped by losing fights or being too hungry/thirsty.
- Humanity - Your ability to think and hold onto your sanity. If it reaches 0, you succumb to the infection and 'lose'. To regain humanity, you may use journal to write in the journal to try to record and remember your identity. This action is only available if you are currently carrying your journal in your inventory.
Main Article: Commands
Once the player has created a character, that character is placed in the Bunker in the Library. To accomplish anything in the game, it's necessary to use a number of commands to interact with the world. With hyperlinks enabled, the player wont have to type out most commands. They can instead click on the hyperlink which will execute the command automatically. Here's quick list of some of the commands the player will likely use from the start of the game:
- inv - Short for inventory, this allows the player to see items that they're carrying.
- get x - When the game lists visible objects, the player may type "get x" where x is the name of that object to add it to their inventory.
- rest - This command is always listed and passes time by 3 hours when used. It can only be executed in an area with a cot or if the player is carrying one.
- save - Brings up the save dialogue, allowing the player to save their progress to a game file.
- restore - Brings up the load dialogue, allowing the player to restore their game from a file.
- saveword - Generates a save word. This save word can be **recited** to Trixie in The Library to restore a character across different versions of the game.
- nav - Used without additional context, this command brings up a list of locations the player knows. The player may type "Nav X", with X being the name of a location, to proceed directly to a known location. This command can only be used in certain areas.
- scavenge - This command is used to hunt for supplies. Supplies may not be the only thing the player finds with this command, however.
- explore - Used to find various encounters within an area as well as new areas.
Main Article: Combat (Single Player)
When the player starts exploring the world, they will inevitably encounter creatures who seek the have their way at the expense of the player. The player is given multiple options to deal with this: they may fight, submit, lose on purpose or flee. With most creatures, each option has its own unique result.
Each area has its own set of creatures. Some areas contain creatures which are more difficult to overcome than others. Players should take care when exploring new areas, as they may contain creatures far stronger than they are.
If the player chooses to engage in combat, sexual outcomes are available in most situations aside from successfully fleeing the combat. Winning allows the player to choose their role in the ensuing sex (or to avoid it) while submitting or losing puts the player at the creature's mercy.
An almost inevitable result of playing the game is infection. In most scenarios, the starts as a human, but so did the majority of the other creatures the player will encounter in the city. Almost none of the city's occupants remain full blood humans. If the player is careful, they may remain human for the duration of the game, but much of the fun revolves around the various infections the player encounters and may acquire. Any given infection will transform the player's physical and sexual attributes toward that infection's natural shape.
Generally speaking, there are two ways in which players become infected. The first is through sexual interaction with certain Monsters (generally in a non-consensual fashion) or NPCs (generally more consensual, though just as sexual). The player may also acquire various Items through the course of the game which bestow infections upon consumption or use.
When infected, a random part of the character's body will be subject to infection and change. For the purposes of the game, there are five parts of the body which can become infected: head, body, skin, ass/tail, and groin/genitals. There will then be a description of the change occurring to the character's body and their personal description will be altered to reflect this change. Further infection from that same strain will affect a new body part each time until the player's form is fully transformed, leaving only any remaining shifts in gender to continue. Some NPCs and events can result in infection as well, as a player makes contact with a tainted object or infected individual. Some NPCs do not infect the player or only do so under special circumstances. Some basic feats, such as Microwaved, Resistant and Mutable affect a player's likelihood to become infected, but generally don't affect non-random infection.
Gender shifting: Most creatures and infections have a target gender they want to move the player towards, with assigned sizes and numbers for cocks, cunts and breasts they seek to bestow. A gender shift will incrementally move the player towards these values. Changes to the player's body will also prompt a shift in the player's gender and breast size, if applicable. An infection affecting a player's cock will change the form of their cock as well as causing a gender shift.
Once the player has become fully infect by a strain (all 5 body parts), gender and breast changes will continue until the player's sexual changes are also complete. This completed status occurs when the player's genitals are at or between the creature's listed value and 150% of the listed value. If one of the player's sexual characteristics falls within this range, it will not be changed by the infection attempt, though any outside the ranges will still change.
Players are able to exert some control over the type of gender shifting that can take place, should they choose one of the various 'Gender Preferred' or other fun feats related to gender shifting.