"It's Little Inferno Just for Me!"

by Max Brooks 5 months ago in product review

Max plays 'Little Inferno.'

"It's Little Inferno Just for Me!"

SPOILERS: This game is gonna have some pretty major spoilers for Little Inferno! Don't read if that's the sort of thing that bothers you!!So, I checked my Humble Bundle library recently. I'm sure like many of you you've bought more games than you're comfortable counting and end up forgetting about most of them. Hell, I bought my first Humble Bundle purely because I wanted to play Hotline Miami.I'd actually forgotten that there were other games in there when I bought it. Including the oddly named Little Inferno.Feeling that I should be getting my full money's worth I downloaded Little Inferno expecting a cute little game about some kind of fire sprite trying to escape a chimney, or maybe making himself bigger by finding more sources of flame to eat. I don't know why this assumption was in my head but I was certainly surprised when the game turned out to be about burning your most treasured possessions, and other people's most treasured possessions.Sounds fun right?It's actually incredibly fun and addictive, we get a catalogue full of items we can order (so we can burn them in the fireplace) and as we unlock more items with the money we get from burning we get more catalogues with more items. One feature of it, that encourages us to burn items together to see how they interact, is the Combo System, that awards us stamps (that speed up how long items take to arrive from the catalogue to us). The Combo system gives you a hint such as "Cold War" or "Pirate Bike" and you have to figure out which two or three items it's asking you to burn together.Right off the bat, I got a bit of a Doodle God vibe from that, combine two things and you get a reward for being creative or figuring stuff out. The big difference, in my eyes at least, is that it's a little more fun. Doodle God, for those of you who haven't played it, gives you a bunch of elements and you combine them to make more elements. The big difference to me is that Little Inferno handles it in a slightly more engaging way. Now part of that's down to the fact that Doodle God, brilliant as it is, just gives you the two elements spinning and a "Hallelujah!" as you get a new element. Little Inferno is a tad more visceral. Many items react in fun ways; corn on the cob explodes into popcorn, dragon toys breathe fire, bugs explode into brightly coloured flames, marshmallows scream (don't ask). It makes the Combos more like a reward than a goal, if that makes sense. This is helped by the stamps we get expediting the gameplay whereas in Doodle God I did end up waiting for the hints to time in.The soundtrack is absolutely gorgeous, by the way, if the game doesn't sound like it's your thing, then at least download the OST, because it's so atmospheric and really makes you feel calm and secure, or scared and nervous. Kyle Gabler did a stand out job on making a set of tunes that sound eerie and uplifting at the same time, there's a dreamlike quality to the music and it gives you a feeling that something's watching you out of the corner of your eye.The story of Little Inferno starts off silly: "Burn your things! Because fire is fun!" and indeed the other main character, Sugar Plumps (who writes letters to you in the embarrassing "Lol, I am so random" way that I did when I was 14 and still fills me with a deep, deep shame), seems like a Burton-esque little girl who likes burning things and making new friends. (Even if she does say things like "It's not a face! But it still watches youuuuuuu!")And then (Oh, here's where the spoilers come in by the way) she burns to death in her house.Surprise, surprise there IS a plot! There had been letters and bits and pieces about the Earth getting colder and colder while the Tomorrow Corporation pumps out more and more stuff to just incinerate. And I thought that I could spend a late night pumping out the rest of the combos I needed to put the game out and then that absolutely incredible music got dark and angsty and the screen started shaking and I thought to myself "Maybe I should play this game when it's light outside..."I'm far from done with Little Inferno, because what I thought was going to be a strange little widget has got me entirely invested in what happens next. It's a wonderful little game with a lot of imagination ...... Also a good outlet for any firebug tendencies we may or may not be hiding.——

Little Inferno is a game by The Tomorrow Corporation first released in 2012, it's is available directly from The Tomorrow Corporation or on Steam.

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Max Brooks

My name's Max, I write about stuff. Sometimes I write about things. Don't expect anything I do to be timely or even relevant.

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