The lights are on
I had never heard of this game until I saw it on the eShop after getting my WiiU at launch. I watched the trailers for it which show nothing about the game other than you burn stuff. And it might be a little depressing and twisted. Once I read a couple reviews of the game I decided to give it a try, largely because it sounded so unique and because it was designed by an indie group of three guys called Tomorrow Corporation. I like unique, I like supporting the small guy, so even in that it was 15 dollars well spent.
When the game starts you're not really given any direction. You see a fireplace and a catalog and a little tab on the top right corner. After poking around you realize you buy stuff, burn stuff, and create combos based on clever, vague combo names. As you burn toys and such they turn into coins, which you use to buy more stuff. Amazingly if you spend 10 coins on a stuffed bear, when it burns you'll get 15 coins or something. If the real world behaved like this we'd be burning everything. The only challenge comes in trying to match the combos that are given, some of which seemed impossible to figure out, some where really easy and makes you feel like a genious when you get them right on the first go. If this already sounds boring to you this is not a game for you. If you're interested keep reading.
As you burn stuff you'll unlock more objects that you can order and burn. Keep setting these ablaze and new catalogs open with new toys and trickets and new combos. The become harder to figure out as time burns (hehe) on, and objects will start to have different attributes. For example there is a mini sun toward the end that has it's own gravitational pull and will immediately set things ablaze as they touch it. There's a manly electric shaver that goes crazy and destroys other objects once you put it in the inferno, causing you to think about how you'll put it in to make sure it doesn't destroy everything else causing you to buy it over again.
I truly enjoyed the artstyle of the game, largely when sifting through the catalogs. Each of the toys has a little description where they were clearly going through for humor. Also the picture to show what the object looks like is cute and sometimes humorous. It seems to go for a 50's style, while the game seems to take place in the 40's. For the combos you'll often need to review the names of each object, as well as the description to get hints as to what to use them for. Some of the objects will have to be bought and burned to get other hints. For example if you buy the camera and burn it, it flashes and a picture pops out. You need to know this because it will help with figuring out a combo.
Throughout this flaming playground letters will occasionally arrive from a few different people. The weather man reports how cold it is, Miss Nancy is the inventor of the Little Inferno and sends you random letters, and your neighbor, a light hearted little girl, will send touching little tidbits and sometimes gifts. These letters eventually lead up to a rather surprising event that sets place for a strange ending. Yes, this burning has an ending and it's not what was expected. I almost thought it was out of place at first, but in retrospect I appreciate what Tomorrow Corporation was trying to achieve with it. They tried for a rather deep and emotional trip with the ending, leaving you with a couple philisophical questions that are kind of ironic for video games. Judging by the atmosphere of the game I'm guessing they were going for that.
I'm giving this game 7 burning bunnies out of 10 because there's not really much of a game here. I didn't feel there was much content for 15 bucks, and to me figuring out the combos and awaiting the next letter kind of dragged on toward the end, but that's probably because I'm rather goal driven and there's a clear lack of goals here. With that if you want something unique, something like nothing else out there, don't pass this up. I don't regret my time or spending the money, even if I felt there could have been more.
No one has commented on this article.