Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux, Wii U, iOS, Android
I’m fairly certain that anyone who says they never wanted to play with fire either has had a tragic fire-related event in their life or is lying. Fire is fascinating, and frankly, I’m a little bit surprised that there aren’t more games completely built around the idea of burning things. Little Inferno is part puzzle game, part adventure game, and part fireplace simulator.
Playing Little Inferno is, in a lot of ways, an exercise in patience. You put things in the fire place, light them up, watch them burn, and collect coins which you can use to buy more things to put in the fireplace and light up. The story is conveyed through letters you receive, which also happen to be very flammable. And there is a story here, make no mistake – what seems like inane filler early on winds itself into a simplistic yet competent narrative.
The puzzle aspect of the game comes from figuring out which items need to be burned simultaneously to make pre-determined combos. Most are fairly logical, with a few being a little more abstract or based off of a play on words. If you put the right items in the fireplace together, a combo notification will pop up and you’ll receive some stamps, which can be used to speed up some other aspects of the game.
Early on, you’re very limited in the number of items you can possess at once, and you’ll find yourself spending your coins as quickly as you can collect them. The first time you burn something, you might pause to watch the unique animations that about half of the objects have when set ablaze, but I didn’t find it particularly compelling upon repeat burnings. However, sometimes I found just watching the fire satisfying, which made the waiting for objects to be delivered or purchases to become available again less tedious than it otherwise could have been.
Unless you really struggle with combos, Little Inferno will last you around four hours, which makes it a less than stellar value for a $10 asking price. I have to give it points for uniqueness, though, and definitely think it’d be worth picking up on a sale, or on a mobile device, if you prefer, where the asking price is significantly less.