by Matt Porter
reviewed on PC
Heated Progression (cntd)
However the game keeps running even when you do not have the game running as your main application, and opening the menu does not pause the action, so it is easy to just do something else while you are waiting for your new toys. Technically, there is no fail state, as you will never run out of money. This is a good thing, as it allows full exploration of all the products and seeing how they interact with each other and the flames. Some of the reactions to the fire are imaginative and genuinely funny at times. Lining up the toy Tetris pieces to form a row does exactly what you would expect it to do.
Blazing a Storied Trail
There is a story here, or at least parts of one. Every so often you receive letters in the mail as well as your purchases. Your main source of correspondence comes from the cute little girl next door, who loves playing with her own Little Inferno Fireplace, but also seems to have a certain affection for you. Most of her letters are simple ramblings filled with spelling errors and childhood fantasies, but sometimes she sends you a little gift, or asks that you send her something from the catalogue. The occasional letter will come from The Weather Man, who soars high above the rooftops in his weather balloon. Every now and then the tone of a letter will dip and suggest at something deeper and creepier, but after reading it you just chuck it into the blaze and your cares float away up, up and up into the chimney.
Igniting toys is 99% of the game, so the originality wears off after a while. The developers promise that there is a world outside of the fireplace, but the time spent there is short lived and just serves as a bit of story exposition. Little Inferno is also fairly short for its price point. I completed the main story in around three hours, but there is plenty of replay value if you want to unlock all of the combos. It certainly looks good while you are playing though, with realistic looking flames which spread as you would expect them to. You can move things around while they are burning and use them to set other things alight, and you can even play around with the ashes after the flames have died down. I have already mentioned the good audio in the menus, and this continues into the game, as the playthings whirr and fizzle as they burn. Occasionally you hear the heartbreaking voice of a toy which almost seems to be crying out for help as the inferno engulfs it .
Little Inferno might not sound like much of an actual game, at least in the usual sense. In fact it could be viewed more as a toy, much like those that you are burning in the fireplace. You can play around with it for an hour and not really achieve anything, but it still feels as though you are having fun. It only does one thing, but it does it well, and there are enough hints at the story to keep you going to the end. There is not much beyond this for a hardcore gamer, but for any secret pyromaniacs out there, Little Inferno will certainly ignite your passion, and it is a lot safer than the real thing.
Imaginative and amusing toys. Good fun to play around with the flames and ashes.
Limited in terms of gameplay mechanics. Story is over in a few hours.