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Little Inferno Review. Locked Pyromania
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Little Inferno is one of the simplest indie games I’ve ever played. I was initially confused as to why anyone would want to sit in front of a fireplace and burn things randomly with nothing to work towards. However, it quickly became apparent why this game is instantly addictive.
The game employs very simple graphics. A virtual fireplace and box items which you can throw into the fire. The color and texture of the flame change as you burn different items. Text prompts also appear to let you correspond with the other unseen participants in the game such as Sugar Plum. The developers might have been going for the minimalist 3D architecture with this game.
The gameplay is simple, but the end intent is quite confusing. At the start of the game, you are an unseen character sitting in front of a fireplace. You receive packages and gifts and have to wait for the time meter to elapse before throwing select items into the fireplace. The plot is set in some dystopian reality where temperatures are freezing and The Tomorrow Corporation sells Little Inferno entertainment kits to keep residents warm.
While it may seem monotonous to sit in front of a fireplace with no apparent end to the game, the nature of the items keeps changing. Making certain combinations unlocks new ones which you can burn and get money to purchase more inventory. You’ll start communicating with Sugar Lumps who’s your neighbor with letters and cheerful gifts. The game is a mystery, more so the burning school bus which is just plain cynic. In the end, your character is unlocked, and you can burn items as you move.
I used the Gamepad for this game, although you can use a variety of other controllers such as the Wii Remote or the joystick. The only command is to click so there isn’t much to the controls which is perfect for a puzzle game. It’s better to play it with the joystick which makes it easier to focus the flame cursor on the screen or control the flame movements and simply click.
Replay Value: 3
I don’t think I’d be too keen to replay this game, beyond the fact that it’s soothingly addictive to burn random things. I like that a co-op mode has been introduced for the Switch port. There’s nothing to work for in this game other than the different item combinations that produce burning effects. Maybe this was a veiled swipe at mindless consumerism, but even that won’t make me want to replay this game too much.
I never fully understood the gist of this game, and I thought there was probably something I missed. The lack of character motivation and investment just doesn’t give me any psyche to keep playing. There might be some puzzles in this game, but I didn’t quite understand them or get the overall meaning. That plus a $10 purchase fee is demotivating to purchase this game.
Little Inferno might have some inspiration behind it, but I still haven’t gotten to it yet.
Pros : Simple play
Plenty of new puzzles
Cons : No goals to work towards
Just a single scene for most of the game
Replay Value 3.0