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Little Inferno (Video Game Review)

If you love to watch things burn or are even near the extreme levels of pyromaniacs, independent developers Tomorrow Corporation has a new game for you. The creators of World of Goo and Henry Hatsworth are back with their newest release called Little Inferno. Just like melting your old action figures with a box of matches or throwing paper and other objects into the lit fireplace, Little Inferno captures the fun and excitement of simply watching various items burn. The three man development team managed to create a title that is completely unlike anything you've ever played, but the final release is one that lacks depth and will ultimately give you only a few hours of gameplay for a hefty $15 price tag.

In Little Inferno, the world has nearly been wiped out by a terrible apocalyptic event that makes the world nearly too cold to live in. The only way to stay alive is to huddle around the fireplace indoors and burn whatever possessions you have available to your character. Luckily, there are numerous retail companies that will deliver goods at low costs with quick shipping times that make them perfect suppliers of burnable goods. The object of the game is to survive by burning goods and keeping the flames going all while passing notes between yourself and your neighbor on the other side of the wall. Little Inferno rewards players with a fun story throughout and an ending that makes the game worth playing, but the repetitive nature of the game may have you rushing through the later stages of the games just to finish the storyline.

There are multiple catalogs from different companies in Little Inferno, and each offer a different theme of items including toys and appliances that can be purchased and burned in your fireplace. You earn coins to purchase additional items by killing bugs that wander into the fireplace and by burning the items you receive through the mail. As you progress through the game, you'll unlock combos that reward even more cash and help unlock additional catalogs. Each item you buy has a different shipping time, which can be one of the more annoying features of the game. The most expensive items can take several minutes to ship on their own making Little Inferno feel much more like a social game than a normal PC download. Shipping times can be skipped by unlocking postage stamps and applying them to an order, but it doesn't keep the pursuit of items and combos from feeling any less trivial throughout the game. To mix up the repetitive grind, you'll occasionally receive letters from your neighbor and progress through the storyline by completing special tasks from her. This is how you are given the storyline of Little Inferno for the most part, but it works well enough here.

Little Inferno is a fun title that is held back by a few annoying design flaws. While the game looks nice and makes burning items fun, the monotonous gameplay of the title may have you sleeping by the fire before all is said and done. $15 is a steep asking price for a game that offers gameplay reminiscent of social games you can try out for free, and it may be the breaking point for the more gratuitous gamers among us. Still, Little Inferno can be fun at times, and the game rewards you by making you feel smart when you figure out a complex combo or solve yet another tricky puzzle. If Little Inferno looks or sounds like a game you will enjoy, pick it up, but temper your expectations, because the game isn't for everyone.

Little Inferno is now available for Nintendo Wii U, PC, Mac & Linux and can be purchased for $14.99. Little Inferno is rated T by the ESRB for Drug Reference & Crude Humor. For more information on the game, check out the official Little Inferno website.

Game Features:
  • Single Player
  • From World of Goo Creators
  • Multiple Item Catalogs
  • Discover High Scoring Combos
  • Speed Up Shipping Time with Stamps

  • Game Information:
    Developer & Publisher: Tomorrow Corporation
    Platforms: Nintendo Wii U, PC (reviewed), Mac & Linux
    Release Date: November 19, 2012

    Score: 6 out of 10
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