It is important you know that I am from Canada because we spell colour and flavour with a U and sometimes use British vernacular, probably because of Coronation Street and East Enders.
I'm a student in something called 'pre professional journalism'. Whatever that is. I'm a major of Philosophy and a minor in Sociology, mostly because critical thinking and the analysis and understanding of social behaviors makes me horny.
My ambitions include creating a fully animated rotoscoped feature length animatronic musical and to build a 'fusion' reactor in my backyard out of little more than a high power laser and an industrial vacuum. Both of these things are possible believe it or not.
Little Inferno can't easily be placed in any one gaming genre. It's as much a sandbox game as it is a puzzle or mystery solving game, as it is an adventure game. It's odd and quirky and dark like the Tim Burton-esque visuals would imply and yet it is as heart warming as it is unique. All of these it is in spades but non of them singularly it is completely. As a comparison Little Inferno reminded me more of Trash Panic than any other game, and like Trash Panic it has a formula of non-formula that works.
Little Inferno puts you in control of a fire place, after a very campy introduction which portrays the fireplace almost like a children's toy within which children are to burn their toys. The people behind this title "Tomorrow Corporation" know it is silly and if you get anything from reading this, know that it is fun. Little Inferno has a sense of humour about itself. In a game where you huck things into a fire place to watch them burn, explode, and animate having a levity about it makes it worth while.
The sandbox portion of the game comes from interacting static objects within the fire place. You can smash things on the sides, crumble ashes, freeze, and cut them with other objects or the mouse. Some objects have their own gravity, others may emit heat, cold, or have some other property. The properties the objects have in a static space contrasts well to the effects they have or emit while ignited. My favorite item is a laser pointing hand that dynamically cuts any object set in front of the time delayed laser.
Now, it is odd game. Granted, the main play-set of it is a fireplace. Part of the adventures in finding out what happens when the objects are together or together on fire, and that's part of a mystery you have to solve on your way to making interesting combinations. To unlock more objects you have to complete mysterious combinations of objects by igniting objects with similar properties or perhaps unique themes. The way the game progresses is by discovering these combinations. Catalogues which contain items can only be unlocked after discovering sets of objects with ambiguous tag-lines like "Generations", and you are left to figure out what items will unlock that combination when they are grouped together and ignited. It seems simple but you will literally burn through dozens of objects trying to find the combination that works. After moving forward the very odd story will progress and you will be treated with mysterious letters, which you then read and burn.
There are more than 50 objects to interact with and a strange story and almost point and click adventure feel to some portions of the game. It is a fun and silly game that is worth your time and attention. The game's story is about warming the world - the gameplay is about a feel-good experience. It delivers again and again. In fact, deliveries are how you receive objects to burn after having selected them from interestingly themed catalogues. If you are in the least bit interested or confused, don't wait another second check Little Inferno out! As a title that is beautiful in its simplicity, experience it.
Recommended Most For Those Who Liked The Art and Play Style of:
-World of Goo
- Also recommended for anyone with abstract pyromania.
My strong suggestion is do not look up anything for Little Inferno at all.
Ever. Not so much as a trailer or a screen shot.
That's a lot to ask but trust me, get a copy of Little Inferno.
It will feel so good not knowing what to expect.
Go in cold. Play it and then show it to a friend..