Burn it All is quite a departure from Pastagames' previous game Pix'n Love Rush. Rather than creating another retro-themed platformer, the developer turned towards a creative take on tackling a puzzle game.
Burn It All (iPhone [reviewed], iPad -- universal app)
When faster-burning pieces of rope remain inaccessible until you burn away various tougher kinds of rope, you start to understand how the puzzle elements come into play. It's a race against the clock that requires some planning and thinking ahead, but without some finger dexterity your plans won't result in any scores worth writing home about.
You control one of three different types of flames at a time, each with its own characteristics, to start fires that slowly consume whatever you touched. The red flame can only burn the tip of a rope and gets extinguished after passing its flame, returning to a volcano at the bottom of the screen to regenerate.
The game starts out relatively easy with only the red flame and increasingly complex mazes of rope at your disposal, but things become ever more complex as you progress.
Some of the later levels involve time travel, which is where you really have to plan your burning sequences. You start with one flame to burn what you can until the timer runs out, and then start from the start of the level with another colored flame. But at the same time a "ghost" of your actions with the previous flame starts burning away as well.
While the gameplay itself is fresh, accessible and easy to grasp, the level designs are just as creative. Ropes form meandering mazes and designs of creatures and objects. Burnable wooden objects sometimes make you feel like you are vandalizing a child's week-long art class project as you torch them. And occasionally burning away objects (wooden letters reading I L O V E U) can reveal hidden text popups in the levels (I love you too).
Moving your flames around is effortless as you simply drag them around with your finger, but you can touch anywhere on the screen to start moving a flame; not seeing what is below your finger is no problem here. You'll be doing a lot of the latter when you try to evade water drops that extinguish your red and blue flames instantly.
With 100 diverse and creatively designed levels, and a very hard goal of reaching the maximum of three "gems" for passing a level under the set time, you'll be required to both scratch your head and become good at moving your flames for quite some time.
I can't stress enough how hard some levels are if you take the slow and cautious approach. While it's hardly a bad thing, and you can skip levels if you want, just make sure that your children won't throw your device on the floor if they can't pass one of the harder levels. Once you get the hang of evading water drops and saving time by moving flames around really quickly and accurately, it stops being much of a problem. But it might take you quite some time to get good at it.
THE VERDICT - Burn it All
Reviewed by Maurice Tan