Little Inferno Review or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Burn my Stuff.

Little Inferno is a puzzle-based, sandbox indie game from Tomorrow Corporation that was inspired by The Yule Log. It originally released on the  Wii U in November 2012, but eventually saw releases on PC and mobile platforms too. Recently Little Inferno went on sale for $4.99 through the Wii U eShop.

The story sets up the game play, the temperature is falling and the town is being pelted with seemingly endless amounts of snow. To combat this, people use their “Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace” to remain warm by burning their possessions. Burned possessions release coins which can be used to purchase more objects to burn. That’s the entire story and basic game play in a nut shell.

Each item burned has a different reaction. When set alight, batteries will explode, a toy raccoon will foam at the mouth with rabies, and a doll of an opera singer will sing. Just seeing how things react can be fun in itself, but objects can be burned in combinations to yield better rewards. You have a combo list which shows how many, but not which, objects are in a combination, only the names hint at what must be burned together to claim your bonus. Combinations are also a prerequisite to unlock new mail order catalogs. When you meet a certain threshold of achieved combos and have bought at least one of each item in a catalog, you can purchase the next.

As you burn more items and unlock more combustibles, you receive bits of story through mail you receive from the Tomorrow Corporation, your neighbor, and the weatherman. The game starts out reminiscent of a Ren and Stimpy cartoon, but begins to grow darker as you burn all the items the game has to offer.

The game play is repetitive, but there’s something mesmerizing about it. There is no risk of failure, only risk of tedium. The better you are at piecing together the combo hints, the faster you can gain coins and can express mail your purchases. However, if you can’t guess combinations well, you’ll spend a minute or two sitting there as you watch the timer countdown until your package’s arrival.

 

Pros:

-Creative reactions to burning objects

-The minimalist story takes you for a loop

-Finding all combinations is fun

 

Cons:

-Tedium is built into the game on purpose

-No real replay value

 

Verdict:

75/100. It’s a decent and artistic satire but offers no replay value whatsoever, unless you really like watching stuff burn. It’s worth a buy if you can get it on sale, but I wouldn’t pay full price for it.

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