Some of us grew up setting various things on fire; fair enough, as long as that which is set alight is a thing instead of a person. There’s a specific ambiance about lighting your G.I. Joes on fire in your bedroom with your brother growing up, the plastic melting and permanently ruining the new carpet your parents paid for. Somewhere between inhaling toxic fumes, burning your fingers, and strategically placing toys over the ruined areas of the carpet so Mom and Dad don’t see is the quintessential joy of childhood.
Thankfully, burgeoning pyromaniacs no longer need to inhale the fumes directly with the help of the miracle that is technology; development studio Tomorrow Corporation brought us Little Inferno, an odd game where the objective is to light things on fire in the fireplace. There’s a bizarre storyline to be found as well, as you incinerate everything you could possibly get your hands on. Epic Game Store’s Fourth Free Game This Holiday Season Is A Pyromaniac’s Dream, With Little Inferno From the same developers that made World of Goo and Harry Hatsworth, Little Inferno brings about much of the same odd humor and atmosphere as you burn credit cards, batteries, cardboard boxes, and all sorts of bizarre items. Somehow, Little Inferno culminates in a finale that makes the player ponder something grander than the fireplace that is the setting for the game.
The core gameplay loop is oddly engaging; burn what you have to gain coins, that allow you to order new things to burn. Mixing and matching your tinder into new combinations as you attempt to figure out the next combination to unlock new things to burn can become a bit perplexing, even to the most seasoned puzzle veteran.
You’ll also receive items from neighbors, weather alerts, and other various tasks that help break up the satisfying monotony of burning crap for fun and warmth.
The absolute worst that could be said about this game is the mere fact that it’s getting long in the tooth, and its brilliantly surprising narrative has been upstaged by other indie gems that surprise players even more; Doki Doki Literature Club comes to mind in regards to blowing players away with a surprise left hook (again and again and again). Yet despite its age, Little Inferno still has a bit to say.