Little Inferno (Wii U): COMPLETED!

Is this a review? Yes. Probably. It’s hard to review a game that isn’t a game though. I’ll try.

Little Inferno is a toy. Sure, there’s an end, and yes, it has some (very minor, almost optional) gameplay components, but you don’t die and all you need to complete it is time. In this toy, you burn things. All the things. You’re provided with a Little Inferno fireplace, some money and a catalogue, from which you order things to burn. Then you burn them in the fireplace, and get more money.

With this money, you order more things from the catalogue. Which, as before, you burn.

You can get special combos of things to burn (e.g. the “Wizard of Oz” combo requires you to burn a robot, a scarecrow, and a heart together), and sometimes you get sent letters – strange, disjointed and increasingly maniacal letters – which you can also burn. Oh, and spiders (or at least, spider-like creatures) sometimes appear in your fireplace (burn them), but that’s it.

Synopsis so far: Burn everything.

Sure, you have to burn everything in the catalogue to unlock another catalogue, and sometimes have to find combos to do the same. You need to make money to progress, but that’s easy – just keep burning stuff. Burn everything.

Is that clear enough for you? Do you have a grasp now of how to play?

You are probably wondering if it’s any good. Let me tell you this: It’s the most fun burn-everything simulation involving a toy fireplace and catalogues of bizarre items (ranging from spider eggs to the moon) to torch that I’ve ever played. From start to what-the-hell finish, setting stuff alight remains fun, funny, and fantastic. Oh! The joy to be had setting fire to a powder keg and a mountain of marshmallows – waiting for the kaboom, and the resulting squealing of the seemingly alive confections. The art style, which sits somewhere between Corpse Bride and Fallout’s Vault User Guide, provides disturbing creations that delight both when aflame and not. But burnt is best. Flicking the smouldering spent remains of a teddy bear’s eyeballs around the brickwork never gets old.

Then, when all is burnt and things happen, it’s time for the interactive Game Over sequence, which sadly involves very little pyromania, and the same sort of bafflement that precursor World of Goo provided.

The score, then: flame on!/10

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