dinoracha's Little Inferno (PC) review

A one trick (on fire) pony with an emotional story.

Calling Little Inferno a 'game' is difficult for me, as it's really more of a interactive toy than a proper game. That said, there is a win condition and a ending leading to the credits, but there is no lose condition, no way to reach a game over screen, which is drastically different in comparison to World of Goo, where failing a level means you outright fail and have to start at the beginning again. World of Goo was a actual game with a heart, emotion and a wonderful soundtrack, but Little Inferno fails to really bring the game aspect to the table, making it hard for me to recommend as a video game purchase for longevity, but easy for me to recommend as a cheap purchase if you want to experience an odd story of pyromania.

Little Inferno has you becoming the 'proud' (large emphasis on those quotes, there) owner of the Little Inferno fireplace kit from Tomorrow Corporation, a fireplace that will incinerate anything put inside of it. Anything. From wooden blocks to squeaky toys to expired medication to miniature moons, you purchase items from catalogues supplied to you from the corporation which are mailed directly to you to toss into your fireplace to send up in a puff of smoke, leaving only ashes and coins behind. These coins always reward you with more money than the original purchase, and through this cycle you will burn more, unlock more, and eventually find out the 'secret' behind why you never tear yourself away from staring at the fireplace.

Now, I could sit here and babble on to you about the psychological fascination with just tossing stuff into the fireplace, dragging your mouse around and watch it go ablaze, but really, there's only one major reason to complete Little Inferno; the WHY. World of Goo had you wondering why the goo balls made their treacherous pilgrimage around the world getting sucked up by giant vacuums, and Little Inferno will have you wondering why the world outside is slowly freezing over, why your neighbor has downright gone insane with her own Little Inferno, and why you're eternally stuck there just burning things for money. To give any clue to what the answers are would be to spoil the 'story', which even if the game is shallow in its gameplay department, its big twist near the end is, I say, worth price of admission, even if a lot of questions are never truly answered. Like World of Goo, not much has to be said when the music grabs you, holds you still, and just shows you without the need for dialogue. I'll admit, when you heed your neighbors advice near the end of the game and something big happens, I was brought to tears. Not much was said, and not much needed to be said as things played out and the music did all the talking.

The eerie art style and somber, subdued soundtrack (save for more dramatic moments later) are easy on the eyes much like World of Goo, and its kinda fun to try and complete the combination challenges, where a list gives you the name of a combo and you must burn those items in unison to complete it and gain stamps, which you can use to instantly have an item delivered to you. These combo's are also required to unlock better catalogues and complete the game, making it somewhat of a grind once later combo's requiring three or four items get in your way. I completed Little Inferno in a little over three hours (all in one sitting), and that's including me getting through all the catalogues at a pretty good rate while goofing around to complete combo's. Even if I blew all my money with failed combinations, spiders creep down your chimney to give you small amounts of money, again showing there is no way to lose in this game, only win.

At $14.99 (at this writing, it's currently $9.99 on Steam), I cannot tell you to go out and purchase Little Inferno, even if its ending is worth seeing for yourself after spending a few hours burnin' and burnin' some more. Due to Steam's Christmas sale, I bought my version for under ten dollars, completed the game in the one sitting, and have yet to come back to it, not even to complete all the combinations. Little Inferno is a one trick pony, plain and simple, but its one trick was one that brought me to an emotional level, considering all you do is just set shit on fire and get rewarded for doing so. World of Goo would be a much better use of your money since it's an actual game with conditions for winning/losing plus it has good gameplay, but if you ever have some money to burn and Little Inferno is on sale, go for it. You'll probably never come back to it again, but it's little, sweet story will certainly touch you, while it lasts.


Other reviews for Little Inferno (PC)

    Not a bad way to burn some free time. 0

    This is an odd little puzzle game (emphasis on "odd" and "little") which pretty much revolves around burning things in a fireplace. The gameplay, such as it is, is all about looking at a list of of combos and trying to figure out which items make up that combo. As you burn items, they spawn coins, which allow you to buy more items. As you figure out combos, they spawn stamps, which allow you to have items instantly delivered. You also need a certain number of combos to unlock more catologs to b...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

    Compelling-ish 0

    Knowing nothing about the game before I booted it up, it took only seconds of that Kyle Gabler sound for me to realize this game was made by those World of Goo guys. I've gone on record on more than one occasion to say that.. those guys are alright in my book. Little Inferno, broken down to its simplest form, is nothing more than a fireplace simulator. Here are these things, burn them! And those expecting a proper (World of Goo) game will definitely leave the charred ruins of your house disappoi...

    1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.