grumbel's Little Inferno (PC) review

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Cow Clicker 2.0

This game is weird. You'd think after some 25 years of gaming you have seen it all, but this one is different. This is a game without a game. The whole game literally consists of you dragging stuff from the bottom inventory on the screen into the fire place at the top and then setting them on fire. That's it. There are no points, skill or anything. It's drag&drop to make things burn. Once you have burned a thing, you get more money that allows you to buy more things from a catalog to burn. The only game-like part of Little Inferno is unlocking new catalogs, as that requires you to figure out a little 'puzzle'. The puzzle however is simply to burn two or three things of a certain kind at once in the fireplace. The game will give you a little hint as to what those objects might be and then let you figure out objects of the catalog that might fit the description. But after that it's back to just burning stuff.

On the technical and presentation side however the game is quite impressive. The graphics are extremely polished, the fire effect and light effects look great and lots of the items you burn have something custom animation or behavior to them. The game also has a bit story going on in the form of letters that arrive every now and then.

Despite all the polish however the burning stays incredible boring, as there is no challenge to it. You get a fire simply by clicking the mouse. You are not limited to a certain number of matches, you don't have to blow on it or anything. If you want to set something on fire you just hold some fire to it for a while. There is no need to be careful about in what order you burn stuff. No real way to accelerate or slow down the fire and no need trying to keep the fire alive. Despite the large variety of items the game provides, none of them changes the burning process in any fundamental ways. It's all just cosmetic. Your flame might change color or a fan can suck in the flame, but none of that is relevant to the gameplay, you can burn bricks just as easy as paper or toys.

Long story short, this game is essentially Cow Click 2.0. It's a game about clicking on stuff, waiting a bit and then clicking on more stuff. It's completely brainless. If you want to waste three hours of your life without using your brain, this game is as good as it gets. If on the other side you expect an interesting simulation of fire, stay away from this game, as while the fire looks nice, fire has never been this boring before, instead have a look at Trash Panic, it's a very similar game, but it mixes the whole destruction with some Tetris-like elements which makes it a lot more interesting and challenging.

All that said, the game does have one redeeming quality, the ending. For the last 20 minutes or so the game turns into a point&click adventure. It doesn't add any puzzles and is very linear still, but this short point&click section is implemented incredible well and you'd wish they made a whole game in that kind of style. The graphics in that section have some subtle 3D effect going for it that makes them really stand out and that I haven't seen done in that way in any other game.

Other reviews for Little Inferno (PC)

    Playing with Fire 0

    Now and then you come across a title that despite having at its core a set of elements that seem too bare and simplistic to make up a full game, still manages to do something rich and compelling. I remember it being the case with Rock Band Blitz, I remember it being the case with a whole slew of mobile games, and it’s definitely the case with Little Inferno. Little Inferno is a product of the Tomorrow Corporation, a three man indie team consisting of Kyle Gray who previously worked on &ldq...

    7 out of 7 found this review helpful.

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