Wii/Wii-U/Switch

Game Review: Little Inferno (Switch)

Burn all your toys and fine possessions…stay warm by the light of the fire.

This is the simple premises of the game Little Inferno; a first person perspective sandbox oriented puzzle video game from developer Tomorrow Corporation (same developer of the game Human Resource Machine Game Review: Human Resource Machine (Mobile)).

The game has you play as an unseen character from the city of Burnington, who posses the “Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace”, which you use to incinerate various objects that you can order from Miss Nancy’s mail order catalogs to keep warm.

Why burn things freely? Because somehow the game world’s temperature is plummeting and it’s always snowing outside. So who needs toys and such when you are freezing?

Thank goodness for the Tomorrow Corporation (an in game self reference to the developer), the company whose headquarters is located in the outskirts of the city and the manufacturer of the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace. Apparently, everyone is Burnington is so brainwashed that they need the device or they will suffer ultimate doom. Kind of reminds me of the premise of another popular game series — Fallout.

The game allows for either touch screen drag and drop of items into the fireplace, and tap to create an instant flame or you can use the Joy-Con controllers for in hand movement of the items and lighting of the flame.

Various items such as batteries, seed packets, appliances and even a moon are available to purchase. As you burn each item, another one comes available to purchase to burn. When all items have been purchased once from a catalog, another catalog will come available to buy, unlocking many more items to order.

Objects release money or delivery tags when burned.

Money is necessary to buy items from the catalogs, and items increasingly cost more so you sometimes need to stockpile. If you find yourself lacking funds to buy that next awesome item in the catalog, a trick I found was to just buy a lot of the cheaper items with quick delivery times (such as Posters, Someone Else’s Credit Card or Batteries) and burn them up and you will suddenly be overflowed with money to spend.

Delivery tags can be used to express post the items to you.

A unique feature of items is that many of them possess special properties that may influence other objects in the fireplace. For example, objects with strong gravitational pull with attract all other objects into its fire void or when you burn dry ice it will freeze everything else in the fireplace and causing mass shattering.

When set on fire, many objects will react by activating (such as causing a toy train to start running), exploding (burning batteries!!), or changing the properties of the flames (when you burn the Beta Version it turns the flames into green pixelated flames). All objects will vanish once being reduced to ash.

On the bottom of the screen, there is your characters interface which includes access to the catalogs and any items you order. Items arrive as boxes with a delivery timer (which you can speed up with those delivery tags) and once time has passed, you can unbox and toss into the fireplace. As you advance in catalogs, the time it takes for an item to arrive will get longer (from 30 sec up to 3 minutes), thus the amount of delivery tags needed for express post to also increase.

You can only have four items at a time on your object interface, but over time you can pay to expand the interface so you can order more objects to keep the flame going.

At times you will receive mail from one of the many characters in the game which will help advance the game’s narrative.

One of the most important characters you will interface with in the mail is your unstable neighbour Sugar Plumps who appears at times to be bubbly and excitable, but also who has a disturbing persona and appears to be a bit of a pyromaniac. She will at times send you letters just to create storyline, but then sometimes will request for you to send her specific items for her personal use (or I assume burning).

The game has no scoring systems, nor is there any time limits or penalties. This allows for the player to freely experiment with burning objects and trying different burning combinations.

So if there are no rules more than just burning objects endlessly, why play this game? Well while you are experimenting with your fire powers, there are a possible ninety nine “Combos” that the player can complete by burning two to three specific objects simultaneously. The names of the Combos hint the relationship of the required objects and its up to the player to determine the correct objects to burn. For example, “Movie Night Combo” is made buy burning Corn on the Cob with a Television, or “Cat Bath Combo” is made by burning Kitty Kitty Poo Poo Plushie and Dish Detergent together. This adds to the need for some strategy….and you are well rewarded with extra amount of money and delivery tags. Besides, who doesn’t like a challenge?

As a completionist gamer it was imperative that I find all those combos!

Most important is finding the secret combo, titled appropriately “ERRRROR ERR@R ER*#^%R COMBo”, which combines four unique items that if you paid attention during the game can be burned together to cause a major event to happen in the story (spoiler: BOOM!).

If you successfully activate the secret combo, the gameplay turns into a side-scrolling graphical adventure, wherein your character can now walk around Burnington. You meet the postman who has delivered all of your objects so diligently, and even Miss Nancy at the Tomorrow Corporation Headquarters. She is as wicked as she could be and has no care for the people of Burnington, she would rather see the city burn….it’s all about the money for her.

At the Tomorrow Corporation Headquarters, you can even apply for a job and be a part of the “human resource machine”.

This game is highly addictive simply because it is fun to just throw items into the fireplace freely and watch them burn and explode. Even more, it is interesting to experiment and find the combos in the game. I even enjoyed just buying lots of cheap items and burning a huge stack of them…. the flames get really big!!  While it is such a simplistic game, you just cannot put it down…. you feel the urge that you have to keep burning.

The downside of the game is that I was able to complete it in only 3 1/2 hours, and that is after I burned 1135 items. The game can take as long as you wish because you can choose to just play the main storyline and not find all the combos, or you can grind and do everything possible in the game. There is a high replayability as you will never burn things the same the second time around.

Little Inferno Official Website: http://tomorrowcorporation.com/littleinferno

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