Review — Little Inferno (Wii U)

Part 1.Still001

Little Inferno is a dazzling gem, and one of the Wii U eShop’s must have titles. The gameplay is incredibly simple; you put things in a fire and burn them. This simplicity will either bore or enthrall gamers, so be warned, but for me – it was the latter.

Every since I started playing with fire, I simply never wanted to stop. Little Inferno tells a charming but twisted tale of a boy who lives in a region devastated by snow, but with his Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace he can stay inside all day long and keep warm.

The gameplay isn’t high-action, more akin to the stop and smell the flowers style. Stop and smell the burning flowers would be a better way of putting it. Every inflammable object comes complete with its own set of animations, ways to break it, and charming catalog description. One of the neatest features of Little Inferno is all the references to other titles and platforms, such as the ‘Gaming Tablet’ which is “filled with ‘free’ games that will cost you thousands.” Now would be a good time to mention the game is also available on iPad, with no in-app purchases so this one won’t cost you thousands! Alas, it also isn’t free.

To compliment the slow burn pace of the game, an eerie, minimalist, but effective soundtrack plays at key moments throughout the game, though the majority of the sound you hear will be the various sound effects attached to each poor item you incinerate to keep warm.

The idea of burning objects will wear thin towards the closure of the game, but luckily, some replay value can be found should you wish to complete all 99 combos. Some are required to progress through the game, some are plain awesome, some are edgy to say the least, but each come accompanied with a short riddle you must first solve, as the game doesn’t just tell you Item #1 and Item #2 are a combo, instead it teases you into figuring it out, for example one of the combo titles ‘Nuclear Shave’, which is the combination of the ‘Mini Nuke’ and ‘Manly Razor’ items.

Trying to be as vague as possible, Little Inferno serves up a hot plate of… ourselves. The game consistently mocks what games we play, and how we play them. And this all comes together in the climax of the game, which frustrated me so entirely that I contemplated just shutting it off before the credits could bless me with the extinguishing of the finale. It was only as those credits rolled did I realise the social message Little Inferno ingeniously conveys. The more you love Little Inferno the more you’ll be scalded by the finale, in the most thought provoking video game ending I’ve ever encountered.

If you don’t mind a slightly plodding experience, Little Inferno is potentially the next title to be added to that list of games you should have played. The unique experience it offers is simply astounding and is certainly worth the price. Though the lack of post-credit content or meaningful replay value really extinguishes this game far too early, being completed (100%) in little under five hours, without even trying for a quick time. Because of this large caveat, I’m giving a particularly harsh score.

Score: 7.5/10

Will you be picking up Little Inferno from the Wii U eShop?

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