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Little Inferno (PC) artwork

Little Inferno (PC) review


"A one trick (fiery) pony with an emotional story but not much else to back it up."


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 catalogs 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 it's 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 catalogs 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 catalogs 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 stuff 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.

3/5

Dinoracha's avatar
Community review by Dinoracha (December 05, 2015)

Dinoracha is a world-renowned internet famous Let's Player, voice actor, writer, reviewer, e-sports competitor, masterful stream host and man of the people. These may or may not all be gross exaggerations.

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