App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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When the first trailer for Little Inferno made its appearance, it left a lot of people (myself included) confused and disturbed. Now that I've actually played it the confusion is over. Kind of. The core gameplay is just as dark, twisted, and disturbing - if not more so - than the teaser video, but it also possesses the kind of addictive fun that can keep someone up until 2am. Quite honestly I find the fact that I’ve been having this much fun with it to be the most disturbing thing of all.
The world of Little Inferno is a depressing one. The temperature has been dropping for years and no one has been able to figure out why. So a quick-thinking conglomerate creates a cute home fireplace play kit and asks kids to burn all their stuff to stay warm. And that’s the game in a nutshell: burning stuff. Players begin with access to their first catalog of many that they can make purchases from. Once they’ve ordered the items take a certain amount of real world time to be delivered before they can be chucked into the fireplace. Then it’s just a matter of dragging a finger over them to set them ablaze and watch the flames do their thing.
There’s a little more to it than simply torching random junk, however. Different items react differently when burned or can otherwise have an effect on the contents of the Little Inferno™ fireplace. Burn an operatic doll and she starts to sing. Set fire to one of three colored balls of goo and the color of the actual flames will change to match. Once any object is burned down to ash it releases a little more cash than it was originally purchased for, thus giving players the ability and incentive to burn more. Combos (i.e. burning two or more specific items together) can also be pieced together from a vague list and will earn tickets used to expedite package delivery upon completion.
I’m honestly at a loss to come up with anything I didn’t like about Little Inferno, and that scares me a little, but I do think it’s important to note that this is a very dark and more than a little disturbed game. More than I can possibly convey without spoiling anything. Just know that anyone who prefers cute and cuddly over sick and twisted should probably keep their distance. I’m totally serious about this.
Little Inferno won’t take long to reach its inevitable conclusion provided players burn all the things at a steady pace. However it’s the puzzle-like combos and the funny, sometimes freaky, reactions objects have to fire that should keep them coming back even after unlocking the final catalog. Whether or not they’ll feel like they need a shower after all is said and done is another matter entirely.