Early December of the long-passed 2014, I jumped on the bandwagon and my partner and I bought ourselves a Wii U. Initially, the biggest reason for such an elaborate purchase was the new Legend of Zelda game, Hyrule Warriors (with the majority of our systems being bought second-hand and for a lot cheaper, I am still deeming it a worthwhile—though very expensive—decision). However, as we’ve started to look into a variety of games purchasable in stores and online, we’ve been feeling more and more grateful for our new system. But of course, I’m not here to bore you with stories about what mainstream and big-brand games I’m looking forward to. Instead, we’ll power forward and continue what we came here to do!
While browsing the Nintendo eShop (mostly to check out new releases, free demos, looking for specific games, or my most common reason—I’m bored and looking for a way to kill time), I came across and interesting title…
Tomorrow Corporation presents Little Inferno for the Wii U—discounted for Christmas and hard to resist! Without knowing much about the game, I found myself eager to try it out. Who wouldn’t be delighted by the prospect of fire? … Right, moving on. In Little Inferno, it had been snowing outside for “as long as anyone can remember”, and really, why should you worry about potentially life-threatening weather when you can stay warm inside with your brand new Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace?!
I feel like this is an appropriate time to point out that this game takes place almost entirely in front of a fireplace; this is literally an indie game about throwing whatever you can get your hands on into this wonderful, single-purpose chimney. Safety instructions? Who needs them! Letters from your once-estranged neighbor? Tinder. All of your toys and memories? Why not burn a variety of trinkets and appliances that more often than not will scream from the intense heat and fear?
Worry not. You are not a monster (although I did feel the need to check myself more than a few times during my play through).
Little Inferno is definitely the type of game you wouldn’t expect yourself to enjoy quite as much as you actually do. Think Binding of Isaac by MergeGames and Head Up Games. Although not always as graphically portrayed, the play style gives off a similar feel, added to by the also-similarly charming simplicity of its visuals. If you’re a fan of one, there’s a fair chance you’d enjoy the other.
The almost overwhelmingly simple nature of the gameplay is always refreshing in an age of overly complicated games; however, if you want a challenge from your experience, then this is probably not the game for you. More serious gamers may find that this game lacks action, thrills, and adventure—however, it does offer you a decent explosion or two. Controls are as simple as point, click, and drag with your stylus.
Luckily, you will never run out of things to burn in your handy fireplace. From letters, to toys, to insects—everything is flammable! What’s more, all of these things you burn will reward you with “Tomorrow Cash” and occasionally “Tomorrow Stamps”. Use your coins to buy various ignitable goods from the Catalogue, which you can then burn in the Little Inferno to produce more coins and the cycle can begin again. Of course, if your order is taking too long to arrive you can always speed up the process by using your stamps. Unlock all seven Catalogue collections and work towards finding the 99 secret combos offered in game.
With that all in mind, even simple games like this are capable of pumping out an enjoyable plot. It doesn’t take long to work your way through your various letters and unravel the secrets this game has to offer. Although I will admit, at times I began to feel a bit tense and uneasy with where I thought the plot was leading me, (a minor over-reaction—I’m not one for spooky genres and so I tend to blow even the slightest eerie feeling out of proportion…) this could possibly be attributed to the sparingly, but successfully, used music score. Of course, if I need a pick-me-up, feel-good tune to lighten my day, I wouldn’t look past the opportunity to annoy anyone and everyone within the vicinity of my house using the all-too-upbeat and incredibly catchy Catalogue music!
In my opinion this was not a regrettable purchase overall. It provided me with decent entertainment value, and although my partner had watched me play through most of the game, he also decided to give it his own try. It took each of us roughly one and a half hours to complete it, so it’ll work well for you if you want something you can finish in a single sitting (as long as your sittings are as long as mine tend to be). Of course, the expectancy of indie games is always different than that of large scale games, and so it isn’t too hard to understand that once you have worked through earning all of the Catalogues and finding all of the secrets, this may not be a game you would feel the need to replay again very soon. It’s not the sort of game that leaves itself open to multiple endings, for example. However, it’ll continue to sit in the storage of my console until I’m ready to relive what may very well seem like an easy game to pass over.
… Or until I decide to unnerve some of my dear friends…