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Little Inferno (Wii U eShop) Review

Review for Little Inferno on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Little Inferno is an indie game developed by a team consisting of Kyle Gray, Kyle Gabler and Allan Blomquist -- Gabler and Blomquist previously worked on the spectacular World of Goo for WiiWare, whilst Gray worked on the innovative puzzle-platformer Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure for Nintendo DS. Together, they form Tomorrow Corporation.

At first glance, Little Inferno seems like just an ordinary fireplace simulator, in which players burn random items just for the sheer fun of it. Whilst this is partly the case, there is so much more to this game. It's hard to really define the genre of Little Inferno because of its uniqueness, but if this was something that had to be determined, it would fit into the puzzle category just nicely.

The game starts off with the player receiving a letter from Tomorrow Corporation, which is the maker of the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace. Yes, that's right; the developers are also the corporate bigwigs in the game! Once players have read the letter, they can then set it on fire and watch it burn. Sounds pretty boring, right? Well, actually… it's quite the opposite. Burning items can be achieved by using either the GamePad's touch screen or the Wii Remote's pointer controls. Both control schemes work great, so it's up to the player to choose which they feel more comfortable with.

Playing Little Inferno using the GamePad has one slight advantage, which is the ability to play the game exclusively on the GamePad's screen, a feature that is becoming widely used in Wii U games. It's nice to see another developer taking advantage of it!

Screenshot for Little Inferno on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Receiving letters is the sole form of communication in Little Inferno and even though there is no direct connection with other characters, players may feel themselves getting attached to them. One of the characters that the player receives frequent messages from is the weather reporter, who hovers above the city in his hot air balloon, delivering up-to-date broadcasts of the weather to all of the townspeople. It's really quite hard to describe the plot and story of Little Inferno, but players who love gripping tales with a great moral at the end of it will not be disappointed with this game.

The main plot focuses on the outside world, which characters often say contains something much more dangerous than fire. Snow has been falling for as long as anyone can remember and nobody dares step foot outside into the blistering cold. Instead, they would much rather spend all day sitting in front of their fireplaces, burning various items they ordered from Tomorrow Corporation's many different catalogues. There are seven catalogues in total, with each one following a certain theme such as food, video games and toys. The video game catalogue has a bunch of references to other games including World of Goo and Henry Hatsworth -- but let's not spoil anything!

Screenshot for Little Inferno on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

When players receive their first catalogue, they will be given a brief tutorial on how to order items. They can then start placing orders on various different items, ranging from school buses to family portraits and even miniature planets. These items can be purchased using the in-game currency, which is known as "Tomorrow Bucks." Players don't start off with much money, but by burning items they order from the catalogue, their income will steadily rise meaning they can purchase the more expensive items that yield more of these Tomorrow Bucks. When placing an order on an item, a specific amount of time will have to be waited for it to arrive. This can take anywhere from a few seconds up to around four minutes for later objects, and whilst it sounds like a daunting task waiting for items to appear in the inventory, the process can be sped up by placing "Tomorrow Stamps" on the item in question.

Tomorrow Stamps are first introduced to the player after burning a few items and can be placed on a certain item so that players can obtain it instantaneously. They can also be obtained by burning the different items. These stamps work like First Class or Expedited Delivery do in the real world; however, players don't have to sit around and wait because they get it there and then (if only that was the case for real First Class delivery!). After ordering all the items from the first catalogue, players can then purchase the next one.

Screenshot for Little Inferno on Wii U eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

This pattern carries on throughout the game, although the later catalogues require players to perform a certain amount of combos before they can unlock that catalogue. These are performed by burning two or three specific items together, with the only help being the titles of each combination located on the in-game list. For example, the first introduced is the Bike Pirate, which consists of simply burning a Toy Pirate and Wooden Bicycle together. Sounds easy, right? Well, these combos get trickier as players progress through the game and require the usage of items from more than one of the catalogues.

It's worth noting that Little Inferno only takes around four hours to complete if merely wanting to complete the main objective. However, this playtime boosts to about six-to-eight hours for those who want to experience everything the game has to offer, such as working out all the combos. Replayability of the game all depends on whether the player wants to go through the game again, trying to get the best ending by keeping certain key items rather than burning them, or whether they will just get bored after experiencing the full package.

This is definitely a recommended title for readers who want to experience something fresh and original all at the same time with a charming story and some really wacky characters. It must be pointed out that this isn't a game for everyone, but when placed in the right hands could easily be called a masterpiece.

Screenshot for Little Inferno on Wii U eShop- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Whilst burning things may not seem like a fun thing upon hearing about this game, players will find out that it's actually quite a satisfying experience. With 99 different combos to work out, the fun factor can only increase once fully immersed in the experience.

Graphics

Little Inferno has some truly amazing artwork, which is to be expected from the creators' previous works. Each item has its own animation during the process of burning and the way they turn to ash is surprisingly pleasing to the eyes. The high definition graphics complement the art style really well, in addition to having some gorgeous flame effects.

Sound

While there is no voice acting in Little Inferno, the sounds of the fire blazing and the different items making their own unique noise when bursting into flames makes for a really nice experience. The game also contains an amazing soundtrack, which is played through the various menus and whilst reading letters… not to mention the catchy tune played in the instructional video (the same one found in the teaser trailer of the game).

Value

Although the main story isn't very lengthy, the gameplay can be incredibly addictive when presented to the right person. With 99 combinations to perform and around 140 different items to throw into the flames, there is quite a bit of fun that can be had in Little Inferno. With Tomorrow Corporation hinting that user-created content could be possible for this game in the future, this is easily one of the best offerings currently available on the Wii U's eShop.

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Little Inferno is an incredibly unique experience that can't be found in any other game. Burning various items is surprisingly fun and the charming story will appeal to many people. However, it should be noted that this is certainly not something for everyone and it's quite a risk-taking plunge due to the £12.99 price point of the game. Those who were interested in Little Inferno before reading this review, and even those who had their interest piqued by this piece of writing, should definitely dive in and try out the game.

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09.12.2012

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Developer

Tomorrow Corporation

Publisher

Tomorrow Corporation

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

Rob64 (guest) 09.12.2012 13:02#1

That's definitely the best review I've read. Really sounds like you 'got' the true meaning of the game. Some are unfairly criticising this as a throwaway product. Not true!

Staff Member

Rob64 (guest) said:
That's definitely the best review I've read. Really sounds like you 'got' the true meaning of the game. Some are unfairly criticising this as a throwaway product. Not true!
Thanks, I'm glad you liked the review. It's definitely not a throwaway product and there is quite a bit of depth regarding the story. I thought it was exceptionally brilliant and it's one of those games you really have to "take the risk" with.

I'm still not sure about this game. I wanted to buy it on basis of World of Goo alone... but this is so different in anything except atmosphere and originality.

I'll wait for a demo or price drop.

Staff Member

Canyarion said:
I'm still not sure about this game. I wanted to buy it on basis of World of Goo alone... but this is so different in anything except atmosphere and originality.

I'll wait for a demo or price drop.

It's understandable, with World of Goo, I could easily recommend that to anyone who loves puzzle games. However, Little Inferno is such a unique experience that not everyone will be a fan of.

I do recommend you to at least try it out if you get a chance. A demo probably wouldn't do the overall experience much justice. So, if it does go on sale at some point; on either Steam or the eShop, definitely pick it up!

( Edited 10.12.2012 15:01 by Mush )

Canyarion said:
I'm still not sure about this game. I wanted to buy it on basis of World of Goo alone... but this is so different in anything except atmosphere and originality.

I'll wait for a demo or price drop.

I feel exactly the same way.
Absolutely loved World of Goo and want to get this game...but keep hesitating.

A demo would be great. I don't think a lot of games need demos (people generally know what a game like FIFA or Mario is like) - but more unique games like this (and ZombiU is another one) could really benefit from a demo.

I think the game is $15 now. If it dropped to $10 I would probably take the risk.

( Edited 10.12.2012 16:15 by Sonic_13 )

definitely sounds interesting. Hope it's available for tablets/android, have to check later. :-Smilie
thanks for trying to explain it, but I'll have to experience it myself.

You are not alone. I am here with you. Though we're far apart...you're always in my heart. Love u!
Staff Member

God said:
definitely sounds interesting. Hope it's available for tablets/android, have to check later. :-Smilie
thanks for trying to explain it, but I'll have to experience it myself.
It's currently only available for the Wii U eShop and PC. Whether it will be available for devices in the future, is something that hasn't been confirmed just yet. Though, World of Goo has appeared on many platforms, so I wouldn't rule out the possibility. Smilie

defintely, it makes sense after reading about the pad use and simplicity of the game. Will remember this for a future purchase then. Thanks. (-:

You are not alone. I am here with you. Though we're far apart...you're always in my heart. Love u!

Bought this game based off the review and although it is a simple idea it was great fun! I enjoyed it and would get a sequel no doubt!

When in doubt....Whip it out!

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