Fire Fu (iOS) Review

By Luna Eriksson 25.02.2016 5

Review for Fire Fu  on iOS

Fighting off hordes of enemies has never been simpler than it is in Fire Fu. Just a swipe or a warm touch with the finger of fiery doom is required in RetroFist's mobile release, coming under the Games 4 All label, Channel 4's new videogame division. Is this debut title from the new publisher set to be a hot topic amongst gamers, or does it just flutter and fade away quickly?

One of the most common complaints about smartphone titles from seasoned gamers is that they are barely games at all, sometimes offering the least amount of content possible to actually be considered as acceptable for release, with the bare minimum amount of investment put into production. This is a complaint that Fire Fu simply cannot avoid. This is a really simple title, so much so that almost anyone can play it without any instruction. All that is needed is to touch the screen to kill all of the enemies appearing by swiping over them to burn them with fire.

The core mechanics could have been fun, though. There is promise in Fire Fu, but the issue is that it stays at that level and doesn't evolve further. To add fuel to the fire, many features in the game have to be unlocked in a freemium-like shop where even the possibility to acquire an item must be actually purchased, and even then, the items themselves do very little to add to the bonfire. This leaves what could possibly have been Fire Fu's final saving grace to impress – the boss battles. Sadly, unlocking these isn't done by some simple process such as beating the level before it. Instead it is done by the same freemium-like store mechanic, which is going to ensure that gamers play through far more often than they would want to.

Screenshot for Fire Fu  on iOS

Most will likely end up playing one of said free-to-play titles instead, as those more often than not offer more enjoyable gameplay than Fire Fu – in fact, even other games in its price class generally do, as well. It is disappointing, as at its core, the mechanics found in Fire Fu could have been developed considerably in very interesting and creative ways to present a far superior experience. For a £1.99 title, more is certainly expected.

Nobody could ever complain about the gameplay being overly too complex, that's for sure, but then again, some of the best experiences have a basic premise. However, here it comes across as shallow, and there is a lack of progression within the gameplay mechanics offered. There is very little replayability, enjoyment…basically no reason to pick this up instead of the wealth of similarly-themed releases currently on the App Store. It can easily be passed by without feeling like anything has been missed.

Screenshot for Fire Fu  on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

3/10
Rated 3 out of 10

Bad

Fire Fu follows a worrying trend of certain iOS games whereby the absolute minimum is done in order to pass it off as a 'game.' Minimalist gameplay can sometimes work wonders if implemented well, set against a well-developed core structure with progression in place to encourage replayability. However, here it just becomes a drawback due to the lack of any effort to bring players back to the fold regularly, leaving nothing more than a boring experience that offers very little over the competition. Ultimately, this can safely be skipped without missing much of interest…

Developer

RetroFist

Publisher

Channel 4

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (3 Votes)

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

Comments

That's a real shame since it certainly looks like it has potential. But there are so many similar games that are f2p, and I don't see any reason for spending the money on this one.

How many stages are there, and how long does each one normally last?

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Poor review, I don't even think author has played it at all - a worrying trend indeed. No mention of potions or bosses to unlock..achievemnets, leaderbords..no in app purchases, no load times, highly polished, cheap price point..3/10 Really?

I agree that it could be f2p tho, but then again most games featured by Apple aren't. As long as it looks/runs good on my iPad, reasonable price is alright.
 

StormChaser - have you read some of the other reviews online? They're way off mark with high scores, but a main body of text that basically slates the game. I'd be more disappointed in those false reviews than one by a person that clearly didn't enjoy the experience after having played several similar style efforts.

I saw one review that gave it 7/10, a Bronze Award, and yet the tagline said it was basically average and didn't last long. But hey, I guess you won't rip into something like that because at least the score was high, right? Forget that it's a far shorter game than many f2p games, with barely any replayability. That obviously doesn't matter, I presume... Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

@Adam: Each stage lasts for about a minute + any extra time that is collected during gameplay The normal stages are hard to tell how many they are or if they are just randomized each time due to the fact that the only thing that seems to be changing is the background as everything else is to similar and messy tell apart. There are 5 boss stages though at around 1000 coins each... Yeah, they have to be bought... However, the problem is that those bosses adds nothing beside a unique model with more life than an usual enemy. In other words, nothing new.

@StormChaser: I am happy that you enjoyed the game. I didn't. But to say I didn't play it because I didn't originally mention some very minor features are grasping for straws. Potions and boss battles sure sounds like big things, but they aren't in this game sadly. The potions are of one use nature with some effects which makes the game temporarily easier (for a price...) and the bosses feels more like giant mooks in boss clothing instead of actual bosses due to the limited gameplay mechanics. And having to pay coins for those is stupid in a game the player have bought and serves no actual purpose.

I don't know about how others do it, but it should be mentioned that I cut no games any slack because it is an iOS title. I have played wonderfully crafted iOS titles (both F2P and paid ones) that rivals big AAA titles when it comes to how much enjoyment they bring to me as a player. I put the bar as high for iOS releases as handheld and console releases in this department because even without the access to better technology it is still possible to craft an enjoyable experience which is the core of what makes a good game.

I hope that any of what I said brought some clarity into why I gave it a 3/10. Also, I don't give games bad scores because I enjoy it, but to keep credibility. It makes me sad to give a game a low score because that usually means there are stuff to improve upon, but it is needed to tell readers what I recommend them to play and not to play based on my opinion, which is what I as a reviewer am supposed to do. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask! Smilie

The difference between illusion and reality is vague to the one who suffers from the former and questionable for the one suffering form the later.

This game has potiential and it will be a good game to lookout in the future

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