Bonfire Trail (iOS) Review

By Lex Firth 02.03.2015

Review for Bonfire Trail on iOS

Back in the Stone Age, a caveman rubbed two sticks together (presumably out of sheer boredom - after all, there'd be no video games for a while yet) and voila! Fire was born. Since then, humanity hasn't looked back, now able to cook food with it, heat homes with it, and watch people on the street eat it - but what would the world have been like, if not for our Neanderthal friend? Costa Rican developer Green Lava Studios attempts to find out in this charming mobile offering.

Bonfire Trail tells the story of Woby, a cute little meteorite (yes, really) who's travelling through space with his equally igneous girlfriend Layla, when they suddenly crash onto a mysterious planet where fire is scarce. Separated and scared, Woby must now try and save Layla - but they're not alone, with a host of hungry natives all trying to cook their food with Woby's heat.

It's a wonderfully madcap premise that meshes brilliantly with the game's equally unique gameplay. The player doesn't take direct control of Woby, but instead places markers using the touch screen for him to follow - similar in a sense to point-and-click games like King's Quest and Sam & Max - to the exit of each individual stage, all while sneaking around the indigenous monsters (or lighting fires as distractions) in order to avoid a grisly end.

It's an interesting setup - hence its success at the 2012 Square Enix Latin America Game Contest, scooping up third place - but one that certainly isn't without its flaws. For instance, Woby often refuses to co-operate with certain instructions, often taking longer and more dangerous routes to a marker than are available, or even simply being somehow unable to circumvent an obstacle that is clearly passable. While this is annoying but forgivable in the game's Easy Mode, the Hard Mode (the only place to find the various collectables on offer, needed to unlock an extra mode) limits each stage to just three taps, and as a result this occasional AI problem can make a level impossible to complete.

Screenshot for Bonfire Trail on iOS

The game also sadly sinks into tedium very early on, with very few mechanics introduced to liven up the experience. Save for a few differences in the types of objects that can be set alight in order to distract the monsters, nothing really changes across Bonfire Trail's eighty stages, which are so generic that all end up blending together.

The aesthetic also suffers from a lack of individuality. The enemies remain the same simple blue cuboids throughout (although, in a touch of brilliance, they all wander around with different food on a stick) and the levels stay true to uninspired archetypes, such as deserts and jungles. Objects that can be set alight often look too much like background objects to stand out to the player, and the music fails to excite, opting for a plain, ambient soundtrack.

Bonfire Trail is difficult to recommend. Its interesting premise is let down by AI issues and a lack of good ideas beyond the basic gameplay, making it unfortunately too plain to justify a purchase.

Screenshot for Bonfire Trail on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Bonfire Trail is by no means a bad game - it simply lacks the polish that would make it recommendable. It's an interesting idea and one that's genuinely fun to begin with, but boredom sets in far too early and few players will be bothered to see exactly how Woby's story ends.

Developer

Nyx

Publisher

Nyx Digital

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

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   

Comments

Comments are currently disabled

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Azuardo, jesusraz

There are 2 members online at the moment.