Little Inferno represents Wii U’s liberal stance towards indie games; something Nintendo have traditionally kept in an iron grip.
It’s quirky, different and questionable all at the same time – something only a small developer with nothing but dreams for their future would create.
The developers, Tomorrow Corporation, set out to create a physics-based puzzler for the Wii U eShop (which is also available on Windows PC) and whether or not they succeeded in their goal, the big question here is undoubtably: “is it worth downloading”?
Let’s try to answer that question for you!
Little Inferno tells the story of a world that has been encased in freezing weather. In order to keep warm, the mysterious “Tomorrow Corporation” suggests all citizens stay indoors and burn things in their “Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace”.
The story is played out via incoming letters (which you can burn) that give you an overall glimpse of what the world is like and what’s going on.
The gameplay in Little Inferno ranges from curious to monotonous. Basically, players need to drag an item from their inventory shelf into the fireplace. There, they can tap on the Wii U GamePad screen to set said item on fire. Usually, the item will spit out some coins which can be used to purchase more things to burn.
The game encourages players to find combos by purchasing and burning multiple items at once. As you continue to burn things, you will eventually unlock bigger, more expensive objects.
The problem here is that once you’ve seen most things burn, the game turns into a boring lull of missed potential. The issue is that there’s no incentive to continue to the end. Sure, you might find some cool objects that do different things, but the game forces you to use them over and over and over in order to get more and more coins so that you can unlock the next cool thing.
In fact, I find it difficult to call this title a “game” for that reason. The lack of incentive and practically zero reward will probably have you questioning why you purchased Little Inferno in the first place.
There are some saving graces, however. The game’s presentation is top notch – the physics are fairly realistic (though what good is putting a magnent in a game like this if two magnets wont repel each other?) and the characters you’ll encounter are delightfully sadistic.
Little Inferno targets a growing pocket of gamers who don’t like to think and are content to use minimal effort to “beat the game”, much in the same vein as Fruit Ninja or Angry Birds but hardly as action packed. To call Little Inferno a “puzzler” is an insult to the long legacy of puzzle games.
If you’re a pyromanic or someone who is so bored that even the slightest amount of stimulation will get you through the night, Little Inferno is worth a look. For everyone else, avoidance is the cure to buyers remorse. If curiosity is getting the better of you, I strongly suggest you get this game when its on sale.