Burn, Baby, Burn

LittleInferno

I had Little Inferno recommended to me two or three years ago, but I am bad at playing games in a timely fashion.

It’s a little hard to describe; it’s a gloomy game about stacking toys in a fireplace and setting fire to them, then watching the interactions as they burst, melt, and explode.  Think Gomibako / Trash Panic meets Edward Gorey, and you wouldn’t be far off the mark.

While you’re burning things, they occasionally spit out coins, which you can use to order things from mail-order catalogs.

Then you burn those new things too.

There’s a puzzle aspect to the whole thing; the game gives you a list of 99 combos and you need to figure out how to put the combos together in order to unlock new catalogs to buy new stuff from to burn to make new combos to…

…it all gets a little cyclical.

The combos aren’t spelled out, but their name tends to give you a hint towards what’s needed – and even if you’re not looking at the combo list, you can often just pick a few things that seem to go together and trigger one of them.  “Road Rage” is triggered by burning a toy truck, a schoolbus, and a bicycle together, “LOLCats” is burning a stuffed cat and a camera, that sort of thing.

While you’re burning all of these things, you get a series of peculiar letters and you start to get the sense that the world away from your fireplace is a very odd world indeed.

The game’s ending is left more-than-a-little open to interpretation, but pretty much every interpretation I could come up with is pretty bleak.  It really does lure you in with a quirky hook before it lays the despair on you, though, and I’m glad that I finally made a couple of hours to play it.

Played on Mac, also available for Windows, iOS, WiiU, probably everything with a screen by now.

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