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Little Inferno's a weird game, all told - not just because of the unusual objective, but because of the way it's mastered the very things that I suspect its designers hate. Its central mechanic is truly empty and truly compulsive, and yet the barest, most devastatingly mindless circuit of its interactions is redeemed by the wonderful art and the sly imagination on display. You'll burn stuff because you have to in order to advance the plot, and because it's the only outlet the designers have given you. You'll also burn stuff because it's so much fun, however: it's so richly rewarding to experiment with different fireplace load-outs, to watch as teddy bears, tiki heads, sunglasses and even house bricks go up in bright, energetic flames. Sometimes, it's not the burning that counts, then. It's what you're burning - and how it makes you feel as you bask in the sooty glow that emanates from your hearth.
On one hand, it’s a little disappointing that a company with such a strong puzzle background decided to make a toy instead of a puzzle game. On the other hand, it’s a pretty interesting toy with a great atmosphere and a story that may actually make you think. (More ambivalence! How meta.) Don’t play Little Inferno if you’re looking for something in the family of World of Goo in gameplay terms (aesthetics are a different story, though, since both games share a similar style). It has more in common with The Unfinished Swan and Dear Esther than Henry Hatsworth. Little Inferno is something you should play if you appreciate weirdness and humour, with a well-crafted atmosphere… no matter how unsettling it can sometimes be.
Little Inferno might not sound like much of an actual game, at least in the usual sense. In fact it could be viewed more as a toy, much like those that you are burning in the fireplace. You can play around with it for an hour and not really achieve anything, but it still feels as though you are having fun. It only does one thing, but it does it well, and there are enough hints at the story to keep you going to the end. There is not much beyond this for a hardcore gamer, but for any secret pyromaniacs out there, Little Inferno will certainly ignite your passion, and it is a lot safer than the real thing.
Une très bonne expérience, une oeuvre, un bijou, c'est comme vous le sentez. Il n'en reste pas moins que Little Inferno est un excellent cru, mais vous procurera un grand sentiment d'incomplétude. Vous serez satisfait, mais pas rassasié. On en veut encore, et nous pouvons que croiser les doigts pour que la suite des évènements vienne ajouter du contenu au titre. Je ne peux que le conseiller, mais suis forcé de préciser qu'il n'en est qu'à ses débuts. Dans tous les cas, si la durée de vie était équivalente à celle de World of Goo par exemple, je n'aurais presque rien eu à lui reprocher et un beau 18/20 ornerait le bas de cette page.
And then, when you’re all done, what’s there left to do? There’s not much of a reason to play it after you’ve beaten it. Once you’ve set fire to all of the things, all that’s left is to fill out the checklist of combos. And once that’s done, there’s just the never changing fireplace and your catalogs of toys. They may burn brightly, explode in variable screams, changing the colors of the flames into something truly radiant. Then the flames die out, and there’s nothing left to do but buy more toys and set them on fire again. And again. And again.
The puzzle elements, albeit light and nonsensical, are fun and imaginative. Burning different items together in hopes of unlocking new combos is, in a weird, sadistic way, somewhat soothing, as is watching the well-modeled objects slowly turn to pieces as the fire immolates. Though it’s a little too short and a little too expensive, the mostly unseen world outside the Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace is charming and impressive, and absolutely worth experiencing.
There’s a joke being played in Little Inferno, and we’re not quite sure who’s the butt of it. Social games get satirised via both flavour text and mechanics, since you’re forced to wait minutes for your deliveries to arrive, unless you pay in-game stamps to speed things up. But at times it seems like you’re being mocked for choosing digital coal shovelling over the real world. There’s enough charm here for Little Inferno to get by, but sometimes you might consider taking its advice and stop feeding the flames.
Bien trop limité en termes de gameplay, Little Inferno fait partie de ces ovnis vidéoludiques que l'on essaiera par curiosité avant de retourner à des jeux plus conventionnels certes, mais certainement bien plus amusants.
Initially it’s a pleasure to burn every item I receive in Little Inferno. The flash that signals ignition, the way items respond to being incinerated – it all activates some primal part of my brain that can sit in front of a camp fire for hours, sinking deep into my head as I watch the fingers of the flames. The vague story and uninspired puzzles weren’t special enough to keep my attention after that initial sense of awe waned, though, and when viewed alongside some annoying constraints that make the gameplay feel unnecessarily constrained, Little Inferno’s few great ideas fall apart like so much ash.