Article first published as Nintendo Wii U Review: Little Inferno on Blogcritics.
There isn’t a whole lot available in the download shop on the Wii U, but a good amount of what’s there is worth a look. Little Inferno is one of the handful of virtual titles that can currently be found on the new system and has the potential to give the platform the same relevancy that Braid offered the Xbox 360’s downloadable catalog. If the stylings of the game look familiar, that’s probably because the effort is the product of World of Goo creator, Kyle Gabler’s new indie game studio, Tomorrow Corporation. A word of caution, unless you want to be responsible for the latest California wildfire, Little Inferno is not a game for young kids.
Kyle Gabler has said previously that Little Inferno started as intentional shovel-ware with the idea that someone would make a game that’s hardly a game at all and why shouldn’t it be them. What’s evolved from his collaboration with Henry Hatsworth creator, Kyle Gray and programmer Allan Blomquist is a notable little sandbox game. Scored by Gabler, the deceptively simple gameplay foreshadows a larger setting than the little fireplace in front of you. The communication you receive throughout the game could be missed in the exuberance of watching things burn, but with limited gameplay, deciphering the world outside is its own treasure. Those that look beyond satisfying the inner pyromaniac will find dystopian themes similar to those in the earlier World of Goo.
Little Inferno at its core is a game about burning all of your stuff in the relatively safe confines of a brick fireplace. There, players can set various objects, such as toys, dolls, and even stray spiders, on fire by pointing at the screen for a short amount of time. The game can be played with either a Wiimote or the new GamePad. The benefit of playing on the GamePad is that the game can be played entirely on that second screen, freeing up the television for other use. That can be even more useful for parents that don’t want to encourage setting random objects on fire.
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