For my entire gamer’s career I’ve seen lots of games: interesting and funny, smart and obvious, creepy and unpredictable. But I have to admit that I haven’t seen anything like this before in my entire life. You need to understand that even words “Creepy” and “Crazy” can’t fully share my impression of Little Inferno, and yet – this game might become a key that unlocks the most sacred doors in your mind or, better to say, in your heart.
No matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to identify game’s genre because this is not actually a game. At least – it’s really hard to call Little Inferno a one. Probably, strange and sometimes even inappropriate mix of indie ideas, art installations, parables and psychological analysis partially can describe this creation and identify the item as such but by all means a greater part of possibilities that Little Inferno offers to a player is far beyond any frameworks.
Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace is more than just a strange thing. Basically, your only task is to gather different things from your long forgotten childhood and throw them in the fireplace. Here you will see old toys and pictures, broken bicycles, a doll with one hand and one eye, batteries, paper heart, broken pixels, children fears, black hole, black and white TV, night sadness and a lot more. I bet you will agree with me that the list of items is pretty strange and even spooky but it definitely creates a feeling that something here is very and very familiar, don’t you find? Well, we will get back to this idea later.
When you burn those things in the fireplace, they turn into ashes being held with motley fires and memories, kept in those things, disappear in the flue. The more you burn, the more you want to burn. It is like an endless process of making things vanish and at a certain point you realize that the whole world around you is not as small as the fireplace where burning fire dances on ashes of your memories. But this fire dance charms your mind and heart and you can’t take your eyes off him. Why? No one knows but the dark and powerful feeling of trance gets stronger and stronger and you start burning things again cause this makes you feel better, free and complete. You get rid of things that are not important for you any more, things, that won’t ever find a place in your life, broken things and toys that you do not need but at certain point you do realize that everything you do is not about cleaning the room any more. After all, this is not about burning old things, this is about something more important.
Toy after toy, picture after picture you do realize that even strange letters from your neighbor who might be an old woman with some serious issues or a young lady 7 years of age who plays with punctuation too much, are not that scary any more. But why? Why this magnetic disorientation keeps calling you and every offer that comes from a lady who sells fireplaces sounds like the best offer one could ever get? Of course, why not to throw something else and burn another broken bicycle to keep the fire burning? It’s so good and quite in here that involuntarily you drag your mouse and buy more stuff to burn to make a bigger fire and feel warmer at night. But are you ready to go to the very end?
Live, breathing and scary fire, notes of madness in letters, coldblooded combination of the items burning, rustle in the walls and charming music of Kyle Gebler – this what Little Inferno is. This is not a toy, not a game and definitely not an entertainment. This is also not an educational program that teaches us to recycle garbage and not to play with fire. This is a road to our past, a road to those times when we were free from obligations and used to see the real world in all its beauty without purple glasses. Childhood is the only life season when every day we experience the freedom even with our parents standing behind our backs. We feel protected and we know that no matter the troubles – our moms and dads will always be standing by us.
And toys… Toys have always been a universal currency for every child and the more important the toy – the more value it had. Burning them is like burning out childhood but the question stands if this burning is for good? Every person in this world has a couple of reasons to love the early years of his or her life on Earth and a couple more to hate the era of maximum experience. And when you launch this game, I am more than sure that you will find at least one memory to let go. And then – another one. And another one. This is not a game in the expected meaning and you definitely have to try it out and send something into the fireplace. After all, this won’t take much of your time. Or you can accept the challenge and clear your conscious to see what happens. The call is yours, that’s for sure but what if flame is an illusion only and behind the wall there is something else hiding from you?