Fire: Hit stuff together like a caveman, hope for sparks

April 30, 2015


Fire is the silly quest of a caveman trying to find fire for his village. He was chosen for this task because it’s his fault the fire is gone. He fell asleep on fire watch duty, the fire went out and the village leadership is mad. In the first level you wind up eating a magic apple, talking to the tree it came from and taking on its quest to find some magic bugs. Find all of the bugs, and the tree will give you fire to take back to the village.

Things start out strange, and they don’t ever come back to anything resembling normal. Throughout the adventure, you’ll lure a shaman out in a thunderstorm to get him struck by lightning and steal his rain dance stick, make music with the help of freestyling bushes, turn into a bear and take remote control of a recently-deceased dinosaur.


Everything feels reminiscent of cartoons, but it occasionally feels too much like Ren & Stimpy for my taste. Similarly, puzzle design can be a little hit-or-miss. It was no great victory when I combined random bugs with the dinosaur’s nose; it was an accident. I got there by highlighting all of the interactable objects and using everything on them that I could. While this mirrors the caveman character stupidly figuring out the world around him, it’s not why I play an adventure or puzzle game. I never got that “A-ha!” moment when a solution came together. Instead, I got a string of “okay, I guess I can see that” ones.

Character and level design, though, are good. Each level is fairly small — typically three screens — but full of foreground and background elements that make the scene feel alive. Some of this is in service of finding hidden coins to unlock concept art, which is great. I like clicking around the levels and seeing how things work. I like that the stone pillars aren’t used as a puzzle solution but can be lowered anyway, and knowing that a gold coin might be back there is even more incentive to explore the surroundings.

The main character completely sells his role as a clueless oaf, as well. Click on a raspberry high in a tree and he’ll reach up, grunt and then give up. Click on the magic bug before you can pick it up and he’ll get red-faced and pout. And if you click on a tool that he doesn’t understand or can’t use yet, he’ll get puzzled, his head will open and a big sign with a question mark on it will pop up.


Fire can be completed in a few hours, and while I like the character and his world I just can’t find the logic behind many of the puzzles. There’s also no hint system that I could find, aside from highlighting the interactable objects. This led to feeling stuck and clicking on the same things on three screens over and over. Since there is no parallelism, I couldn’t move on to another puzzle and come back later. It was time to work with the musical bushes, and since I couldn’t figure them out I couldn’t continue. After progressing I never hit another similar roadblock, but it left a sour taste in my mouth nonetheless.

Pros: Optional collectibles to find, charming main character, interactable object highlights
Cons: No hint system, obtuse puzzles, very short adventure

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.