Pyromaniacs of the world rejoice!
When BulkyPix gave us a preview of Burn it All at GDC a few months ago, they were very quick to point out that this game is absolutely not a clone of Big Blue Bubble’s Burn the Rope game. Having played both games, I can vouch for that statement. In fact, I enjoyed Burn it All a lot more than Burn the Rope, but that probably comes from my preconceived distaste for accelerometer-based titles.
Burn it All comes from the developers of the fantastic arcade platformer, Pix’n Love Rush, which remains one of my all-time favorite arcade titles for the iPhone/iPad. Like Pix’n Love, Pastagames has gone the extra mile to really put those glossy coats of polish on Burn it All. The game looks and sounds fantastic on both the iPhone and the iPad with it’s colorful characters and levels coupled with smooth animation.
Like Burn the Rope, Burn it All gives you the task of burning rope, along with other objects and creatures. However, Pastagames take a much more “platformy” approach to the idea. Rather than just tapping on rope to start burning, you have to drag your flame from it’s volcano pedestal to the rope to ignite it. Using your finger, either on the flame, or anywhere else on the screen, you have to navigate through rock walls, dripping icicles, and other obstacles. In Burn the Rope, you score 0-3 diamonds based on how fast you can burn everything in the level, so the order in which you burn objects is absolutely key.
Navigating the levels and choosing what to burn first becomes extremely tricky as the levels progress. The first set of levels feature the basic flame and a few different types of ropes than burn at different speeds. There are a few levels with water drops, and a couple with bats that act as both a burn goal and an obstacle, since using up the flame returns it back to it’s volcano. Things weren’t too tricky until I started the second set of levels, where two different colored flames come into play. One allows you to start burning objects from any point (rather than the ends of rope), and another lets you blow through any burnable object for a limited period, allowing you to quickly “slice” through objects until your flame needs to be recharged. Gaining three diamonds on these levels becomes exceedingly difficult, but simply beating the levels is generally fairly straightforward.
I’m a bit of a completionist when it comes to these games that let you “3-star” levels, so I became a bit frustrated with Burn it All when the platforming aspect of the game became sketchy at times. As you navigate your flame around burnable obstacles, it tends to “snap” to different burn points as you pass, causing premature usage of the flame when I was trying to navigate to a different area on the screen. On the opposite side, at times your flame will get stuck when you actually want to ignite a rope or object, leaving you frantically trying to find the “burn area”. For people who aren’t concerned with getting 100% completion on the game, these little ticks won’t be noticed, but for hardcore gamers out there, they can be a big frustration. Luckily, the iPad version of the game doesn’t seem to suffer as much from navigation issues, mainly due to the larger screen and game assets.
Burn it All is a slick and fun platforming puzzle title for those looking for a good challenge on their iOS devices. The little maneuvering ticks will be frustrating to hardcore players, but mainly on those using an iPhone. The iPad version of the game looks just as gorgeous, and benefits greatly from the larger visuals and bigger display. The good news? The game is a universal title, so 99 cents buys you both the iPad and iPhone/iPod version. If you’re looking for a fresh puzzle platforming experience that will challenge you and satisfy your dark, pyromanic tendencies, there’s no reason not to pick up Burn it All – and put down that gas can and lighter while you’re at it.