Burn baby burn, yeah! I enjoy setting the odd fire if done under controlled conditions. Close to water, and a bucket handy I am not one to fear the heat. Marshmallows, a couple of beers and the company of friends are all enhanced by flames reaching towards the sky. Burnstar is not really keen on marshmallows, and all his friends end up in the emergency burn ward. He is the ultimate pyromaniac, and now he is set out to set the evil Industrial Inc ablaze.
Burnstar is a puzzle game controlled by touch. Simply tap where you want Burnstar to go, and feet across the level show the route he will walk. At times the controls aren’t as precise as I would want them to be, and Burnstar wanders some extra steps. Picking up lighters, bombs and launchers give him the power of fire. To set something on fire simply tap it, and tap the available ignition source at the bottom of the screen. The object of the game is to burn enough stuff for the burn meter to reach the blue line at the bottom. Chain reactions are needed to maximise fires, and it takes some planning as ignition sources are limited. You can zoom in and out using the pinch gestures. To plan ahead you need to get a good overview of the level.
After the extensive tutorial you get to select to play the game in either action or casual mode. Casual mode gives you all the levels without enemies hassling you. The action mode obviously challenges you more as you get robots chasing you around. As you progress through the massive amount of levels available new challenges are constantly added. Blocks with different properties, and different kind of enemies. Burnstar is vulnerable to enemies touching him. Fire for some strange reason also kills Burnstar. Obviously his suit is more for show than practical use. Killing the enemies is all about timing, and getting them to pass in front of an explosion.
The presentation in Burnstar is really polished with bright crisp graphics, and old-school chiptune music. It is easy to distinguish the different objects both by colour and texture. The music is really cool, and takes me back to the day of Q-bert and Pac man. You can play your own music in along with the sound effects.
A neat feature is that you can use up to four different profiles. This enables you to play both the casual and action game using multiple profiles. Online functionality is lacking in Burnstar, as well as achievements. Once you have completed the game there is little reason to go back to it again. It took me two hours to get halfway into the action mode levels. I predict that I will have to spend at least ten hours to beat the game completely.
Burnstar is a brightly burning gem in the puzzle genre. It is surprisingly fun to plan a sequential fire to kill a robot. I just hope that this game won’t create any new pyromaniacs. Definitely worth the $1.99, and to avoid going through the tutorial twice just buy the full game right away.