Help Baff the dragon save his friends, and set enemies ablaze.
Looking at the screenshots it might be easy to think this is just another Angry Birds clone featuring cute animals. It is quite far from the truth when it comes to the actual gameplay. The initial launch is quite similar to Angry Birds, but once the projectile flies the games differ greatly. Up In Flames turn into a fire physics puzzler where you have to plan both the shot, and how it ignites crates and enemies. Yes you read it right, you actually flambé the wolves, sharks and yetis who have kidnapped the dragons.
The flames spread across wooden crates connected physically, but also to crates found above due to heat. There is also dynamite, and a whole range of different dragons that can help spread the mayhem. The ordinary dragon is just happy when he is freed from his cage, but others are more helpful sending an own ball of fire flying. To complete a level you have to both free all dragons, and kill all the enemies. You have a limited number of fireballs to fire, and you are judged on how many you have left. To get three stars the most common goal is to complete the level with just one fireball. I found myself retrying over, and over to get it done with the least amount of fireballs. Up In Flames is quite good in that you can expect the same behaviour with two shots fired exactly the same way. Something that doesn’t always hold true for Angry Birds.
The visual presentation is absolutely cute with bright vibrant colours. It is all done in a Angry Birds/cute physics puzzle kind of style that we have all come to enjoy. What is less good is the fact that you get to incinerate wolves, sharks and yetis. For one they are smaller than the dragons, and stand still looking cute instead of evil. To let kids play Up In Flames you will have to talk about this, or at least be prepared to have questions like: “is our dog evil too, should we burn him too?”
The music used is quite annoying tribal drumming that doesn’t go anywhere. Even worse is the whimpering of burning wolves that can be quite disturbing. Up In Flames is one of few games lately that insists on fading out my own music.
Up In Flames is a fun physics puzzle playing with fire that adds some new tricks to the formula. I just wished it could be a bit friendlier to kids, as putting animals on fire isn’t the nicest thing to do. Especially since they whimper in pain. I hope to see a kid option in future updates. Other than that this is a game well worth your time.
Up In Flames $0.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod