Little Inferno iPad Review

By , on February 1, 2013
Last modified 11 years, 3 months ago

Little Inferno HD
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • Familiar and intuitive gameplay elements; buy, burn, collect coins, rinse-repeat.
  • Clearly defined goals tied together with a short narrative; pays off in a spectacular way at the end.
  • Beautiful use of the iPad's graphics; clever special effects for each item you burn.


  • Some combos assume a level of knowledge players may not have; makes for a frustrating blockade as they're needed to progress.
  • Touch controls feel unresponsive at times, normally while trying to drag items from your mailbox.


If anything, Little Inferno is far more poignant on the App Store than it is anywhere else; with so many games attempting to exploit the 'freemium' concept, Little Inferno embraces and turns it in to something rewarding, but also (and most importantly) something that ends.

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Call me crazy, but I was saving myself for the iPad release of Tomorrow Corporation's 'Little Inferno', as such I can't provide much of a comparison to the console or PC versions. What I can say is that Little Inferno feels as though it was always destined for the iOS platform - it was conceptually _made_ for the IAP heavy, freemium dominant scene that is the App Store. In short, Little Inferno is champion the platform deserves, even if it doesn't need it specifically.

The game starts off quite slowly, introducing its elementary system of gameplay one object at a time. The aim is to burn everything you buy, and then buy more things to burn; it's a cyclical system that's only slowed down by needing to wait a nominal amount of time (at worst, 5 minutes) for an item to be 'delivered'. It's reminiscent of the Farmvilles and Tiny Tower's out in the gaming sphere, but far more lenient.

In return the player is guided through a wonderfully brief story about a neighbor who seems all too enthusiastic about burning things, and the inexplicable fear the characters have of looking away from their fires. Also, much like the myriad of 'desktop toy' applications for the PC, each item you burn has a special effect, be it a horrifying scream from the food; hidden bugs; nasty tomes full of darkness and evil; or miniature planetary objects that affect the gravity of the fireplace... it's a veritable playground to explore.

And the game understands this need to play around, rewarding players even further by dangling 'combos' in front of them, asking the player to find out how to trigger them. This will result in more cash and tokens (the latter of which can be used to speed up delivery times), though both can be gained just as easily by simply burning objects and popping bugs.

Before you know it, you're already at the end (it's a 2-3 hour game all said and told), and what an ending it is... just as you think you're ready to sit back and enjoy a credit scroll the game throws you a curveball.

Ultimately, Little Inferno isn't going to set the world on fire - the gameplay amounts to what is essentially a special effects show, and the story (while still lighthearted and fun) isn't as deep as it would like to think it is. However, it's 2-3 hours well spent as you explore, experiment and generally have a fun time... and really, that's what gaming should be all about.


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