Laughing Jackal bring you a brilliantly fun and equally challenging rougelike game with Flame Over. In this game you play as Blaze Carruthers, a firefighter on the job, putting out fires and facing death while saving people and cats with your trusty hose and extinguisher. The game is straightforward and easy to get the hang off but Laughing Jackal have done very well to make it so you definitely won’t be completing it first try.
Flame Over presents you with constantly changing levels so no matter how many times you die, you’ll never see the same level layout twice. This is my favourite thing about the game as it adds to its difficulty and stops you from having to battle the same fires and situations over and over again every time you die; because trust me you will be dying a lot. Games get very boring very quickly when you’re playing the same level all the time, so much so that you start to develop muscle memory for what you have to do and where you have to go so to play something with randomisation like Flame Over makes for a great change.
You’re given five minutes to complete the level otherwise the grim reaper will begin following you around, but you’re given one minute of extra time with every person you successfully lead to the fire exit however it’s more difficult than it sounds. There are some very stubborn characters in this game that won’t leave until you’ve completed a task for them (eg. Finding a red handbag and returning it – which frankly breaks the first fire evacuation rule we all learn growing up which is “leave all personal belongings behind.”) or the fire will seemingly keep coming back and make it so difficult to rescue the person or cat that they will just fall and die right in front of you; it’s actually pretty tragic.
It becomes apparent very quickly that each material in the game reacts differently to the next and while playing you must learn what reacts to what. For example, plants are easily set on fire again, so don’t be surprised if you’ve just sprayed one with your hose just to find it relit within a matter of seconds by the unruly fireballs that shoot towards you. While some items in rooms are best put out by the hose, others will be better with the extinguisher but the game is sometimes kind enough to tell you which to use.
The graphics in the game are cartoony and simplistic but work very well with the rougelike genre and game’s style. With vibrant colours and a fun soundtrack to accompany the gameplay it’s definitely a game that you will find difficult to not like. Of course, the game isn’t without some fault but I personally can’t help but like it. Games in which I die more than I play often frustrate me, as they probably do most people, but that’s just the charm of rougelike games and Flame Over is no exception.
I definitely think that Flame Over is a game you ought to try. It’s fun, it’s challenging and it’s fast paced making for an entertaining gaming session all round.
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