Little Inferno was initially released on the Nintendo Wii U five years ago before being ported to a handful of different platforms before finding a new home on the Nintendo Switch. While I skipped out on playing the game up until this point, I don’t think playing the game previously would change the way the review would be written. There are only so many ways one could describe Little Inferno’s gameplay loop. Using one of the Joy-Cons, you have pointer controls while the game sets you in front of a fireplace and tasks you with continuously burning objects. You can set your pointer ablaze at any point, so how much heat is added to your fireplace is entirely up to you. You gain currency for every item burned, and using said currency you purchase new items through catalogs. Seeing how these new objects react when you start to set them ablaze is half the fun, while the other half involves combining specific items and roasting them together.
If you want to watch the world burn, you’ve come to the right place.
Over the course of a couple of hours, you’ll make your way through the entirety of the catalog, but you are free to purchase any previous items at any time. All of the objects are everyday items, probably things that you can find where you live right now. From an alarm clock, which I’m sure we all have wanted to toss in a towering inferno at one point or another, to watching corn on the cob explode into delicious popcorn, Little Inferno’s an enjoyable experience. The premise is simple, and the gameplay loop doesn’t change. Granted, at the start, you only have to worry about burning items and making enough to purchase the next item, but eventually you want to start looking towards making progress with the ample amount of combos in the game. As you comfort yourself by watching everyday household items burn, crackle and pop, you collect coins. You use these coins to purchase new items from the catalog.
Tasked with completing combos, you aren’t actual told the exact things needed to burn together to complete each one. Instead, you are given a vague description that provides just enough for you to figure out what items to purchase and sequentially burn. For example, “Lenders” combo requires you to burn someone else’s credit card and a blankity bank, while “Movie Night” as you may guess requires a television and corn on the cob. By completing combos, you’ll gain access to additional catalogs, along with brand new items to order. Surprisingly, there is an actual storyline ending to the game, which one wouldn’t expect for a game of this nature.
While docked, you can play Little Inferno using pointer controllers on either the left or the right Joy-Con; no Pro Controller support. When played in handheld mode, you can use the Nintendo Switch’s touch screen to play through the entire game. Tomorrow Corporation has added a local two-player cooperative mode. While light things on fire alone, when you can share the fun with someone special in your life.
Whether you are playing docked or in handheld mode, Little Inferno is an enjoyable game to set everyday household items on fire. Almost everything burns uniquely, and trying to complete all 99 of the combos will keep you playing. Add on top of that the newly released two-player cooperative mode and the fact you can play at home or on the go, and you have a tight little package from a tiny indie developer.
Note: The Little Inferno review is based on a digital Switch copy of the game, provided by the publisher.