Game: Fire Tonight
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam)
Developers | Publishers: Reptoid Games | Way Down Deep
Age Rating: US E | EU 3+
Price: UK £4.49 | US $5.99 | EU € 4,99
Release Date: 12 August 2021
Review code used with many thanks to Way Down Deep!
Once upon a time, in an era when CD sales were catching up with cassette sales, a young man and a young woman were in love. They were chatting on landline phones when a fire broke out in the city. Not to be separated, even by fire, the young woman sets out to find her lover. The young man, however, twiddled thumbs.
Such is the premise of Fire Tonight. Short and lighthearted, this point-and-click adventure is great for casual players. It’s also a nice little throwback to the 90s.
The plot itself isn’t anything to shout about, but the characters are likeable. While I spent more time playing as the plucky Maya, I found ditzy Devin more memorable in terms of his dialogue and character art.
I liked the chill soundtrack that set the game’s tone as lighthearted and mildly upbeat (despite fires raging across town), much like the song which inspired this game. Visually, outdoor levels were a little too dark-ish for my taste in lighting, but the indoor levels and cartoon-style character art were great.
From start to finish, the tale is only about 1 hour long. Perfect for a single night’s session, but its brevity left me wanting a little more. While games tend to overstay their welcome, this one errs slightly on the side of being too short. It feels more like a long demo than a full game. But kudos to the developer for introducing new mechanics along the way, no matter how simple. I really enjoyed the roller-skating level, which changed things up.
Captain Maya: Boyfriend Tracker
The game shifts back-and-forth between lovebirds Maya and Devin. Most of your time will be spent in Maya’s shoes.
You’ll have her run across town in rotatable, 3D isometric levels, a la Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.
Gameplay is pretty simple: look for safe paths through the fire, search for key items, climb ladders, etc. Around mid-game, a new mechanic appears. Maya gains the ability to pass through certain areas of fire, by listening to her Walkman. If the Walkman runs out of battery, all you need is to rummage through one of the many trash cans littered across the level.
Meanwhile, dude-in-distress Devin waits anxiously in his apartment. Unlike Maya’s levels which scale to neighbourhood size, Devin’s levels are confined to his home. You can still rotate the view, though, and enjoy clicking on objects in his room to see what he might say. There’s no puzzle-solving or exploring here, only a brief narrative.
Spice Level: Very Mild
Fire Tonight is very, very light on puzzle-solving. It’s more about finding the right place to go, in between listening to a short story. Difficulty-wise, the game should be easy enough for your niece or nephew in elementary school.
I did, however, get stuck once. This happened on Maya’s turn, when I found a train and tried to board it but nothing happened. I don’t know if it was a bug, or if I simply overlooked something.
But luckily, the game allows you to select any level to play, even if you haven’t finished the game before. From the main menu, “Select Level” lets you skip ahead if you get stuck. That might sound appalling to challenge-yourselfers, but I think it’s a nice option to offer young players (or older but confused players like me).
Short and simple, Fire Tonight is good for casual players and kids starting out on their gaming journey. I hope to see more from this developer, particularly more cartoon-style art.
Final Verdict: I Like It