I want to open this review by saying, please don’t unnecessarily kill spiders. They do good for the world. Now that my inner druid has spoken, I’d like to say that Kill it with Fire is a game in its own league. On one hand, its graphical style is somewhat reminiscent of Surgeon Simulator or Job Simulator, yet the visual charm doesn’t feel like it was directly ripped from other titles. The music was bumpin’ at first, but the lack of variety among the audio tracks quickly became apparent and grew old. That said, the other sounds – weapons and *shudder* the spiders – were well done and fit well. But how does this stack up among other games reviewed on Gamespace.com? Find out below – this is our Kill it with Fire review!
One thing that definitely came across was a feeling of desolation, which is, as it turns out, intentional and revealed through environmental evidence of what happened. That is to say, the plot is never directly spelled out, and at the beginning, doesn’t even feel like it exists. Suffice it to say, you play a faceless exterminator, out to rid the world of bizarre spiders. The range of species is broad for a video game. Some spiders just hang out and run, whereas others jump at you. Which is horrifying EVERY time it happens. Still, others explode or animate the corpses of other spiders, undoing all of your handiwork.
Hunting spiders largely entails two processes – referring to a spider detector, which hearkens back to the old PKE Meter of the Ghostbusters universe. Once in the vicinity of a spider, a more hands-on investigation is warranted. The player is empowered to lift and rotate most objects in the world, on which spiders can and will hide. This, again, can be horrifying when the picture frame you pick up to examine more closely reveals a jumping spider that tries to latch onto your face.
Fear not, however, as you cannot take damage. I, for one, am eternally grateful for that fact, as it takes away much of the stress inherent to having one of mankind’s most common fears all around one’s self. That said, the player’s immortality means that this is a different kind of game than some might expect. This is not a survival game, rather Kill it with Fire is a puzzle/exploration/extermination/mayhem kind of game. Just as the spiders don’t cause you damage, rockets, fire, and other explosives also cause no damage to the player.
They do, however, cause damage to the environment. Half of the fun, and some of the missions, lay in blowing things up or setting them on fire. Indeed, a faster method of findings spiders, I discovered, is to simply light everything on fire. At times, for fun, I would soak a room in gasoline and then blow it up. Spiders pop out of their hiding places and are set alight, zooming around the environment like little, fanged fireballs.
Speaking of missions, each level has two primary objectives – complete missions as assigned on the clipboard and kill spiders. Sometimes the two overlap, but more often than not, missions entail breaking things, moving things, or some other unusual activity. My favorites were to “do the dishes,” which in this game, means breaking everything dish-shaped, and a later mission that entailed destroy computers in an effort to wipe their hard drives. The designers clearly had fun with the mission system and took full advantage of the physics system in the process.
Each level also has a special challenge, which usually involves killing spiders with specific weapons. Later missions are a bit more liberal with the requirements, but I found all challenges to be, well, challenging. Indeed, I don’t believe I completed any challenge until I had completed all levels and returned to specifically address those challenges. Even then I had to make sure I was using the energy drink items so as to slow downtime. It turns out, spiders are really hard to shoot with revolvers.
All of this sounds well and good, yes? Well, it’s not all Froot Loops and cartoons, I’m afraid. Kill it with Fire is short. I mean, like, really short. I achieved 100% completion with all achievements after 8 hours. I don’t know if that’s a commentary on our leisure activities or perception of time, but I would really think about the price per hour of value here. Don’t get me wrong, when things worked, it was thoroughly enjoyable. When things worked. I crashed to desktop on numerous occasions, and at some point following my completion of the game, all of my progress was erased. That made obtaining my own screenshots very difficult, and I was, for lack of a better term, unreasonably enraged.
So, the good? It’s a fun, charming looking, and at times crazy bug-killing adventure. The bad? Bugs, and not the good kind. Also, it is very short. Don’t get me wrong, issues with bugs may have been worked out post-review, but I have to review the game as I played it, which is rather damning for the score. Nevertheless, this would be great fun for a younger crowd, who might overlook the shortness of the game and just delight in breaking dishes or blowing up gas stations. If the bugs could be squashed, so to speak, I would recommend this as an otherwise delightful distraction.
A Steam game key was provided for this review.
COMPARE TO: Surgeon Simulator, Job Simulator