Wildfire is a 2D stealth platformer developed by Sneaky Bastards and published by Humble Games. Humble Games have published other such games like Slay the Spire. Originally released on Steam on May 25, 2020, Wildfire has made its way over to the Nintendo Switch. Wildfire is a perfect fit for the Switch and is such a fun game to play on the go. While not the main premise of the game, setting things on fire in the game is such fun.
Note: This review was done on a Nintendo Switch Lite
When starting up Wildfire I was very impressed by the graphical detail world had. The background pixel art of the world is very detailed. I am more curious to discover what the statues and skeletons are within the background of the game. I did not play this on Steam so I won’t be able to compare the controls. What I can say about the controls is that they are very simple but I found the aiming with the right stick to be very sensitive. There isn’t really an option to change sensitivity but I don’t expect there to be.
In Wildfire you start out only being able to wield the element of fire. Using fire we are tasked with rescuing villagers we come across and scaring the guards. Eventually, as I progressed through Wildfire I got other elemental abilities like water. In the earlier levels, water is used to put out fires and to get to higher areas. In later levels in cold areas, it can be used to freeze water and enemies. I loved using these abilities to manipulate the map and scare enemies.
It’s great that we can earn upgrade points to make the abilities more effective but I see the strategy having to be choosey with which we get. In Wildfire you get upgrade points by using elements on a statue in the level. The reason you have to be choosey is that you can not use more than one element on a statue per level. Even replaying the level, once a statue has been claimed it can not be claimed again. Upgrading can also unlock more uses for the element, like unlocking “Fire Jump” while holding a fireball. A key point of Wildfire is being able to choose which elements you invest in and which elemental abilities to upgrade.
Speedrunners will love that there is a built-in speedrun timer. Every level has a speedrun achievement and clocks how fast you completed the level. Now I’m no speedrunner but I think it would be fun to watch a person attempt to speedrun Wildfire and complete the objectives in the level. Wildfire is also co-op, so it might be fun to try and speedrun with a friend.
It is worth it to replay levels as well. Completing objectives you didn’t or couldn’t possibly because you didn’t have the right ability at the time is a thing. In the early levels, there were some upgrade statues in which I was not able to get until I unlocked the water element. Now as far as replayability for after beating the game I can only see it in ways to build out your abilities the next go-round.
The Not So Bad
Being that this is a straightforward indie title there are not really many negatives, at least for this one. Wildfire knows it’s a game about stealth and the stealth mechanics are good. The only real problem I have is the sensitivity of aiming for fire or water. It makes it hard to be accurate and quick when trying to trap an enemy. It really ups the difficulty in some situations.
Wildfire is a challenging 2D stealth platformer that does stealth well. Wildfire is also co-op so if you want to experience it with a friend you can. The graphics are great and really make the flames pop when you are setting a bush on fire. Aiming can be hard but it doesn’t stop Wildfire from being fun. I really enjoyed my time with Wildfire. It’s out now on the Nintendo Switch for $14.99.