Fire Tonight Is A Hot Love Story With A Twist

You're on the phone with your partner then it goes dead, and the city is on fire. Do you a) panic b) do nothing c) read this Fire Tonight review to see what it's about?

If your time is precious and you don’t have the hours to invest in something like Kitaria Fables (read the reviewhint hint) and you’re a soppy so-and-so, may the house recommend Fire Tonight?

A third-person mini-adventure with a few puzzles and point and click elements, this charming little indie title, from Reptoid Games and Way Down Deep, warmed my heart during the Steam Next Fest as much as the pink flames causing all the havoc. Unfortunately, the demo was pretty brief, as is the game.

That old cry of weighing up the value of a title based on length? Well, we’re not all blessed with our parent’s basements to stink out playing games all day, and those who cover titles in a mock professional way can’t cover all these lengthy titles and give a fair assessment (looking at you, Arboria – lookout for a review this week). Fire Tonight can be completed in 30-45 minutes, and we’re ending that sentence….now.

Fire Tonight Review - Snow joke
Snow joke. Source: Steam

Fire Tonight Review

You play a couple of lovebirds – Maya and Devin. They’re having a chat on the blower, reminiscing over some photos and what-not, when all of a sudden, the line goes dead. As this is based in 1990, there are no mobiles/cellphones, so being hopelessly in love, Maya feels compelled to venture out and find a phonebox. The problem is, a series of fires have broken out and causing havoc across the city.

As Maya, you’ll run around a few city dioramas looking for keys and routes past the fires, bringing you closer to heave- Devin. Without email or social media to get hold of one another (ah… those were the days…), they’re both unsure of how the other is doing. Maya is the more proactive one, venturing out into the night to find her way, whereas Devin mopes about in his apartment, pretending to wait for her when in reality, he’s a little bit wet.

Fire Tonight can be played with a controller or with the mouse and keyboard. I’d recommend the former if you can, as Maya’s movement is a little clumsy and switching the angles on the fly are clunky. Besides the fire, there are no elements that will hurt you, so we can forgive this. For now. Later she’ll grab a walkman, and each time she plays a tune, she can walk through some fire areas unharmed, remembering to search the trashcans for old batteries to replenish it.

Mixed Tapes

Fire Tonight Review - My middle name
My middle name… Source: Steam

Devin is the opposite of Maya. In his sections, you’ll interact with some tapes – that’s, cassettes, fellow 80s/90s kids, look around his apartment to reminisce once more, and even play a videogame while he’s procrastinating. Eventually, he’ll leave his apartment for you to team up with Maya to solve a puzzle, which is by far the best part of the game.

There’s a bit of wandering now and again and backtracking but based on the playtime, it’s never dull or annoying – other than the occasional wonky camera angle. Exploration is limited, but fun to read some of the newspaper headlines and see a billboard with a nod to The Big Con. Maya will also get a short action sequence, which breaks up Fire Tonight with a bit of variety.

Presentation-wise, Fire Tonight is quite enchanting with some cool blue and purple palettes throughout that pop, along with the excellent illustrations. Maya is a standout, and I’d like to see her reappear in future adventures. Not that I’m trying to split them up, but Devin can stay at home.

Flame On

A pre-internet era may sound boring for some, but it was a nice flashback to a time where we could appreciate things a little better, like mixtapes, physical magazines, and not being pestered by our phones all the time. The game captures the era well without feeling like a relic, nor cliche either, as the soundtrack throughout is upbeat, has a synth edge but feels fresh and modern.

Fire Tonight Review - Meanwhile
Meanwhile… Source: Steam

Fire Tonight was on my wishlist to review, but I was slow on the uptake for a review code. When I saw that the game was out plus the price, I dipped my hands into those big ol’ pockets and bought it with my daughter’s savings. I kid! It was her birthday money. As a fellow wielder of cash, can I recommend this, considering the length and price? Yep. It’s a feel-good game, and for the price of a six-pack, you’ll save yourself the hangover and booty call. Unless the phone networks go down and you have to venture outside and tackle the flames…