Burn It All – Journey to the Sun Review

If you enjoy playing with fire but your parole officer has barred your access to matches, lighters, flint, steel, and twigs, you’re in luck. The iOS platform recently saw the release of Burn It All, a fast-paced puzzler that instructs you to, er, burn it all. To the ground.

Burn It All is the story of three little sparks– one red, one blue, and one green–who wish to escape from their volcano home and join their papa, the Sun, in the sky. As it happens, volcanoes are stuffed with over a hundred puzzles involving ropes, rock, and chunks of wood, so the sparks have to burn their way through the brainteasers in order to ascend.

Each level of the game presents you with a tangle of rope, wood carvings, and even some fluttering bats. The adventure starts off simply enough: As the red spark, you must light the fuses at the end of the ropes in each level. After lighting a fuse, the spark must recharge before he can light another. If the ropes burn up before time runs out, you advance. Moreover, the quicker you burn, the more bonus diamonds you earn.

It was a pleasure to burn.

As the game progresses, you must burn more and more objects in order to progress. Fortunately, you also gain access to the red sparks’ brothers, the blue and the green spark. The blue spark can light up ropes without a fuse, and he can also burn up wood carvings. The green spark can burn through inflammable objects like a fiery buzzsaw, which automatically makes him the best character in the game.

Many levels in Burn it All also have hazards you must navigate or use to your advantage. Dripping water doesn’t mix well with the sparks, obviously, and gas vents can blow them out before they have a chance to burn. However, positioning a spark in front of a gas vent will also accent his fire for a valuable second, which will make the ropes and wood carvings that much easier to burn.

It’s easy enough to clear most of Burn it All’s levels. Those that you can’t clear can be skipped over, meaning that the game’s goal isn’t necessarily a race to the end: instead, you’re supposed to clear the levels as efficiently as possible in order to earn three diamonds on each one, and that takes some strategy.

Water: fire’s arch enemy.

The game gets particularly interesting by the third World, which involves the “Time Loop” mechanic. One spark starts the party by burning what he can, and when his time is up, he switches out with another spark who finishes the job with his superior abilities. By coordinating movements between the first and second spark, you can conquer the game’s toughest puzzles before your time is up.

Burn it All’s vector visuals are pretty adorable; the sparks are cute, the backgrounds are intriguing (hooray for dinosaur skeletons), and the levels are arranged in recognizable shapes. Ever wanted to burn up Noah’s Ark? You’ll have to sate yourself with burning a wood cutout, but you can still exaggerate it for the resume. The music and sound effects are good and offer up the sort of heavy percussion you’d expect to hear while deep in the center of the Earth (now a subsurface-dwelling tribe needs to prove us wrong and break out the heavy metal).

Burn it All is a cute and clever puzzle game that’s charming to look at and enjoyable to play through. It’s also a harmless way to vent your drive to liberate fire from its place of safe holding, but don’t worry, we can keep a secret.

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