Published on March 5th, 2013 | by Papa Bear1
Up in Flames Review
There are a few game publishers that I regularly have my eye on, checking to see what great new game they are working on. Chillingo is one of those publishers and their newest creation, Up in Flames, was released last week. They have had some major hit games in the past, including publishing Cut the Rope, Puzzle Craft and Angry Birds, so the release of their new game comes with great anticipation. The good news is that Chillingo and talented game developer Agate Studio is able to match people’s expectation with a fun and engaging puzzle game.
Up in Flames puts you in the role of a cute little fire breathing dragon. For whatever reason, various groups of cute little animals have decided that the dragons must be captured. These wolves, sharks and yetis were not terribly wise as once they caught the dragons they held them in wooden cages. Yeah, they clearly did not consider the fact that some dragons can breath fire. Enter Baff, the main character of the game. Baff, being distraught by the capture of all his dragon friends decides to go all super hero in an effort to rescue his buddies.
The levels are built in a similar fashion to Angry Birds or Crush the Castle, using various objects, stacked together to create the landscape of Baff’s challenge. On each level there are caged dragons that Baff has to free and enemies that he has to burn. Baff launches fireballs across the screen causing destruction to all in its path. Controlling the trajectory of the fireball is done by touching Baff with your finger and sliding away from the desired direction. The more you slide away from Baff the harder and faster the fireball will go. The controls are very similar to Angry Birds and that is well received as there is no need for Chillingo to invent something new when this works so well.
There are many different types of blocks and objects used to build each level. Early on, the levels are simple and made up of wood crates and stone blocks. The wood can be burned by Baff’s fireball but the stone blocks cannot be burned although they can be knocked around or toppled if stacked. Later levels get more challenging by including metal walls, springs, movable beams and more. All of these unique objects provide Baff the opportunity to bounce his fireball into otherwise unreachable places on the level. This creates a great challenge as one must plan out where the fireball must go to both free as many dragons and burn down as much of the level as possible.
It is in the creativity of the level design that the fun, strategic elements of the game are born. Instead of hastily shooting off a fireball, one must first look over the landscape to determine the best way to approach each particular level. Up in Flames requires you to think, but at the same time it is not an overly complex game, as my 6 year old daughter was beating levels almost as quickly as I was!
As the game progresses, Baff will receive new costumes that are added to his wardrobe closet. Between levels Baff can switch up his clothes heading onto the newest level as a dragon with the finest threads. Up in Flames includes 3 stages of 25 levels each. It sounds like a lot, but my kids and I were all able to blast through the levels fairly quickly. There are promises of new, more challenging levels, to come in the future so the value of this game will likely increase as time goes by. Chillingo and Agate Studio have created a great game that they will likely continue to build on in the same way as previous games like Cut the Rope and Angry Birds.. For $0.99, this game is an immediate must buy!
Available at the iTunes Store.
Summary: Up in Flames is a fun physics puzzle game that , while not inventing anything new to the genre, still provides hours of fun for both kids and adults alike!