Fire Tonight – Review

In Fire Tonight, we try to reunite young lovers while navigating a city that’s on fire. Did it leave us stoked? Here’s what we think.

Fire Tonight feels like what would happen if music videos were video games. It’s a short, peppy game about young love in a city on fire, and it wears its Information Society inspiration on its sleeve. No surprise, then, that the game feels just like music itself, eschewing what is for what it feels like.

In Fire Tonight, you control two lovers on opposite sides of a city that’s caught fire. Because this is 1990 and cellphones aren’t quite a thing yet, a loss of communication leaves the couple separated from each other. This prompts Maya, one half of the couple, to set off from her apartment and make for her boyfriend Devin’s place.

Despite police barricades, an out-of-control fire, and locked doors getting in her way, Maya inventively navigates the city streets in her quest. On the other side of the city, Devin waits about as patiently as he can and reminisces over his relationship with Maya.

Although the premise of the game inspires no lack of distress, the game’s tone is firmly upbeat and light. The purple-pink flames that engulf the city are never a serious threat, to you or to anyone else (as evidenced by the odd character standing around while fire rages in the city around them).

Fire Tonight screenshot

What you do here is solve navigation puzzles in small urban dioramas, where tall buildings block your line of sight and require you to rotate the diorama around to get a better view. It results in a very intricate kind of puzzle that’s fun to run around in, even if the frequent blocking of your view is a necessary frustration.

Struggling to peek through building towers and metro pillars, you guide Maya around fires and collect keys to open locked doors. You step into doors and emerge on the other side of the building. It can be a little bit confusing, but that’s what makes the puzzles fun – getting to explore and then make sense of what you’ve explored.

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Devin’s half of the game is very brief and serves mainly as a series of relaxing, narrative-oriented breathers. You listen to a mixtape Maya compiled for you, for example, play video games, consider making something to eat, amongst other things.

Fire Tonight screenshot

Even with Maya’s puzzles, though, Fire Tonight is a game so short that most players should finish it in a single hour-long playthrough. If it weren’t for the game having eight labelled chapters, it would be easy to consider this a demo for a lengthier, meatier game.

It did leave me wanting in the end, wishing I had more time to spend with Maya and Devin, exploring their city, and learning about their cute relationship.

I certainly don’t like knocking on a game for being short, but Fire Tonight, with its excellent presentation and relaxing puzzle gameplay, has certainly earned itself a few more hours of fun than it actually offers.

Developer: Reptoid Games
Country of Origin: Canada
Publisher: Way Down Deep
Release Date: August 12, 2021 (PC, Mac, Switch)

This review is based on a copy of the game provided by the publisher. The PC version of the game was played for this review of Fire Tonight.

Read our walkthrough of Fire Tonight here.

Check out more reviews from Into Indie Games!

  • WHAT DID WE THINK?

Summary

Fire Tonight is a cute and satisfying puzzler with a peppy theme, but its very short length left me hungry and wanting for more.

This Article was written by: Rahul Shirke

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