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Fire Tonight review for Nintendo Switch, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: Way Down Deep
Developer: Reptoid
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

I’m a fan of short games. As someone who sometimes finds it challenging to find enough time to play every game I want to play, I’m always happy to find something that I can play through fairly quickly.

But even I look at Fire Tonight and say, “Wow, that’s short.”

Like, it’s a short, narrative-heavy adventure game/puzzler/platformer that clocks in at well under an hour — and probably closer to half of that, if we’re being entirely honest. Also, it has no replay value, so it’s not even like Overboard, where you can go back and play the game over and over again to see what you missed. In Fire Tonight’s case, what you see is exactly what you get.

But what you see is pretty darn good, within the limited time it lasts. Fire Tonight tells the story of Maya and Devin, a young couple who have their late-night phone call interrupted by a city-wide fire, and it mainly follows Maya making her way across the city to reach her boyfriend. Also, it takes place in 1990, which means that there’s no texting or email to make things any easier.

For the most part, there’s not much of a challenge to be found: you guide Maya around an isometric 3D world, helping her avoid the fire and the odd obstacle, occasionally picking up a key, and solving some very basic puzzles. Literally the only time I got stuck in the entire game was when I was helping Devin kill time in his apartment, and I wasn’t sure how to exit out of that section. But even that took all of maybe five minutes — lots of time in the game, but not that much in the grand scheme of things.

But even if it’s not lengthy or challenging, Fire Tonight still wins you over on the strength of its personality. The game does an outstanding job of giving Maya and Devin personalities within its limited time, and it’s easy to root for them to achieve their modest goal. Even more importantly, the game looks and sounds incredible, with visuals that scream 1990 without being too obnoxious about it, and an incredible synth-pop score.

It’s those things — the great music, the engaging characters, the nice graphics — that make it easy to overlook Fire Tonight’s short length. It’s not the sort of game that will swallow up days and days from your calendar, but if you’re looking for a fun way to spend an hour, Fire Tonight is definitely that.

Way Down Deep provided us with a Fire Tonight Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A-