Arachnophobic Mass Murder
Some people are afraid of spiders. That's perfectly fine, but apparently developer Casey Donnellan and the publishers over at tinyBuild have a problem with spiders that far exceeds the norm. Kill It With Fire is a simulation title that uses first-person shooter mechanics to let you decimate hordes of spiders, whether they be in your house or infesting a local gas station. While the premise is simple and doesn’t offer much in terms of story (where’s my spicy spider lore?), the arcade-like gameplay on offer with Kill It With Fire allows for a spectacular fireworks show that is equally impressive and just plain old-fashioned fun.
While we don’t have much information about our protagonist, we do know that he completely despises spiders. Like, to an obnoxious level. Weapons range from a book or hairspray-flamethrower, all the way up to rocket launchers and machine guns. Clearly this dude has some issues, but regardless, the spider-hate begins and ends there. Sticking to arcade-style shooter mechanics and exploration, the potential story that could have accompanied this unique premise died on the vine. Just like all the spiders.
Gameplay consists of being given a sandbox to move around in, having dozens of spiders thrown into various hiding places, while you’re entrusted with a toolbox of weapons that’d make Rambo blush. The first-person perspective makes the explorative mechanics more interesting, and stays true to the best way to shoot guns in video games. As you upgrade your arsenal, it makes more and more sense why this perspective was chosen, as things go continuously more off the deep end with the types of weapons you’re given. Besides unlocking achievements and finding all the spiders and killing them, there isn’t a whole lot to do here. Each level takes you to a new environment that is interesting to look around in, but continuing to simply search and destroy spiders can get old after a little while. It’s extremely fun to go on this absurd rampage, but there isn’t a ton of content or variety, so plan on this being more of something you mess around with than an experience you spend hours and hours completing.
Exploration is where the real excitement comes in, as you aren’t just handed the spiders on a silver platter. They are hiding everywhere, so you must unlock doors and other areas in order to find more puzzles to solve, in order to get your hands on every last one of these eight-legged suckers. The puzzle-solving mechanics are simple, but they satiate enough of the need to do something other than squash spiders to keep the experience moving. From manipulating objects to discover the spiders to altering the environment, you’ll be able to figure out most of what Kill It With Fire is looking for from you.
Visually, Kill It With Fire goes for more of a cubic-PS2 era look, with high-end graphics being left at the door. This doesn’t add or take away from the experience; it’s just what’s going on. While the explosions and fire could have looked a bit cooler, that’s really the only downside.
Kill It With Fire is fun. While it’s just about as bare bones as you can get and totally lacks the variety you’d want from a more long-term experience, there’s just something about repeatedly murdering spiders in various ways that puts a smile on your face. For those looking for something simple to mess around with on occasion (or as a way to vent stress) you’d do well looking into this one, while those looking for something more full-fledged should probably keep moving down the line.