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Burn It All Review
Review Score:

Burn It All, the newest must-play casual game for iOS, has just been released by Bulkypix and is available from the app store. A polished time-based challenge with engaging gameplay mechanics and simple path-finding controls, Burn It All is as compelling as any of the app store chart toppers we’ve come across.

Burn It All Pros:

  • Crisp, polished graphics that really pop
  • Soundtrack is subtle and chill
  • Drag controls work well and include off-set ability
  • Tons of challenging levels with variety of gaming elements to master
  • GameCenter and OpenFeint integration for global leaderboards and achievements

Burn It All Cons:

  • No option to disable off-set control ability
  • Could use dedicated tutorial to explain how points are calculated and what earned time is for

Burn It all contains 100 levels spread evenly over 4 worlds, with the latter three locked until you complete all levels from the previous world. The goal, as the title explains, is to burn everything. In the early stages, this means torching various lengths of yellow rope, which can only be burned from the knotted ends. You set burnable objects ablaze by dragging the yellow flame from the fire pit in the bottom-right corner to its target. The rope burns along the entire length at a set speed, with the goal being to consume everything as quickly as possible. A timer ticks down once you touch the flame, which allows you to patiently plan out your attack before the timer begins. The timer is marked off at various intervals, costing you one gem for each point you pass. If you complete the level before hitting the first mark, you earn the full 3 gems. Some levels are fairly easy to complete with 3 gems, though the vast majority will require some serious planning, finger dexterity, and well-timed execution to snag those elusive sapphires.

As you progress, the game adds different types of rope which burn at different speeds, wooden objects to burn, flying bats, dripping water that extinguishes the flame, tiny volcanoes that blow out your flame by blasting it into the distance like a flamethrower, and even a time warp that allows you to play through a level and then use the ghost of your first attempt in conjunction with your second attempt. The different rope types and lengths require you to determine the most effective order of burning if you want those gems. Ropes of longest length must be burned early, and slow-burning ropes should meet your flame as soon as possible. Often, you’ll need to burn a less desirable rope type/length in order to gain access to high-priority ropes. There is a good deal of strategy necessary that really challenges your mind. The difficulty ramps up pretty quickly, as the first few levels seemed overly easy and gave us some initial concern that the game would get boring quickly. It wasn’t long before we started struggling to complete levels before the timer runs out, let along get all the gems we had coming to us.

You’ll also encounter additional flame types, including a flame that can burn ropes from any point (not just a knotted end) and a flame that buzz-saws its way through multiple ropes at once. These can really change up the gameplay and add additional strategic considerations, as you determine the best spot to burn ropes from (rather than just which to burn first) or attempt to conserve the effectiveness of the buzzsaw flame by not touching any one rope for too long. You only have a few moments worth of this power, so you can squander it by being slow or take out massive chunks of rope/wooden objects by moving swiftly. The level design is also terrific, as environmental objects create maze-like labyrinths that add to the challenge.

The colorful graphics are fantastic, and most levels have a great underground mamga-glow look, with detailed rocky outcrops and wood-grained objects. There is a good deal of animation that dances smoothly and cleanly, from the fiery balls/pit and flaming ropes to the flapping bats, dripping water, and steam bursts. The soundtrack is subtle and fairly chill, but it works well despite the sometimes frantic nature of the game. Controls are strictly touch-based, requiring drag-and-release mechanics that work well and utilize an offset ability that doesn’t obscure the flame with your finger. While this is a nice option, it often caused us trouble as we preferred to touch the flame itself and use our finger to wend through the mazes. When using it in offset fashion (typically accidentally), we tended to get caught up on environmental objects or put out the flame by touching water droplets or steam bursts. It many just require getting used to, but if you concentrate on tapping directly on the flame, you shouldn’t have much trouble with it.

Replay value is great, as obtaining all gems will require multiple attempts at many of the levels. Besting previous scores can also drive you back to the game even if you do manage to get all gems. GameCenter and OpenFeint integration allow for a bunch of global leaderboards and nearly four dozen achievements. We think Bulkypix has hit on a great implementation of a fun gaming mechanic that’s sure to be a winner. With universal support and a $0.99 price point, Burn It All is a 4.5-Dimple juggernaut in the making.

Burn It All Review, reviewed by Kevin on 2011-04-28T18:58:59+00:00 rating 4.5 out of 5

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