Whilst it’s fair to say that the attention to the Vita at last month’s EGX was abysmal, its not fair to say there wasn’t anything there. Tucked away amongst a myriad of other upcoming indie titles upstairs in the Rezzed section was the latest title from the Laughing Jackal team, Flame Over.
Flame Over -stylised as a “Pyroguelike” title – is a top down shooter, but its quite different to what you would normally play. Instead of enemies you are looking for fires, and instead of bullets you have extinguishers as the titular role of the title is that of a fireman. Death is permanent though and will require you to start again!
Blending together 16 randomly generated levels from four different zones with shooting mechanics works rather well as you control the hero, Blaze Caruthers, through the dangerous conditions. The aim of the game is simple enough, put out fires and rescue civilians (and cats) from wherever they are trapped. You can smash through doors using your trusty axe and when you come across a fire you use your hose to extinguish it, although different fires need an alternative approach and you may have to use an extinguisher instead. Once you have located any civilians you need to escort them to the exit, upon which you will be rewarded with more time – essential because you are against the clock in every level. You will earn money for every fire that you successfully put out and this can be put towards power ups or upgrading your equipment for you next attempt.
Along that way you need to avoid walls of fire and other deadly variations with backdrafts, fireballs, and fire trails as well as other hazards from the different zones. The four environments you will encounter are Office, Executive, Laboratory and Factory and feature various new challenges such as pillars, gas leaks and other explosives. Your tools are not unlimited either, so running around the hand-built environments randomly spraying foam and water isn’t going to be effective long term, so you need to be conservative with your usage, although thankfully there are refill points placed around the levels. The game is a single player experience, but it does feature online leaderboards which track the best time and best score from the missions.
I thought that Flame Over was tremendous fun and it has left me wanting to experience more, and with the release set to be later this year hopefully we won’t have long to wait. Do you like the look of the game? To find out more keep an eye on the official website and follow Laughing Jackal on Twitter.