Chain of Fire isn’t the only chain-reaction game on the flash-game market, but it is one of the few that has a concept based almost exclusively around the subject of pyromania. A chain-reaction puzzle game that will test your problem-solving skills, Chain of Fire involves setting as many stick-people and designated objects on fire as you can. This sounds easy, but the premise also revolves around you making as few initial ignitions as you possibly can. With these restrictions in mind, most will find Chain of Fire to be satisfyingly challenging as well as a fresh take on the Chain Reaction genre. Its flame-based action has been found worthy of review, which you can read more about on this Chain of Fire review page.
It’s true what they say: some people do just want to watch the world burn. This has never been truer than in Pixel Duck Games’ Chain of Fire, a chain-reaction puzzle game whose primarily goal is to have you set pretty much everything you see on the screen alight. Setting people and items ablaze may not sound like the most moral of pastimes, but Chain of Fire’s approach to the subject is light-hearted, offering up some very intriguing puzzle-based gameplay that will please both pyromaniacs and puzzle-lovers alike. Its simple graphics and light-hearted approach ensure that there is no danger of it turning into a gore-fest, while the increasingly demanding parameters set by each successive puzzle ensures that you are constantly challenged throughout.
Chain of Fire is all about simplicity. You just have to look at the gameplay mechanics as evidence of the simple nature of playing the game. The objective is to play through each level, with the goal of setting as many stick-people on fire as you possibly can with as few clicks of the mouse as possible. The controller interface is simple: you use your mouse to click on any one of the stick-people on the screen, and then a second click will cause them to ignite and run in the direction of the tiny indicator arrow on the screen.
The idea of the game in general is that you begin with a designated “Burn Value”, which reduces by 1 each time you have to click on a person and use them as a human torch. The fewer attempts you require at setting a person alight, the higher your Burn Value and the more points you will score at the end of the level. This system of negative marking serves as an impetus for utilising strategy when choosing the person to use as your human torch, as well as when choosing the direction and timing of setting them on their linear course through the people and/or objects on the screen. This is classic chain-reaction gameplay in the same ball park as A Chain Reaction, but it has to be admitted that the pyromaniac twist will definitely play to the morbid and visceral curiosity of many players out there.
There are two main gameplay modes: Challenge Mode and Free Mode. The latter is unlocked after you complete a certain number of challenges, leaving the former as the main bulk of the game’s entertainment.
Though the opening levels are remarkably easy, there’s a noticeable rise in difficulty as one plays through each level. The opening level contains a lot of people, therefore offering you a large target to aim for. As you play, however, you’ll find that the challenges become much more difficult, with moving targets being much more difficult to aim for with your chosen human torch, and a significant reduction in the size of the crowds, too, meaning that you have to be strategic when choosing your target.
At times, you’ll find yourself searching for the movement patterns of those on the screen in order to pick the most opportune moment to click on a Firestarter and send him on his way. It becomes more and more difficult to keep your Burn Value high in the later stages, so you must innovate in order to achieve the best scores. You’ll also notice that the developers have played around with the shape of each of the levels, too, as well as tinkering with a variety of objects that serve to hinder your progress, and therefore fan the flame of innovation from the player. Remember that people only burn for a certain amount of time before they die and disappear, after which time they can no longer set anyone else aflame. This adds another notch of difficulty to each challenge.
If you’ve played games like Toge Productions’ Infectonator 2 or Pandemic, you’ll be at home with the gameplay of Chain of Fire. The premise is very similar to the aforementioned virus-spreading games, with the only difference being that Chain of Fire involves setting people alight as opposed to infecting them. It’s a very entertaining game as far as chain-reaction games go, though the extremely simplistic graphics could do with a bit of an overhaul if there is ever to be a sequel.