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    Flame Over: PS Vita,first game created using Unity

    Will the roguelike trend wear itself too thin soon? That seems to be the way of gaming trends after all and right now the roguelike is at an all time high. Virtually every game around is delivering permadeath and survival gameplay. But what’s often fun about these trends is that towards their peak, you start to get some interest mash-ups and twists on the traditional idea. That’s where Flame Over steps in.

    Rather than being a Don’t Starve-style survivalist adventure, Flame Over randomly builds office floors based on pre-existing templates, sets them on fire and then throws you in to deal with them. Your challenge is to get the fires put out and save all the people in the building as fast as you can before your timer runs out and the Grim Reaper appears to take you away.


    We’ll get back to the Reaper in a moment and concentrate on the gameplay for now, as it’s pretty tough. Using the left and right bumpers to spray your limited supplies of water and foam over the building, you can move the camera around with the right stick. However, while hosing down the world around you, the right stick becomes your directional control, meaning coordinated fingers are a must. We found electrical fires to be a particular challenge as they need foam to put them out, otherwise they’ll keep coming back. Also, as long as fires are raging they can spit fireballs around the room, leading to more stuff catching alight.

    Searching your randomly generated map for the electrical switch is a must to speed up your run and save your supplies. Partial refills can be found in fire extinguishers and water fountains as you travel, as well as full refills in the safe room you lead survivors to. Resource management is essential, as is knowing how different materials behave. Carpet, for instance, can send waves of flame at you if not properly doused and will dry out to kick off again if the room isn't cleared.

    And then the Grim Reaper starts chasing you. We died plenty of times as we got to grips with the speedy pace and intense challenges placed in front of us, but delay your escape and the Reaper will emerge, passing through walls and chasing you away. Saving civilians will increase your timer and saving cats will add hearts to your health, but one touch from the Reaper and it’s game over, a la Spelunky. This is representative of the sense of humour and challenge to be found in Flame Over. As puzzle titles on PS Vita go, we can see this one becoming a real cult favourite.


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