Save Idiots And Jerks From Certain Immolation In Fire Point

By Nathan Grayson on December 3rd, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

QUICK. SAVE THE CAT. NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE MAN. HE CAN BURRRRRRRRRRRRN.

Fire is an incredibly powerful natural force, so unsurprisingly we’re the ones dishing it out in most games. Much like some nigh-unstoppable disco inferno, we tell all that stands in our way to burn, baby, burn, utterly unconcerned by potential consequences. In some ways, then, Fire Point is a sort of karmatic wake-up call. Basically, a bunch of awful, irresponsible idiots accidentally (and sometimes purposefully) set their stuff on fire, and it’s your job as a fireman to save the day. Of course, these dim bulbs tend to head for obscure corners and flame-engulfed ledges, so you have to puzzle out how exactly to reach them using various tools of the trade. It’s an interesting, though flawed take on a subject gaming rarely touches for fear of getting burned.

That’s not to say there’s controversy underlying a career in virtual firefighting, but it rarely springs to mind when the subject of game heroes comes up. We’re all about commandos, collisions, and killsplosions. Stopping the collapse of a burning building? Please. We want a wrecking ball to help us reduce it to dust and ash even faster.

Fire Point, however, opts to fight fire with, well, anything other than fire. You’ve got a truck equipped with tools like a hose and a ladder, and you can also use bits of the environment, like fire extinguishers, to your advantage. Your goal is to save as many people (and cats) as possible from increasingly precarious situations while fires grow and grow all around. Has some loudmouth Internet jerk’s flame war become all too literal? Then, loathsome though it may sometimes be, his life is in your hands. You must plot an – above all else – efficient course through each searing labyrinth or risk losing more lives than you save.

In my experience, puzzle difficulty largely ramped up at a sensible rate, though certain levels required crucial mechanics before they were properly explained in later, less frustrating levels. That was a bit strange. Also, brace yourself for some awkward controls (why is it so consistently difficult to walk up stairs?) and occasionally infuriating AI. Neither of those things were deal-breakers for me, but with time ticking down and flames sashaying dangerously, seductively closer, it became all the more frustrating when the game was responsible for a mistake I’d taken all possible steps to avoid.

Fire Point’s core idea is a good one, though, and it’s even fairly clever in spots. The game has its ups and downs, but the experience is still one worth having. Turn up your heater (for maximum immersion) and have a go at it through here.

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34 Comments »

  1. KDR_11k says:

    I had a firefighting game on the Game Boy (titled Firefighter, appropriately enough) that looked kinda similar though it’s more of an action platformer (and hard as hell).

  2. mda says:

    Is it telling that the whole article seemed to me a powerful metaphor for my life?

    And to top it off with this… “Fire Point’s core idea is a good one, though, and it’s even fairly clever in spots. The game has its ups and downs, but the experience is still one worth having.”

    • LessThanBill says:

      Indeed.
      Especially “why is it so consistently difficult to walk up stairs?”

  3. crowleyhammer says:

    Rosco McQueen on the playstation 1.

    “Ah water, a fire-fighters friend” only played the demo on one the official magazine discs.

  4. Matt_W says:

    Isn’t FTL basically a fire-fighting sim in space?

  5. 66trader66 says:

    Low budget indie bullshit everywhere you look on this site.

    • Ich Will says:

      I’m surprised you managed to find time to browse the internet, I’d have thought you’d still be crying about your dead cod dog such was the meaningful emotional impact it had.

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        We each have our own way of coping with the tragic death of

        Um

        Reilley!

    • Phasma Felis says:

      That’s what your Mom said. Last night.

      Actually she was mostly just moaning, but I assume that’s what she meant to say.

    • tormos says:

      anything with a bigger budget than something else is automatically better than it. This is why the Brooklyn Bridge is objectively the best video game.

      • jrodman says:

        Not to gainsay you — but surprisingly, the Brooklyn Bridge cost less to build than many videogames, clocking in at 15 million. Of course inflation adjusted it’s going to be a substantially larger sum.. but .. nitpicking. :-D

        • tormos says:

          It’s ok, Jrodman, I think you’re the best videogame. But only because I looked it up and it would cost me a few tens of millions to have you tortured to death for messing up my rhetorical point.

    • mouton says:

      That’s nice.

  6. SillyWizard says:

    I’m happy to see a game about doing something both adventurous and not psychotic.

    Still waiting for something akin to CoD/BF: Medic. I couldn’t be less interested in running around shooting at all the mans; however, if you have NPCs getting shot all around you, and you have to get to them to perform life-/limb-saving medical-minigames while avoiding explosions and enemy fire which you have no option of returning, well now. That I would play.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      There was…umm, what was it…aha! Combat Medic: Special Ops. Unfortunately you did still have a weapon, and also it was by most accounts not very good.

  7. Phasma Felis says:

    “THIS IS A MILITARY BASE! MILITARY BASES NEED EXPLOSIVE BARRELS!”

  8. strangeloup says:

    I believe the firefighting genre has already reached perfection with Sonic Team’s Burning Rangers.

  9. Rane2k says:

    There has been this, a long time ago:

  10. anne822 says:

    Isabelle. if you think Troy`s postlng is great… last thursday I bought a great new Maserati since getting a check for $5166 this last four weeks and would you believe, ten k this past munth. this is really the best-job I have ever done. I actually started 7-months ago and pretty much straight away began to earn at least $72, per-hr. try this site
    http://x.co/2pwze

  11. DrDerekDoctors says:

    Also this: http://www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/5154/go-go-rescue-squad/index.html

    (full disclosure – I designed the above)

  12. Killybilly says:

    I was going to start a pun thread right here but I axed the inclination. I would still do it if I thought I could match the game’s aspirations. Don’t want to have a lot of watered down ideas smoking up the blaze of glory which is this thread. Really not my station. But if an alarm goes off in my head later I could return here and fire off another missive. For now though I’ll just calmly go to the exit.

    • bear912 says:

      I don’t mean to extinguish your exuberance, but I think you might have sparked a pun thread anyway.

    • Cesque says:

      I’ll hire you as a writer if I ever decide to make a sequel.

  13. Jackablade says:

    That was pretty good fun, up until I found the hover engineer who refused to obey the laws of gravity and drop to safety when I tossed him off the roof. I tried to blast him down with the hose, but he simply floated away, never to be seen again.

  14. jrod says:

    anyone else notice they jump like Mega Man?

  15. nemryn says:

    Inspired by Gunpoint, maybe? (The good kind of ‘inspired by’)

  16. Cesque says:

    Since everybody mentions other firefighting-themed games, there’s also Mr Rescue (also from the “low budget indie bullshit” category):

    http://indiegames.com/2013/05/freeware_pick_fight_cute_fires.html

    I bumped into it randomly when already working on my game (this happens every time someone thinks they have a reasonably original idea). Apparently it has boss fights.