Recent iPhone and iPad hit Burn the Rope challenged you to ignite a variety of rope designs, but Burn it All %26ndash; Journey to the Sun (made by a totally different studio) removes the constraints and lets you use fire to %26hellip; well, mostly burn a bunch of rope. On the surface, the similarities are both obvious and amusing, but Burn it All also puts wooden items and hazards in your path, as well as different types of flames and rope, resulting in 100 distinct puzzle stages that can vary quite significantly from one to the next.
Burn it All, which is playable on both iPhone and iPad, challenges you to burn every flammable item on screen %26ndash; typically rope and wooden sculptures, as previously noted %26ndash; in a limited amount of time by dragging the flames around the screen. You can use the flame as often as possible, but there are a lot of variables to consider. For example, the dark rope burns more slowly than others, and the standard orange flame can only ignite the ends of ropes, while the slower-burning blue flame can light anything and the green flame can buzz saw through multiple items. Add in hazards like water drops, gas spigots, and flame-extinguishing walls, and lighting the whole screen on fire can be a real task at times.
But while Burn it All has a lot of different elements at play, the execution can be rather inconsistent. It took a solid dozen stages before the game really showed its potential to offer any kind of challenge, but beyond that, only some of the missions really required careful planning to complete. Most of the time, you can just whisk the flame to various points on the screen and hold down the speed-up button to flip on towards the next stage, though earning all the gems (like stars in Angry Birds) in each stage demands a bit more precision. The second half of the game institutes a Time Loop mechanic where you'll have back-to-back opportunities to use different types of flames in the world, which is a solid twist on the formula but ultimately one that makes the later stages a bit easier to breeze through.
The touch controls occasionally disappointed at times, with flames not always moving as fluidly as intended, plus the game consistently pesters you for an App Store rating, which can be incredibly irritating. But Burn it All %26ndash; Journey to the Sun does have its moments, and the production values are quite solid, with some very catchy tunes powering the pyromania. Beyond the four current worlds, a fifth is planned in a future update %26ndash; one that we hope will really bring all of these diverse elements together and deliver a more focused and challenging puzzle experience.
May 9, 2011