Kill It With Fire – Nintendo Switch Review

Overview – developed by Casey Donnellan Games and published by tinyBuild Games, Kill It With Fire is a crazy first person action title, with spiders appearing everywhere and the only solution is FIRE. This game combines frantic action, destructible environments and a variety of ridiculous objectives to complete. Kill It With Fire is available on the Nintendo Switch and all other major platforms, including Android and IOS, links to each version of the game will be at the bottom of this review.

Disclaimer: before I get into the review, I would like to thank tinyBuild Games for providing the copy of Kill It With Fire that was used for this article. The provision of this software has not influenced the contents of this review, all thoughts and opinions contained within are my own.

Now with the introductions out of the way, let’s get into the review. I will be skipping the story segment and I will be going straight into the gameplay section.

Gameplay – Kill It With Fire is an objective based first person action title that takes place across 9 levels. The core objective of each level is to exterminate spiders while using a variety of tools, with players having access to a wide variety of weapons and items at their disposal. Starting the game with just a clipboard, introducing a Hairspray/cigarette lighter combo in the first level and from there the insanity escalates with the addition of guns, explosives and even gasoline to eradicate the creepy crawlies.

Every stage begins with a single room and a starting objective. As the player increases their spider body count, new doors will open and expand the area that can be explored (and exploded) with an exit at the end of the level. The objectives can be as simple as exterminating a set number of targets, killing targets with a specific weapon or they can be as ridiculous as dropping an anvil on a spider in homage to the Looney Tunes cartoons.

Players are encouraged to cause as much chaos as possible as every object that isn’t bolted down can be picked up, thrown and set on fire. Heck, the walls, toilets and most windows can be completely obliterated by throwing objects at them or simply shooting at them with a revolver. This sandbox-like approach gives the player a lot of freedom to experiment, allowing them to approach each mission the way they want to. If a spider is hiding in the toilet, blow that porcelain throne up and

New objectives can be picked up by activating pieces of paper that are scattered around each level, finding and completing objectives will unlock containers that contain new weapons, supplies and even a challenge called Arachno-Gauntlet. The special challenges can only be accessed by completing all of the missions for that level, with the trigger being a stereo playing hard rock music. All completed objectives will be saved if the player finishes the level or wishes to restart due to making a mistake, but other progress is lost.

The vast majority weapons and items in the player arsenal have a limited amount of ammunition, with some pick-ups for additional supplies being hidden in the stages. Melee weapons have infinite uses, so you won’t be stuck if you run out of fire or bullets in a level which takes some of the pressure off during intense sections. The player can also pick up power-ups and upgrades for equipment, which can be assigned with points earned by completing objectives and collecting hidden batteries during each level.

The upgrades include additional equipment slots on the hot bar, new features for the spider finder device and even Goose mode (inspired by a specific untitled game). All of the upgrades will help the player in their quest to hunt down and kill all their targets with fire, because the spiders will be hiding in cupboards, under cushions and behind picture frames. So you will need to hunt them down in order to exterminate them all and move on.

There are some ways that the game can help however, with sound cues to tell you that there is something close, along with the spider scanner that will alert you when your targets are nearby. Be careful when trying to kill the spiders with firearms and other weapons though as they can be spooked, causing them to run and hide under objects and in other rooms. Effective search and destroy tactics will help you in your objective, but then again, so will throwing Molotov cocktails at everything.

The movement is a little slow and feels like you are wading through wet cement at times, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but can be a hindrance if you are trying to quickly aim at spider that is running away. Sadly there is no way to alter the sensitivity of the look/turn axis of the player, which does cause some issues during the more intense moments. Luckily the game does compensate for this slight immobility by providing an item in game that slows everything around you down.

This title can be a little short for those who just want to get to the ending and put it down. However, for those who want to get 100% completion and uncover all the secrets there is a fair amount of content included for the price. The Arachno-Gauntlet is designed to be replayed to improve times/scores and the destructive nature of the game can be great fun with kids, trying to see what is possible when trying to blow everything up in each stage.

There isnt really that much in terms difficulty with Kill It With Fire, there aren’t any failure condition aside from the Arachno-Gauntlet which have a time limit. The only things that could present an issue are the very occasional crashes and slowdown, due to the amount of effects that happen on screen when fire is involved. These are minor inconveniences but can take the player out of the game, causing any progress that has been made in a level to be lost if the game does crash.

The variety of weapons, environments and challenges that the player will encounter works very well in this title. The comedy of the destructive environments and ridiculous fire effects tie the experience together, adding depth to the gameplay and giving it a unique charm of its own even though it is a little flawed. Now I will be moving onto the other aspects for the game, starting with the controls.

Controls – the controls for this title are effective, with reactive inputs that don’t have any lag during play. When playing the game with a pro controller it can be very comfortable, but unfortunately the Joy-Con inputs aren’t as pleasant, especially in handheld mode as the thumbsticks aren’t as big as other controllers. It would be a little better if there was a way to adjust the sensitivity of controls, but the game is perfectly playable as it is.

Presentation – the visual style for Kill It With Fire has a low poly style to the graphics, with chunky, mostly detail free models that give it a very retro aesthetic as the only details are text and some logos. The spiders have their own color coded look that allows the player to easily distinguish between each type, helping players see what they are doing in both docked and handheld mode. The performance of this release is pretty solid for the majority of the experience, aside from the minor issues that I mentioned above.

The text on screen can be a little difficult to see, although the Nintendo Switch zoom feature can mitigate this although it is a little irritating. The sound for this game has a nice balance to it, with skin crawling plucking sounds that add to the tension when searching for spiders. This use of tense sounds is implemented expertly, potentially causing some mild panic when trying to find the spiders that are needed to open up new areas and/or the exit.

Final Thoughts – during my time playing Kill It With Fire, I enjoyed the sandbox style to the game and the freedom that is given to players with the ability to interact with almost every part of each level. The variety of weapons, level settings and objective types is fun and keeps the experience fresh during play. I can happily recommend this game to everyone, especially those who are looking for a fun game on a low budget as there is plenty of content in a modest package.

Please Note: the quality of visuals shown in the trailer may not match the Nintendo Switch version due to hardware limitations.

In the end, I give Kill It With Fire a final score of 4/5. The action is fun and frantic with a selection of ridiculous weaponry, upgrades and spider types that give a lot of freedom to the player. The destructive element of the game is a delightful touch that makes the experience that much more entertaining to play. If you want to check it out for yourself, links to each version will be below.

Link to Nintendo Switch version (HERE)

Link to PlayStation 4 version (HERE)

Link to Xbox One version (HERE)

Link to Steam Version (HERE)

Link to Epic Games version (HERE)

Link to IOS version (HERE)

Link to Android version (HERE)

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