Kill It With Fire review: Overkill

by VR Lars
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Kill It With Fire is the arachnophobe’s dream. If you’ve ever fantasised about exterminating hordes of spiders with a shotgun, well… you should probably consider some light therapy. In the meantime, developer Casey Donnellan has those violent urges covered.

You can take out years of pent up rage on the eight-legged menace, wielding hairspray, shotguns and clipboards, exterminating the pests whilst causing insane amounts of property damage. The absurd amount of stuff that breaks or burns while you sprint after a tiny house spider trying to slap it with a clipboard can be genuinely hilarious. I know a few people who wouldn’t think twice about breaking a window or toppling a bookcase to get away from a creepy-crawly, and Kill It With Fire does a great job of bringing that cartoonish fear to life.

With Fire

Kill It With Fire boasts eight different spider species, none of which bring a massive sense of variety to the gameplay. It’s really the weapons and various upgrades you can equip between missions which do the heavy lifting there, but even that loses its appeal fairly quickly. Unloading shotgun shells into clusters of spiders might sound like it’d be hilarious forever to some – I found that my time with the game was spent in short bursts of mild amusement rather than longer play sessions, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I just feel that Kill It With Fire‘s entertainment value isn’t going last anyone a really long time – unless they really, really hate spiders.

There’s a saying someone from the BioShock development team said in an interview years ago regarding the overpowered shotgun – “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” In Kill It With Fire’s case, when a can of hairspray can obliterate every spider in a room, why bother using anything else? The game tries to discourage overusing that powerful, basic tool by limiting ammunition, but there would be more interesting ways to prevent that besides scarcity. Tracking the collateral damage you were inflicting by cost for bonuses would have added a bit more intensity, whilst compensating for the lack of a player health bar.

We reviewed Kill It With Fire on the Switch, and it suffers from the same issue quite a lot of first person indie titles do on the platform – the camera stick isn’t very sensitive at all, which makes a lot of your movement through the levels feel sluggish. It’s not unbearable, but it does make using certain weapons – the revolver especially – almost pointless. The spiders move so quicky once they’re spooked that your aim simply can’t keep up – I’m sure this is a non-issue on PC, but definitely something to be aware of if you’re planning on playing it on Switch.

Kill It With Fire: Overall thoughts

Kill It With Fire is an entertaining diversion with enough depth beneath its gimmick to stay engaging beyond the jokes. It’s a good toy, solidly built with a few missing pieces – like a piece of IKEA furniture you’re fairly sure has enough screws to stand upright for a few years. I’m not afraid of spiders myself, but squishing, shooting and burning the skittering little blighters is pretty damn satisfying here. Your ever-expanding arsenal keeps things fresh even when you’re tired of playing the role of vengeful spider-killing god.

For the best experience, buy this on Steam – the aiming just really doesn’t feel that great on Switch. Beyond that gripe, Kill It With Fire is great mindless fun in short bursts.. Fingers crossed for a wasp-murdering expansion somewhere in the near future, eh?

Kill It With Fire was developed by Casey Donnellan and published by TinyBuild. Check it out on Steam. Looking for a new indie game to keep you busy for hours? Our latest top five time-killers is here.

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