I really like the game. I like how it looks, how it plays, and how it ultimately ends. If they do a second version, I’d love the simple update to say you are playing as living flame. Did I mention, I really like this game?
Publisher: Runaway Parade
Designer: Sam Bryant
Designer: Gwen Ruelle
Artist: Kevin Ruelle
Game Type: Abstract
Game Type: Take That
Initial Year of Release: 2019
Number of Players:
Game Type: Hand Management
Theme and What is it?
You are one of the crazy fire fighting heroes that fight the preventable and lamentable fires that Smokey the Bear tried to prevent. Get your fire blankets ready, because you, are in the middle of a fire storm.
Your only goal is to stay alive, and unlike a real fireman, to spread fires to your competitors, and cause a painful and fiery demise. Sorry Smokey.
Sadly, the theme would have been slightly more palatable to me, if you were playing as the fire, rather than the fireman. Fire has no soul, fireman should.
Each turn you will do two main things. Move the fire one space based on wind direction, and play a card, or draw up to five (you may also discard to draw all 5).
Speaking in generic terms, this is like playing king of the castle as a kid. You want to be the last person standing.
You do this by spreading the fire every direction, but your own. You also have several competitors, doing the same. Last firefighter alive, wins.
This game has an exceptional table presence.
Just looking at it, makes you want to take a photo, and moreso, play this game. My intial impression was simply that I had to see this game in action.
That, is a good thing.
Game Build Quality
Runaway Games made Fire Tower out of some great materials. The fire crystals truly make the board come alive.
I realize that not all games can be lookers, but this game has such a charm to seeing the fire spread, that you feel like you smell smoke.
All parts feel so cool. The one exception to that is I do not know that I felt the fire stops. I don’t even know how to change it for the better. Red stop signs would ruin the fire aesthetic. This however is so minor, that it does not distract from game even slightly.
Few games can be defined as the actual game becoming the art. A few come to mind, but to focus on them would distract you from the idea that this game as played, becomes its own art.
Kevin Ruelle drew a forest, and I assume picked the fire crystals for their pop. His box art feels as if it is on fire.
All in all, this game aesthetically, is on fire.
I enjoy a good abstract. In this case, I think they designed a very good push pull mechanic that is approachable and fun.
If you cannot have fun with this, it is in my opinion, only because you do not like abstract games.
Age Range & Weight
14+. I assume it is 14+ so this did not have to test the pieces for children.
This game is easily approachable by a younger audience, as long as they are not overly sensitive to the theme.
This is a game about who can be the slimiest firefighter. You are not worried about saving your friends life, and falling on the grenade as it were, like Captain America. This game rewards you for being the cowards that Captain America saved in the first movie from the fake grenade.
Here’s where it gets tricky, I really like this game. I would play it over and over with the right person. The theme was a bit of a miss for me, as it is hard internally to diminish these heroes, every one of them would give their lives to protect other people.
But again, I really like the game. I like how it looks, how it plays, and how it ultimately ends. If they do a second version, I’d love the simple update to say you are playing as living flame. Did I mention, I really like this game?
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