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1974552620_KillItWithFirelogo.png.b7f0421b106c65c17625d978139cf2c7.pngArachnophobes rejoice: here's a game that lets you take out all of your aggression on eight-legged creatures in increasingly ridiculous ways. From swatting them with a clipboard to wielding a rocket launcher, Kill It With Fire from developer Casey Donnellan and publisher tinyBuild Games takes the common fear of spiders to absurd extremes with simple physics mechanics and destructible environments. But while the premise is funny, it might not have much staying power.
 
There's no plot in Kill It With Fire, you're simply taken from one location to the next, starting in a humble little home, with one goal in mind: eradicate arachnids. As the title would indicate, early in the game you're given an improvised flamethrower made from an aerosol can (don't try this at home kids), with increasingly powerful and ridiculous weapons unlocked as you progress. Sure it's absurd to take a shotgun to kill a spider that is barely as big as a shotgun shell, but it's undeniably satisfying to blow away that creepy critter.
 
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Speaking of satisfying, Kill It With Fire features some simple but solid physics mechanics—while you're tearing apart the environment looking for spiders, you can toss around objects or sometimes break apart walls entirely. It's not the most elaborate physics engine but as so many games have taught us there's something primal and fun about wrecking stuff.
 
To actually progress through the game you have to kill spiders—within each stage areas are blocked until you've killed the requisite number of tiny monsters—but funnily enough the longer you play the less focus there is on spider-hunting. You'll encounter new types of spiders in each stage, sure, but with weapons like flamethrowers and explosives the actual spider-killing process becomes pretty simple and a bit bland. It doesn't help that the controls are pretty stiff (presumably they worked better on PC with a mouse and keyboard) and using weapons that require aim is actually pretty obnoxious. Even some customization options to adjust camera sensitivity would have saved a lot of the tedium in this game.
 
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What is more likely to occupy your attention is the checklist of additional objectives. Every stage has a number of bonus tasks such as killing spiders in a specific way or interacting with the environment in a particular manner—find the key to the closet, break 20 dishes, etc. Again, the controls can make some of these tasks a little annoying to complete, but having something else to occupy your mind in Kill It With Fire is great, especially since you have to find or discover most tasks on your own. Tasks add some much needed depth to the spider-killing process, and oftentimes add their own absurd or goofy flavor to the game. Completing a requisite number of tasks unlocks a bonus challenge in each stage, though the time limit and stiff controls mean only the most dedicated players are likely to struggle through these.
 
That's really all there is to Kill It With Fire—it's a fun and funny concept but its biggest issue is simply not growing or evolving as you play. The game can be finished in roughly three hours, and even within that fairly brief time frame the game gets repetitive, and the dark satisfaction of lighting bugs on fire doesn't last long. If you do get hooked though there are a decent number of weapons throughout the game, and placing unique challenges on yourself like only using certain items is a decent way of drawing out the game's experience.
 
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The game's simple visual style works to its benefit. The graphics are basic and cartoony, but that underscores the absurd nature of everything you do, and also keeps the physics interactions relatively clear and readable. There's not much to say about the music though—what little there is is entirely forgettable.
 

Kill It With Fire builds more out of its absurd premise than you might think, but it still doesn't quite make for a compelling experience. If you're in the mood for a short joke game, Kill It With Fire fits the bill nicely with simple, goofy charm. If you're hoping for something that has a silly concept but still delivers a full-fledged gameplay experience, well, that might be too much to expect from a game where you kill spiders with a rocket launcher.

 
Rating: 6 out of 10 Spiders
 
Review copy provided by publisher
 
Kill It With Fire will be available on the Switch eShop on March 4 for $14.99. Pre-Order now for 20% off— $11.99.
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