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Burn the City is hot, but doesn’t always ignite

by Michael Ian

Burn the City’s title perfectly sums up its gameplay. Placing you in the shoes... er, claws of a fire-breathing newborn lizard, you’ll reign fire on human cities that stole your family. Using familiar physics-based gameplay it’s quite easy to shrug off the game as another Angry Birds clone. While it may seems unfair to compare it to Rovio’s series behemoth, Burn the City (also available as a free version) attempts to add its own spin on the genre.

While common sense would dictate that stomping the city to pieces would be a lot quicker, the menacing, yet still adorable dinosaur lets his inner pyrotechnics free on human structures. Dragging your finger away from the monster, you launch fireballs by arching your shot towards the buildings. This method also allows you to control the force of each shot giving you tighter control for tough-to-reach areas. Unlike Angry Birds you’ll have an unlimited amount of projectiles to spew, making it incredibly easy to just spam and create a rain of destruction. However, playing the game this way results in a lower score. The developer anticipated this and added strategic ways to level the cities in shorter times. By introducing mechanics such as ricocheting you fireballs, wrecking balls, and a handful of other variations, they introduced a puzzle element to the game.

As this is a physics-centered game, my main gripes come from its unrealistic moments. Ill-placed buildings that fall earthward flop around like trouts and bounce against one another. Yes, you heard right, they bounce. While I’m sure the developers were not aiming for true realism, the site of buildings hopping about instead of collapsing and toppling against one another leaves one feeling a bit underwhelmed.

Once the novelty of playing Godzilla Jr. burns off, you’ll find that Burn the City is a glorified Angry Birds with flames. Sure, its a fun way to spend some time on your morning commute, but it’s an overly tried and true formula that has been done countless times before. As always, fans of the genre will still love this one.

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