There are few games that are able to sell me on the concept alone but that’s what Kill it with Fire managed to do. You see whilst I’m a bit of a pacifist when it comes to spiders (catch and release is my method for dealing with them when they’re in places they’re not supposed to be) I do enjoy the meme around completely overreacting to them and destroying your house in the process. So when I saw the first videos showing off the gameplay I thought it’d be a bit of a laugh and sure enough it delivers on its own brand of ridiculousness. However it’s probably not a game I’ll find myself going back to as whilst it’s fun for a bit there’s really not that much variety between levels at all. Still it was fun for a while.
The premise of the game is simple: there’s spiders in your house and you have to get rid of them. Sometimes the spiders will be out in the open and be easy to spot however, most of the time, they’ll be hiding in all the usual places and you’ll have to track them down. At your disposal is a number of different tools to dispatch your arachnid invaders, ranging from things you’d expect (a clipboard, frying pan) through to the absolutely absurd (C4, RPG). This is, of course, the game’s draw card: getting rid of spiders by completely overblown means and typically destroying anything near it in the process.
This starts out as a pretty fun game of cat and mouse, trying to figure out where all the spiders are hidden and trying to uncover them so you can get rid of them. They don’t actually pose any threat to you at all though as you don’t have a health bar and it seems nothing is able to damage you. This is quite an American way at looking at spiders given that none of the species over there are deadly to you which is not quite the case here down under (see how a Pepper Pig episode was banned in Australia for saying as much). Although I wasn’t really expecting realism from this game the fact that the spiders pose no threat means that it quickly becomes more of a chore to chase them down rather than a tense/suspenseful experience I had thought it might be going in.
The weapons you get given are honestly, pretty hilarious, although most of them aren’t exactly as useful as you might think. The shotgun seems to have about as much spread as the revolver which means both are rather difficult to use on a fast moving spider skittering along the floor. The molotov cocktails, lighter/hair spray and petrol can are far more effective tools especially considering that it seems spiders like to cluster in hiding spots meaning 1 lit spider gets them all. The explosives are a little bit of fun but the number of physics objects and destructible environments are pretty limited so they don’t produce the usual cacophony of debris that you’d expect.
The upgrade system is also pretty lacklustre, mostly just giving you run of the mill upgrades that are quality of life improvements more than anything else. It’s possible there’s some more interesting upgrades later in the game but honestly, after an hour or so, the game’s schtick starts to wear thin and I didn’t really feel like playing much beyond there. At the very least it allows you to respend your points at any time you want but I had enough points to buy all of them at the end of each level so I’m not sure if there was going to be a lot of build optimisation that I’d like to do.
Like nearly all games that are done “for the memes” Kill it with Fire is one of those games that is likely far more enjoyable to watch someone else play than it is to play yourself. To be sure there’s some funny moments to be had in here but most of the time it’s just a boring process of slowly moving between locations to uncover spiders, killing them, unlocking new areas and then completing the list of chores the game has set for you. Watching someone else do that on a stream is likely to be a lot more fun, especially if they’re someone who’s not exactly comfortable with arachnids.
What this all leads to is a game that is fine just not one that I think is really worth playing for more than an hour or so. If you’re a fan of these kinds of casual/comedy games then there’s definitely a lot to love here but for me there just wasn’t enough to carry the game past the first hour. Thinking back over it I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting but maybe I was seeking a slightly different experience to the one that’s been developed here.
Kill it with Fire is available on PC right now for $21.50. Total play time was 1.2 hours with 12% of the achievements unlocked.