BONFIRE PEAKS: REVIEW The puzzle is one of the most challenging genres for video game developers. You need to come up with an interesting ba...


The puzzle is one of the most challenging genres for video game developers. You need to come up with an interesting basic mechanic because everything will hold on to it. Build several dozen puzzles on its basis - so that they do not repeat and do not seem monotonous. Arrange the levels correctly so that their difficulty does not jump. Add a progression system that periodically offers the player new opportunities. Therefore, puzzle games are obtained either by masterpieces like The Witness and  Baba Is You, or bypassing and uninteresting crafts like The Sojourn. New Bonfire Peaks probably belong to the first category.

Burn It ...

Bonfire Peaks is a game about breaking up with the past. The main character, about whom we do not know anything, travels to locations strewn with his memories. Here is some kind of bed, here is a computer or a saxophone, here is a car, and next to it is a TV. Everywhere there are unlit bonfires that light up as we approach. We sit down next to one of them, click on the interaction button and move to the level. And there you need to bring the box with old things to the fire and burn it, for which in the central world we will receive the box we need to move on.

The character can carry boxes lying on top of each other, but often such towers have to be dismantled.

There are no dialogues and monologues, descriptions of what is happening, too. We learn about who owns some things only thanks to the drop-down achievements. Therefore, the idea seems brilliant - just by looking at the gameplay, you understand without unnecessary clarification what is happening and what the developers wanted to tell.

There are two hundred levels in Bonfire Peaks, and on all of them, the task is the same - to bring a dark-colored box to the fire. This is helped by lightboxes that the character can carry and use as steps or in other ways. The hero always holds the raised box in front of him, which often causes difficulties - for example, you cannot climb onto the platform with the box in your hands if you hit the wall with it. It saves that the character is able to walk with his back forward. The control is not entirely convenient, but you quickly get used to it, and it is hardly possible to implement it better.

Already within the first hour, you come across puzzles that cannot be solved with a snap of your fingers, but this does not happen right away. The developers have clearly paid a lot of attention to the order in which they offer the puzzles, and the difficulty here is always increasing. At the same time, it is extremely rare to find levels that you want to leave immediately because of their size and the number of objects. There are not so many elements in the local riddles - two or three bonus boxes, one "plot" one, and all sorts of details of the environment such as a disturbing column or a strong stream of water.

There Are Never Too Many Boxes

If you get stuck on a puzzle, it doesn't matter - Bonfire Peaks doesn't require you to clear everything. I didn't count it exactly, but it seems that it is not necessary to go through even half of the levels here. Structurally, the game looks like this: you find yourself in a room with several fires, and the next location is located higher or hidden behind an obstacle - you need to either drag one box or build a mini-ladder of three. These boxes, as I wrote above, are given for completing levels, and usually, there are noticeably more bonfires than boxes are needed. For example, if you need three pieces, then there are six or seven bonfires - choose yourself what you want to go through and what you leave for later.

At the same time, there is a desire to go through all the levels or at least return to the skipped ones. It's all about the absence of overloaded puzzles, as well as interesting solutions and funny mechanics. Closer to the beginning of the game, you begin to find oblong boxes, which you can grab from all sides, and they are suitable not only for banal dragging. Then you come across platforms that collapse after the first touch, and traps - you step on a button and die from an arrow in your head. And these traps have interesting uses over time.

The puzzle restarts instantly. You can also undo the moves made - both normal steps and actions with boxes are taken into account. Everything is very convenient and understandable.

And most importantly, there is nothing superfluous in  Bonfire Peaks. There is no annoying plot that constantly interrupts puzzles. There is no crushing music - only pleasant atmospheric compositions (most often played on a guitar or piano) and crackling coals. There are no collectibles - there is enough entertainment here without it. And charming voxel graphics make the project different from the rest.

While you are thinking about solving the puzzle, you can sit on the ground and rest.

Interestingly, the PlayStation 5 version supports the game hints feature - the same one available to PlayStation Plus subscribers. When you start a level and press the PS button on the controller, a special card appears, and in it is a short video with the passage of the riddle. Since the game is already generous and allows you to skip a lot of puzzles, this is unlikely to be useful for those who just want to reach the finals, but the clearing process will be 100% easier. However, in the pre-release version, there were no tips for the levels from the second half of the game.

Bonfire Peaks is a brilliant puzzle game in which everything described in the first paragraph is done wisely. There are two hundred excellent, various riddles that you solve with great pleasure. The pace of the game does not break - both thanks to the increasing difficulty in each new section, and thanks to the ability to skip difficult puzzles. It looks great, it sounds great, and the idea of ​​burning memories goes well with the gameplay. So the memories of  Bonfire Peaks will definitely not want to burn.

Pros: Two hundred great puzzles with new ideas regularly popping up; the ability to skip difficult puzzles and continue passing; the absence of overloaded levels requiring too many actions; pleasant, atmospheric visual style; good music.

Cons: It takes a little getting used to the controls.



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