PC – DOS
Pyro ][ - World Terrorism
Pyro ][ - World Terrorism
Whenever the topic of “Best game ever” comes around, there’s one or two games that you can guarantee are mentioned, mainly (it seems) Nintendo games. But there’s always a few “outsiders” who get their names out there, for example the Sim City games (in particular Sim City 2000), or World of Warcraft might get a nod or two.
Then there’s the obtuse games that one or two people will shout out for, but no-one else has ever heard of, or at least can’t remember.
For me, there’s a game that falls into this category. If given the chance to name my “top 3 games EVAAAAR”, this one always sneaks its way onto the list.
The game itself boils down to a simple puzzle game, but requires speed and forethought to complete to the best of your ability.
Forgive the primitive “Worse than an 8-bit” graphics, they’re not important. What matters (and always has mattered) is the gameplay.
The basic objective, then, is to burn down various famous buildings. You start out on the top floor of each one, and must work your way down. You drag a fuse along behind you, which usually takes around 15 seconds to start burning. Most walls are flammable, with the exception of the corners. To reach the walls though, you must either go past petrol cans, or you can spill a can on the floor if you prefer, creating a pool of petrol, which will also light. Then you must escape down the stairs to the next level without setting yourself on fire.
Repeat this for the hundreds of levels that face you. Easy!
Except it really isn’t. It’s FIENDISHLY difficult to make any real distance into the game. Pass your fuse by a petrol can and it will explode, spreading the fire around. Cause too big a chain reaction and you’ll end up having your fire catch up with you. Set fire to the stairs and you cut off your only escape route. Whilst you might think you can just escape without doing too much damage, there's the temptation to burn all the walls down after you’ve left, as you’ll earn a generous “Completion” bonus.
Y’know, writing this, I don’t feel I’m doing the game any justice. Maybe it’s just me (it usually is), but this game had that “one more go” factor. Back in the nineties, when all I had to worry about was school and my weekends consisted of almost all the free time I could desire, much of it was spent trying to progress through this game. I was never good enough to beat it, never good enough to make significant progress, but I couldn’t tear myself away.
It looks like it’s still freely available on the internet through the usual abandonware/old DOS games sites, so you shouldn’t find it too hard to unearth, dust off, and set fire to it. BURN BABY BURN!