Kill It With Fire (2020)
Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Developer: Casey Donnellan Games LLC
I was planning to review a different game I've been playing through in the last couple weeks, but after my partner gifted my this chaotic looking game on my wishlist, I had to take a break to try it out. I was also motivated to review it as it's made by a local game developer where I live - I happened to hear about its release in the Fantastic Arcade Discord. Kill It With Fire is a comedic first-person action game where you must kill an invasion of spiders, with any and all weapons of destruction. Despite some slight graphic limitations and the icky-ness of the crawly spiders, Kill It With Fire gives you freedom to explore and interesting goals along your journey of destruction.
Kill It With Fire immediately presents itself as an over-the-top parody of what it's like trying to kill a spider in your house. In this game, the spiders that the villains and there seem to be an endless amount of them. You start out in what appears to be your house with just a clipboard in your hand, which you can use to splat the spiders that you'll encounter crawling around. However, within the first few minutes you've picked up a couple more tools, including a flammable can of spray and a revolver. Is this overkill? Maybe, but when you open a drawer expecting to find a cool item and instead you find a spider who's coming right at you, the revolver seems about right. Although your goal is to get rid of the spiders, each level in Kill It With Fire gives you a new set of goals to accomplish. These goals, much like in Untitled Goose Game, are often times just specifically destructive and a menace to society - for example, shattering all of the picture frames in a house. Sometimes you'll accidentally knock out these tasks before you're assigned them if you're making enough of a mess. Formerly-reviewed Fly In The House also had a similar concept and destructive goals such as these, however, it completely lost the central aspect of actually wanting to kill the fly since it was so ridiculously difficult to and just felt frustrating for me to try.
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Once you've killed enough spiders, you can move on the next level. These different levels vary from regular homes to random barns, and each one introduces to new and more horrifying types of spiders. Some spiders are resilient need certain types of weapons to be destroyed, making you want to destroy those little monsters even more. However, it isn't long until you have so many weapons that you have to decide which ones you want in your quick slots, and you actually do have to rotate often as you run out of ammo. Among a few favorite of mine were throwing stars (although it's so hard to actually hit moving spiders with them) and Molotov cocktails. Depending on how well you explore the level and kill spiders, you'll also get points to be used on upgrades that improve your weapons and movement. The Spider tracker you're given in the beginning also receives upgrades to better track spiders, but honestly, I barely ever used after the first level. Spiders appear enough as it is and I wasn't often looking to 100% get every single one, so I kinda forgot it existed.
I'm realizing now that very few of my screenshots and videos from Kill It With Fire actually show spiders. This is probably because I had the most fun with non-spider tasks and because as soon as the spiders appeared, I would get way too anxious and amped up to remember to take screenshots. At times it even felt like a horror game, with spiders that would JUMP AT YOUR FACE and others who could so quickly hide that you didn't know where they had gone. There's moments that made me shiver and cringe as it felt like the spiders were really coming at me, in real life. Kill It With Fire is probably a big no-no for anyone who has arachnophobia, but for most others it should be okay, especially since the spiders often look silly and just explode into green goo when they die. I appreciate how most of the game is quiet until you're actually fighting some spiders or checked off a goal, at which point some metal music starts playing. This feels to me like it turns this spider shoot-out into a DOOM parody, in a good way. The graphics are very simple, to the point where fire just looks like bright little squares of light, but it does just enough for the world to feel immersive. Even if some things don't look quite like they should, it makes up for it by making the items and world responsive and malleable to your weapons.
Kill It With Fire is a silly and simple concept that that purposely exaggerates to make a really unique and chaotic game. You have a ridiculous amount of weapons, some causing huge destruction, and you're able to completely alter your environment in response despite how small the spiders are. The game has much more content and levels than I expected it to, especially compared to similar games I've played. I especially enjoyed the checklist missions and I plan on going back to finish the few I wasn't able to get my first time around, since the game appears to have some post-credits content available if you complete them all. If you can't stand spiders at all (or if you really love spiders?), this may not be for you, but otherwise I think most players could have a good time causing some trouble with a repertoire of weapons.
Disclaimer: Spiders are actually really important to the ecosystem since they control other inspect populations, such as mosquitoes. If you find a spider in your house in real life, it's best to take it outside rather than kill it.
Kill It With Fire is available on PC.
Played on: PC
Playtime: 12 hrs (6 hrs to complete)