Fire Up – Endless Progress, One Block at a Time

Feb 17, 2018
Casual

Fire Up is a new twist on the standard number block progression games with a great deal of new variety.

In Fire Up your block is, well, firing up. Impeding its endless, infinite journey are a series of blocks with their health in numbers, lining up to challenge you.

As you progress, you fire a continuous volley of balls that hopefully destroy the blocks in front of you. The health of the block obstacles is random and varied, allowing you agency in deciding which blocks you will focus your fire on.

Along the way, a myriad of power-ups is available, sometimes offering you an increase in damage or speed of your ammunition. The power rating and speed of your shots are the primary attributes you need to keep track of – a strength of 5 means each shot damages enemy blocks by 5 points, whereas an increase of speed increases your dps by that amount.

As you inevitably end each level by lurching into a block by accident or through not damaging the enemy block enough, you will be rewarded. Every health point of enemy blocks you damaged counts as one point, tallying up at the end to allow you to upgrade either your strength or speed.

This gives you increased replayability, as every time you fail you get stronger and stronger, allowing ever more powerful attacks.

This gives you increased replayability, as every time you fail you get stronger and stronger, allowing ever more powerful attacks.

The problem is that the enemy blocks increase their health alongside your upgrades. As you get stronger, so to do the blocks. This means that the challenge never really increases or decreases, instead staying the same steady pace. While this might be good at first look, this makes it feel like the upgrades at the end of each level are worthless.

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What’s the point of getting stronger if your enemies scale with you?

This lack of progressive difficulty can make everything feel pointless – it would be far better if the enemies stayed the same strength, but got stronger as the levels went on, meaning you need upgrades to get to the higher sections.

Despite this possible feeling of despondent hopelessness, Fire Up feels rewarding. It is satisfying to continuously beat the odds, pushing past the enemy blocks and overcoming them just in the nick of time, shooting massive quantities of shots at the enemies that seem to overwhelm everything in your way. Of course, you will always die eventually.

The continuous progression of upgrades and pushing further into the level, bit by bit, gives you a great sense of constant progress, even though the game is obviously infinite.

Fire Up is a game that seeks to keep the player hooked through continuous forward progress and constant nail biting. Will you manage to make it through this layer of blocks, or will they kill you with only one hit remaining?

Will you manage to make it through this layer of blocks, or will they kill you with only one hit remaining?

The tension remains even with the constant knowledge that nothing you’re doing really matters. The fact that Fire Up keeps the player entertained despite the problems inherent to the game design is a testament to its strength.

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Fire Up keeps you playing, desperate to get that little bit farther.

Our Rating

ProsCons
Constant nail biting and tension as to whether or not you’ll make it through this line of blocks. Fire Up keeps you interested and engaged no matter what.The enemies scaling with your progression makes the whole thing feel pointless.
Rating
8.5/10
Fire Up!
Fire Up!
Developer:
Price: Free+
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Sam Eskenazi

Sam is a YouTuber, Streamer & Games Journalist. He loves to cook and listen to the sound of his own voice, ideally at the same time.

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