Reviews - Updated on March 29, 2022

Puzzle is one of the most difficult genres for video game developers. We need to come up with an interesting basic mechanics, 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. Correctly arrange the levels so that their complexity does not jump. Add a progress system that periodically offers the player new opportunities. Therefore, puzzle games are either masterpieces like The Witness and Baba Is You, or passing and uninteresting crafts like The Sojourn. New Bonfire Peaks rather belongs to the first category.

To burn it…

Bonfire Peaks is a game about parting with the past. The protagonist, about whom we know nothing, travels through 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 fires that light up at our approach. We sit down next to one of them, press the interaction button and transfer 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 get the box we need to move on.

Bonfire Peaks: Overview

The character can carry boxes stacked on top of each other, but these towers often have to be taken apart.

There are no dialogues and monologues, descriptions of what is happening – too. About who owns some things, we learn only through the drop-down achievements. That’s why the idea seems brilliant – just by looking at the gameplay, you understand without further clarification what is happening and what the developers wanted to tell.

There are two hundred levels in Bonfire Peaks, and in all of them the task is the same – to bring a dark-colored box to the fire. Light boxes help to do this, which 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 will not be able to climb onto the platform with a box in your hands if you rest it against a wall. It saves that the character is able to walk backwards. Management is not very convenient, but you quickly get used to it, and it is hardly possible to implement it better.

Otherwise, don’t go up.

Already within the first hour you are faced with puzzles that cannot be solved at the snap of your fingers, but this does not happen immediately. The developers have clearly paid a lot of attention to the order in which they offer 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” and all sorts of environmental details like an interfering pillar or a strong stream of water.

There are not many boxes

If you get stuck on some puzzle, it doesn’t matter – Bonfire Peaks does not require you to clear everything. I didn’t count exactly, but it seems that it’s not necessary to complete 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 above or hidden behind a barrier – you either need to drag one box or build a mini-staircase 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 already six or seven bonfires – choose for yourself what you want to go through and what you leave for later.

Bonfire Peaks: Overview

Campfires remain lit if these levels are completed.

At the same time, there is a desire to go through all the levels, or at least return to the missed ones. It’s all about the absence of overloaded puzzles, as well as interesting solutions and fun mechanics. Closer to the beginning of the game, you begin to find oblong boxes that 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 – step on the button and die from an arrow in the head. And these traps eventually have an interesting application.

This level clearly needs to be passed differently.

Restarting the puzzle happens instantly. You can also undo the moves made – both the usual 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 the puzzles. There is no oppressive music – only pleasant atmospheric compositions (most often played on a guitar or piano) and the crackle of coals. There are no collectibles – there is enough entertainment without it. And charming voxel graphics make the project different from the others.

Bonfire Peaks: Overview

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

Interestingly, the PlayStation 5 version supports the game tips feature, the same one that is available to PlayStation Plus subscribers. When you start the level and press the PS button on the gamepad, 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, those who just want to reach the final will hardly need it, but the clearing process will be 100% easier. True, in the pre-release version, there were no hints for levels from the second half of the game.

Bonfire Peaks is a brilliant puzzle game where everything described in the first paragraph is cleverly done. There are two hundred excellent, various riddles that you solve with great pleasure. The pace of the game does not break – and thanks to the increasing complexity of each new area, and thanks to the ability to skip difficult puzzles. It looks great, it sounds great, and the whole idea of ​​burning memories goes well with the gameplay. So you definitely don’t want to burn the memories of Bonfire Peaks.

Pros: two hundred excellent puzzles in which new ideas appear regularly; the ability to skip difficult puzzles and continue passing; lack of overloaded levels that require too many actions; pleasant, atmospheric visual style; good music.

Cons: controls take a little getting used to.

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