[PS Vita Review] Flame Over

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Flame Over is a fast-paced top-down squirt ’em up with randomly generated levels that was released on PS Vita by a well-known British Studio Laughing Jackal (a PS4 version is currently in the works with no set release date). Their previous games which you probably remember are Cubixx HD on PS3), OMG HD Zombies for the PS Vita, Hungry Giraffe, to name a few.

Flame Over is a firefighting action “pyroguelike” for Vita, featuring:

· Fast-paced Twin Stick “squirt ‘em-up” gameplay.

· A mesmerizing dynamic fire system.

· Randomly generated levels. Billions of combinations!

· Awesome firefighting equipment and lots of powerups.

· Super-cute cats to rescue… And people.

· Perma-death made less painful via a persistent upgrade system.

The game is a roguelike, yes but with a twist. As you just read above, Alasdair Evans from Laughing Jackal prefers to call it a ‘Pyroguelike’, a very apt fit for a title like this! Flame Over is very easy to play but quite hard to master, so if the players want a challenge, then Flame Over is what they need!

Players get to take on the role of Blaze, a fireman who is called to a building currently going up in flames. You must saving the workers and cats in each room while putting out the fires, which sounds easy but is far from it. The game consists of four levels: Office, Executive, Labs, and Factory. Each level includes four stages, slowly slightly increasing the difficulty with each new area. When a player starts a stage, he/she is given five minutes to clear the whole thing from any fires, while also rescuing as many people as possible. If somebody dies, you lose ten seconds off the timer, but each person you rescue earns you one minute of extra time. And if a cat is rescued you gain an extra life but no extra time. Rescue Miss Ion and complete her missions and you will gain an extra two minutes, and she will also give you an upgrade token that is extremely valuable!

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Flame Over is hard. Trust me on this… you are going to die A LOT! The best thing about this game is it is not as punishing as, say, Rogue Legacy in terms of roguelike gameplay. The game allows the players to keep their character, tokens and upgrades when they die. Any money earned will not carry over, so you must purchase what you can from the store before you are sent back to level 1-1. But having to do it all over again will not matter as the game is so fun that once you start playing the only way you will stop is when your PS Vita’s battery runs out!

If the timer reaches zero and turns purple, the Grim Reaper shows up and starts chasing you. Don’t let him catch you, or it will be game over! There is a trophy for avoiding the Grim for a whole minute, but can you hold out that long? The longest I have managed is three minutes, which made for a fun run. Can you beat that?

Upgrades can be purchased using the tokens from saving Miss Ion and from completing her missions, and once you unlock a particular upgrade you can purchase it with the money you earn from putting out the fires. There are seven upgrades for you to purchase, varying from random items to extra water bottles and some gadgets. Remember, money does not carry over, so spend it all before you start each game!

On each stage (except for the first one), there is a shop where you can buy stuff to make your game a little easier. The shop is marked on the map with a green trolley sign, making it easy to find. There is a trophy for buying every item available, and they randomly change with every level, so this is a time-consuming but rewarding trophy to earn.

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Your score is based on the amount of money you earn, and the game tracks your progress as well by the number of games you have played and how many times you die, along with your total play time and the total cash you’ve earned. The game also has a leaderboards feature, making it easy for players to spend hours with the game as they try to improve their score. Can you claim the crown of the leaderboards?

Flame Over has thirty-six trophies including a shiny platinum for you to earn. The full breakdown includes twenty Bronze, ten Silver, five Gold and one Platinum.

I absolutely love this game, and I still continue to play it very often. It’s definitely my favorite game from Laughing Jackal so far, and I’m sure it will be yours as well!


Beautiful graphics.
Extremely addictive. Hours and hours of pure fun.
Very fair for a roguelike.
Nothing to complain about.


This review is based on a digital copy provided by Laughing Jackal.

Written by: Tracey - Contributing Editor

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