As creepy crawlies go, Spiders are up there with the worst of the worst. With their 8 spindly legs and beady black eyes, lurking in the darkest corners and recesses of our house like some sneaky little home invader it’s no wonder they are hated and reviled in equal measure.
If that sentence just sent a shiver down your spine, Kill It With Fire will either go one of two ways for you – it could well be the scariest game you have ever played, or it will help you overcome your fear by way of immersion therapy as you whack, shoot and burn the scurrying little buggers out of existence.
Such is the premise of Kill It With Fire, a game all about exploring and hunting down spiders using a wealth of resources at your disposal. If a spider has ever scurried out from under the sofa and given you a scare, or you’ve wanted to blast one to smithereens with an assault rifle, then Kill It With Fire could well be your kind of game.
Even if you haven’t had the urge to concoct a Molotov cocktail and bash a spider over the head with it, Kill It With Fire doesn’t take itself too seriously and its small levels are actually a lot of fun. Starting small by having you trash a lounge, your job is to hunt and kill all the spiders in each level in what is essentially an arachnophobes worst nightmare of a treasure hunt as you interact with everything looking for spiders to take out, and not in a romantic way.
Pretty much every item in Kill It With Fire can be interacted with as you hunt out a given number of spiders, and the amount of items you can interact with is truly impressive. Boxes can be lifted, plates smashed and haybales burned as you hunt down your 8-legged prey. Items can be lifted up, spun around and thrown away, and it is surprising how much of a jump scare can be had by spinning a fairly innocent looking item only to find a spider lurking underneath, even in a videogame.
Such is the main objective in Kill It With Fire. You enter each new area with a set of innocuous objectives to complete – smash up some photo frames, burn some hard drives, throw some garbage in a dumpster. These objectives are easy enough to carry out and revolve around you interacting with all the items that populate each level in different ways as you explore, all the while knowing that spiders are hidden all around you, waiting to be disturbed.
Tied into this is the fact that additional areas are locked off when you first enter a new level, but they quickly open up as you kill more spiders. Certain doors have a number on them indicating the number of spiders you need to kill before they will allow you to open them, locking away further items or leaving you unable to complete a given objective. It’s a simple mechanic, but it works as a reason to hunt out and destroy as many spiders as you can.
Luckily, it is here that Kill It With Fire really shines. You start the game with a clipboard, which has two purposes – as an objective tracker, and your first primitive weapon which you can use to swing and whack spiders as they scurry across the floor, causing them to curl up and die in a pool of green blood.
It isn’t long before you pick up your first proper weapon in the form of a home-made aerosol flamethrower. It isn’t long before you have everything from a shotgun to ninja stars at your disposal, which is definitely a step up from the empty glass and tissue that I normally use.
As overkill as this sounds, it is definitely fun while it lasts. There isn’t much in the way of depth to Kill It With Fire, but the point is it doesn’t take itself too seriously, and I had fun with the few hours I had with it. It has to be said Kill It With Fire isn’t a long game, but it does offer some replay value in the form of unlockable Upgrades that are found hidden in each level. A particular favourite of mine is Tiny Mode, which shrinks you down to the size of a spider while leaving everything else untouched, upping the panic somewhat as they scurry towards you.
A quick word on the spiders – they. Can. Move. Kill It With Fire does a great job of translating the erratic scurrying motion of spiders into the game, giving them a real-world feel. Combine that with great audio that makes a distinct “tick-tick-tick” as they scuttle about, or combine it with the different abilities that the coloured spiders have, and you can’t help but feel a little panicky as they come running out of the shadows towards you.
The biggest let down for me was that other than this initial creepiness, the spiders offer no real threat beyond that, as there is no health bar or anything else to worry about other than “Look – spiders! Creepy!” This might be enough if you have arachnophobia, but as I don’t I ended up quickly ignoring the spiders in favour of exploring the levels while the spiders did their thing as I went about completing the given objectives, only killing the spiders when I needed to explore the next section or exit a level.
Overall the time I spent with Kill It With Fire I did enjoy, but I was able to sit down and complete it in one sitting. This included replaying a few levels to complete all objectives and gather up any collectables I missed on my first go and trying out a few of the upgrades. I have every intention of jumping in again to mop up the last few trophies, but once that is done Kill It With Fire is a game I will put down and probably never touch again, but it was fun while it lasted.
Review: Kill it with Fire PS4
- Overall - Very Good - 7/107/10
If you’ve ever fantasised about blasting spiders to kingdom come, Kill It With Fire has your back, and for the most part, this FPS-come-spider-slaying-sim is a fun experience, even if it is a little on the short side.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a copy of the game provided by the publisher. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Version tested: PS4. Reviewed using PS5, PS4