What a grand day it is when past me gives present me the gift of having put us on the mailing list for a swell little indie game. As past me knows, I do really enjoy a cute but tricky puzzler, which is just what Wildfire Swap looks to be. Only you can stop these wildfires by swapping tiles on the board to contain them without letting houses catch fire. This puzzler is out now, so you can go scratch your head over these grim but cute conundrums yourself.
Wildfire Swap takes a simple action—swapping tiles—and complicates it with a bit of strategy. “Every time you make a move to contain the fire, it spreads more out of control,” developer Ryan Kubik explains. “Through well-planned and calculated movements you can prevent the flames from burning down homes. Each level challenges you to understand more deeply how fires spread so that you can adapt your fire prevention strategies.”
Different tiles such as houses and moutains and trees all appear to have their own properties for you to consider when deciding how to best contain the blaze. Oh and look, there are dastardly fans in there to indicate the presence of wind in some levels. The creators say that Wildfire Swap comes with over 120 different levels to work through, including “B-side worlds” with more difficult challenges and new mechanics.
It’s a grim topic, to be sure. Wildfires are not what I’d call a fun puzzle to solve. Beneath its cute facade though, Wildfire Swap is attempting to impart the lesson that wildfires cannot be put out, only contained. “I hope that as they overcome the puzzles in this game, they get some sense of the enormous amount of planning and hard work fire fighting teams put in to contain these fires,” Kubik says.
You can find Wildfire Swap over on Steam where it’s discounted by 10% until April 7th.