Parents' Guide to

Blue Fire

By Angelica Guarino, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Patience is a virtue in this 3D action platformer.

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Though it's designated as a 3D action platformer, this also feels like a puzzle game, as players must traverse stages with steadily increasing difficulty. Though some areas of Blue Fire may feel familiar from section to section, players never feel like they're repeating anything. What's remarkable about this is that practice and patience will make players substantially better over time, which isn't always the case in fast-paced action games that can sometimes outpace the skill level of some players. Here, there's time and space to grow, even including multiple ways to solve some puzzles.

The most impressive highlight of Blue Fire is its ability to walk the line between being satisfyingly challenging but not inaccessible. While you might stumble over a barrier many times before getting it right, every "game over" screen feels like a learning experience rather than a punishment. For beginners and experienced gamers alike, each puzzle is just complicated enough to give players a moderate pause, but also keep them moving. This translates to a feeling of accomplishment when an obstacle is finally overcome, as well as a moment to exhale from the fast pace of the game and refocus for the next hurdle if needed. While a beginner may not fly through the first stages, they also probably won't be stuck on the same level for hours. There are also two difficulty levels, with "newcomer" being available for beginners, and "recommended" reserved for everyone else. While this may seem like a simple addition, this speaks to an effort to be inclusive. Adding to this further is the metroidvania approach to tasks, meaning that once treasure chests and doors are unlocked, they are permanently available, taking some of the pressure off those who may not be able to easily make the long distance between checkpoints. Overall, this title is a fit for anyone with an interest in platformers, not just those with hundreds of hours logged in similar titles.

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