(WiiWare)

Cosy Fire (WiiWare)

Game Review

Cosy Fire Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by James Newton

Not so hot hot hot

The WiiWare catalogue is full of surprises; Hudson's My Aquarium has sold more units than anyone could have predicted, proving there's an audience for non-games on the service. It's just this audience that is expected to enjoy Cosy Fire, the latest fire-tending simulation following Korner Entertainment's Fireplacing.

Things start off promisingly, giving you the freedom to select from a range of logs and place them at will, even rotating the Wii Remote to turn the logs accordingly. You can pile up to 18 logs at a time, waiting until one burns down before you can add another, and lighting the fire is as simple as dropping a match and watching the action unfold: no need for Remote waggling to keep this flame alive. Whereas Fireplacing limited your interactions to pressing A when told, here you can prod the logs and drop more at will, which means that unlike its competition you get a sensation of actually creating the fire.

Should the fire burn out, you can start again from scratch, but if you just want to give your Remote batteries a rest you can active the Butler mode, in which logs are automatically dropped by an invisible man-servant, or the Non-stop mode, which grants logs the power of everlasting life.

There are six surroundings for your fire to illuminate, ranging from homestead hearths to open campfires, but they all behave in the same way, so it's a matter of personal preference. Unlike Fireplacing you can't look around your surroundings, so you're pretty much stuck with one viewpoint, although you can change between the different themes at will without having to start your fire from scratch, a welcome touch. Not-so welcome is the fact no matter where you start your fire, it's always laid out for you already in exactly the same way, so if you want to build a fire your own way you'll have to wait until all the logs have burnt out.

Pressing A over a log allows you to prod it about, but the same button also opens a menu when no log is selected, which means you'll often accidentally open a menu when you meant to poke the fire. It's not a big deal, but considering you only really have two functions when the fire is going - poke or menu - there's no reason they couldn't have been mapped to other buttons.

As for the fire itself, it's a passable representation that goes for a different approach to Fireplacing: logs drop and fall thanks to nVidia PhysX support, but they lack weight and feel a little spongy. They also catch fire extremely quickly - hold a log away from the fire and within seconds it's gone from dry to charred to raging inferno, causing your on-screen hand to drop it (strangely, a menu counter keeps track of how many burns you've suffered.) Graphically it's decent and at least gives the impression of interacting with the logs, unlike Fireplacing's static flickerings.

On the sound front, the game disappoints with a fire sample that sounds more like sizzling bacon than a roaring open fire. It's rather tinny and lacks the bassy tones that bring the sensation of heat alive; logs clonk together like hollow tubes and leaping embers sound like finger-clicks.

Conclusion

Cosy Fire's six available surroundings and ability to build your own fire give it a clear edge over Fireplacing, which limited your interactions to pressing A when told. It's still hardly a must-have, even for the extended audience it's clearly aiming for, so is only recommended to those who absolutely have to have a fire on their TV.

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User Comments (43)

Link79

#1

Link79 said:

When will these companies learn? We don't want glorified screen savers. We want actual games that we can play and have fun with.

Ryon

#4

Ryon said:

how can you guys find so many words to put in a review for something like this? really i'm amazed your review is as long as it is!

Sneaker13

#6

Sneaker13 said:

@Link79. People do want glorified screen savers. After one week, Cosy Fire is number six in the Netherlands. And believe it or not, my Fireplace was even in second place in December.

JayArr

#9

JayArr said:

Finally a realistic fireplace sim. Now I can feed my pyro-mania desires without all the nasty burns!

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#10

Philip_J_Reed said:

It just shows how little you guys think of me when you not only assign me a fireplace simulator, but you assign me the worst fireplace simulator.

I'll get you for this, Newton.

WaLzgiStaff

#12

WaLzgi said:

@Brutus: But you make such lovely reviews that you have crowds of screaming fangirls waiting for another

Joetherocker

#14

Joetherocker said:

These guys are actually pretty smart. They must have put next to no effort into this at all, at the most. It's impossible for them to not make money with it because of all the morons out there who'll want it.

MrAndrewJ

#16

MrAndrewJ said:

The wild juxtaposition of Newton's skilled review against the fact that this title merely allows you to stack and burn pieces of wood had me in stitches. The pure mention of Fireplacing, as a contrast to Cosy Fire, made me laugh until I hurt.

This is not a sleight against Nintendolife. Rather, it's like watching Schroeder play "Jingle Bells" with one finger while Sally screams with pure excitement. Schroeder, Newton and Brutus all deserve better than their lot. Yet, you just can't help laughing at Sally.

This site is almost always my only source for WiiWare reviews due to the talent and depth provided by the writers. Thank you.

DestinyMan

#20

DestinyMan said:

This got a pretty generous score for a virtual simulator, but at least it's not as bad as Fireplacing. They must have put a babystep effort in it instead of none at all.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#23

Philip_J_Reed said:

Thanks, MrAndrewJ. Comments like that are what keeps us going.

(That, and Daz won't let us stop.)

Wolfenstein83

#24

Wolfenstein83 said:

Wow, a 4 is better than I would have thought.
I hope they release a 3DS version so I can pretend to burn my eyes in the virtual flames.
It would also be cool to burn money in the fireplace too, like in real life when you download this.

Rensch

#27

Rensch said:

I cannot believe it got a 4. This seems to pointless to give it such a high score.

Philip_J_ReedStaff

#28

Philip_J_Reed said:

@Rensch:
"[...] we're clearly issuing caution to stay away from this game. Broken gameplay, bugs, bad control schemes, inflexible options, and repetitiveness - all these are factors which may contribute to a score of four."

Yeah, James certainly was generous!

jhuhn

#31

jhuhn said:

I'll say it again, if we want a fireplace, we get digital TV and watch it on the Fireplace Channel in HD.

MeloMan

#32

MeloMan said:

I do remember asking for someone to try their hand at the fireplace sim since Fireplacing was so meh. I like the better effort of Cozy Fire, but as far as I'm concerned, the sound of the game is what's turning me off according to the review. I don't want to hear bacon frying or fingers snapping, but I guess if the game does everything else better than Fireplacing, then I guess I may get it. I doubt we'll see a 3rd outting of the fireplace sim... here's to you My Chimney, may you never come into existence for the better of mankind...

Noire

#35

Noire said:

y u give a 4???? lol

I think it's a very well-written review, especially for something as mundane as a fireplace simulator. Why does it matter if it got a 1 or a 4? Both numbers mean 'sub-par'.

MR_SUPREME69

#36

MR_SUPREME69 said:

hmm weird i thought this site reviewed just games...guess they review apps for the wii now too

KrazyKain

#38

KrazyKain said:

make fun of it as much as you want... my dad bought a dvd that just shows fireplaces and aquariums for his restaurant and people actually like it...

so obviously there IS a market for it

Noire

#39

Noire said:

They do technically mean different things, yes, but if the difference is between crap and T-virus-infected radioactive crap, I still don't want either. :P

GotWii

#40

GotWii said:

Great now I just need a minion SIM that would provide a character that would simply complement me all day of my greatness.
"Your the Best", "that's a great idea", "You look marvelous".......
(That's a joke please don't develop this)

Pod

#41

Pod said:

I make games for Wii now... though I can't on my own. I'd really want to make a better fireplace simulator than these two bozo studios have. >:(

BrickRockwell

#43

BrickRockwell said:

All that's missing is a half-naked girl on a bear skin rug with a bottle of bubbly, who then critiques everything about the way you build the fire until you give up in frustration. We can't have it TOO realistic

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