Tis the season for presents, egg nog and a nice fire in the fireplace. You say you don't have a fireplace? Well dtp young entertainment can help you, if you own a Wii, with Cozy Fire. So put away the axe, no need for chopping wood.
While Cozy Fire doesn't have a story mode, that certainly doesn't stop you from telling stories with friends and family gathered around.
Gameplay and Controls
Cozy Fire is a fireplace simulator. Yes you read that right, a fireplace simulator. You can add wood to the fire, poke it with a poker and if the fire goes out you can light a new one with a match. If you don't want to tend your virtual fireplace there are two options in the main menu; Butler Mode and Non-stop Mode. In Butler Mode a new log will drop on the fire every so often (about 17 seconds). Non-stop Mode the fire you build will not burn down and go out. Also in the main menu you can choose your fireplace; rustic, classic, elegant, Zen, campfire, and the fire by itself.
Interacting with the fire is mostly a one button affair. Place the pointer over a burning log and it changes into a hand holding a poker. Pressing "A" pokes or pushes that log back. Move the pointer anywhere else and press "A" brings up the log selection menu. Here you have a selection of ten different logs to put on the fire and a match to light the fire.
Graphics and Sound
The graphics for Cozy Fire are fairly realistic for the Wii. The limitations of the Wii still make for a slight pixilation blockiness at the edges of everything. The fire itself behaves realistically. Burning embers will pop off the logs occasionally too.
Speaking of burning embers popping, the sound recreates a crackling fire. Dropping a log on the fire makes a wood on wood "thunk," so the audio has been done well.
One thing I've always liked around this time of the year growing up was having a fireplace or wood stove in the house. Now out on my own, the places I have lived haven't always had one. The light, the idea of warmth, and sound just make me think of family.
Cozy Fire doesn't quite replace a real fireplace. You are not going to get the same light and certainly none of the warmth, but it will provide you a background setting. Think of Cozy Fire like those fireplace videotapes, DVD's, and now Blu-Ray disc's, but bit more interactive.
For people that are interested in stats there are some here for you. The main menu tells you the temperature of the fire (in Celsius), how many logs you have burned, and how many fires you have started.
Since it uses a physics simulation engine to get that realism you can have a little fun with it. When you manually add a log to the fire instead of just dropping it on top, put the log in the middle of the fire and let the button go. Logs will suddenly splay and jump everywhere.
Cozy Fire is for a very niche audience who want that fireplace feel. It's kitschy, looks good, and useful for setting a mood or decoration without fuss or mess. It's a good fireplace simulator. If you are looking for something more interactive than a video, this is for you. Beyond that it's just nice. As a game I give it a 3 out of 5, but in the field of fireplace simulators I'd give it a 4. It's the best I have seen.
Cozy Fire is rated E for Everyone by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB).
Cozy Fire is available now on the Wii Shop Channel in the WiiWare section for 500 Wii Points. For more information see the Cozy Fire web site.