Bonfire Peaks (2021) is a puzzle game where you explore a Minecraft-looking world. Unlike the generalised blocks of that game, here the landscape is lovingly crafted and pulsing with life. It's a tightly designed puzzle game about closure, that invites you to help the protagonist dispose of his belongings by getting the box to the fire.
It's unusual from the start with the simple instruction to "Burn Your Belongings" setting not only the puzzle-solving mechanic but the tone and theme of the game. Each stage continues this challenge, although offering more boxes and trickier scenarios. It's Sokoban rendered in isometric form.
Between stages you explore a world by placing the blocks you unlock in each level. As you progress the boxes in each puzzle offer new interactions. Some crumble, some flow along water, some you must work with in multiple angles. At times it will seem a level is unsolvable or broken, but perseverance (and the occasional YouTube video if you need it) always reveals a way forward.
Although some puzzles are really tough, the game is kind about its challenge. Along with a lot of variety you can always rewind moves and you don't actually have to finish them all if you get stuck on one in particular. As Josh Seybert put it, "The amazing thing about Bonfire Peaks is that the puzzles are impossible to solve until all of a sudden they aren’t and you are suddenly the smartest person alive."
The result is a wordless story about a downcast man who has found it necessary to burn everything he owns. With soothing music and a melancholic mood, there's a strange celebration of hitting bottom and burning everything down together.
Our examiner, Andy Robertson
, first checked Bonfire Peaks 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson
and updated 14 months ago.