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Sunday, 8 March 2009

Fire (Game & Watch/iPhone/iPod Touch)

I remember this game vividly from years ago, even though I never owned it. This must be one of the first games ever to be banned.

I can't remember how old I was... younger than ten, certainly. I used to go with my mother and grandmother to Newcastle, and we'd go to the huge Fenwicks department store. I used to love going there, because it had a massive toy department, and right from the start they were in on the videogames "craze". They had a separate area, between the bikes and the cafe, that housed nothing but games.

Of course, in those days, the games consisted of classics such as Astro Wars and Mini-Munchman... but there were also the very popular Game & Watches. They were all there, available to play... Donkey Kong, Juggler... and Fire. Yes, Fenwicks had Fire, and it was a game I played and enjoyed a lot... but it was banned for the nature of its content before I even had a chance to ask for it for Christmas.

The game sees you as firemen/medics, outside a burning building. People will, in the interests of self-preservation, fling themselves from the building, and you, with your trusty trampoline thing, must bounce them to the safety of the ambulance.

I think, at the time, the press made it out that babies were being thrown from the burning building... and babies splattering on the pavement do not make for a cute gaming experience. They don't look like babies to me, but I'm not an accredited journalist with papers to sell.

Anyway, the game starts slowly, and as with all good Game & Watches, gets more and more frantic, with people bouncing in the air here, there and everywhere, until eventually you lose track of where you are and someone ends up as a carpet for the pavement... and then floats off as a little angel up to the neverworld.

It's good fun. It's just like Juggler, or any of those games where you just have to keep everything in the air, and it'll keep you diverted for a fair bit of time. For the £1.19 it costs you, it's a worthwhile nostalgia trip for anyone that remembers it, and a decent timewaster for anyone that doesn't.

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