Kill It With Fire VR Review – A Creepy Crawly Good Time

Kill It With Fire VR Review

In 2020, publisher tinyBuild gave us Kill It With Fire, an arachnid-extermination simulator. It was a bug-squishing good time, and became an instant classic. Now, those creepy crawlies are back but this time in 3D, with Kill It With Fire VR. The jump to virtual reality takes the original fun and literally adds a whole new dimension, making this a buggy blast of spider-slaying fun that’ll have you itching for more (excuse the pun).

Kill it With Fire VR is a first-person action game that offers an immersive albeit unsettling experience. Developed by Casey Donnellan Games, it takes a novel approach to gameplay by placing the player in the role of hunting down and exterminating various types of creepy crawlies that inhabit their house. Now, you could just grab a vase, or picture frame, and squish the critters if you want. But where’s the fun in that?

Choose Your Weapon

No, the best part of Kill It With Fire VR is all the cool weapons you get to use. These include a revolver that’s unlocked early in the game. But my personal favorite is the game’s namesake, the flamethrower. There’s nothing that beats the satisfaction of just torching a whole part of a room and hearing those eight-legged hell-spawns getting burned up all at once. There are ninja stars, machine guns and also lots of other cool extermination tools to unlock as the game progresses, and that’s one of the fun parts of the game. You’re encouraged to experiment and try different things to get access to that next exciting unlock.

A great feature of Kill It With Fire VR is its use of virtual reality technology. The immersive experience of being in a 3D environment and using the VR controllers to interact with the world adds a layer of realism that can’t be achieved with traditional gaming setups. And while the sound design of the original game was top-notch, with a variety of satisfying realistic spider sounds, the 360-degree soundscape of VR is particularly unsettling. Scurrying and skittering noises behind you, off to the side and around corners will have you swiveling and jerking your headset looking for those darn spiders. This adds a whole new sense of tension and horror.

Kill It With Fire VR

Burn Baby Burn

Another strength of the game is its use of physics-based gameplay. Each weapon has a different effect on the environment and the pests, and the game’s physics engine adds a level of unpredictability to each encounter. For example, players can use a shotgun to blow open doors or walls. This can then cause objects in the environment to fall or collapse, potentially crushing or damaging pests in the process. The game also allows players to use objects in the environment as weapons.  You can, for example, throw objects at pests or use a fire extinguisher to knock them around.

I was particularly impressed with the fire physics. Using the flamethrower (really just a can of hairspray lit on fire), burning objects behave in a realistic way. The fire slowly spreads, and although the blocky visuals lack detail, the flames behave much as real flames would. Speaking of the game’s graphics, they are bright and colorful, with a cartoonish style that suits the game’s lighthearted tone. They do go for the Minecraft style of low-res visuals, but they are fun and pleasant to look at.

Creepy Critters

The pests themselves are detailed and well-animated, with spiders crawling along walls and across floors. Their design, even their size, are uncomfortably realistic, and in VR give the appearance of real spiders. Put that together with the authentic scurrying noises, and you have a game that’s a strange combination of lighthearted and horrifying at the same time.

Kill It With Fire VR

Kill It With Fire VR’s levels are well-designed and offer a good variety of challenges. Each level is set in a different part of the house, such as the kitchen, living room, or bedroom. Players must find and eliminate all of the pests in that area before moving on to the next level. Each level also offers a variety of objectives to complete. For example, finding hidden items or completing tasks in a certain amount of time. I like the balance of anarchical mayhem with specific objectives that will appeal to all different types of gamers.

Lacks Depth

A downside in a game like this is the one-note gameplay. You are killing spiders, and that’s great. But that’s all you do. That can feel repetitive after some time. Luckily, this is not a long game, and can be completed in 3-5 hours. There is some replayability, in that you can revisit levels to try and achieve better scores or complete objectives you may have missed on the first playthrough. The game also offers achievements to unlock, so you could try new strategies and experiment with different weapons and tactics if you’re a completionist.

Overall, Kill It With Fire VR is a fun time and one that is well suited to VR. Taking the tried and true formula of the 2D original, tinyBuild has upped the ante and added a new layer of immersion. While the experience lacks depth after a while, there’s no doubt that it combines gross-out horror with colorful fun in a way that few games these days can match.

** A Meta Quest 2 code was provided by the publisher **

The Good

  • Fun gameplay
  • Well designed levels
  • Creepy realistic spiders

The Bad

  • A bit repetitive