Bonfire review (PSVR)

Bonfire, which previously came out on the Oculus store, recently got a PSVR release. It’s the latest VR experience from Baobab Studios, whose creations you’ve likely seen before.

Baobab may not be a household name, but if you jumped on board with Playstation VR early then odds are that you’ve downloaded and viewed “Invasion!”, a free VR experience on the Playstation Store that was developed by Baobab. With its cute animation style, short runtime and lack of traditional controls, it’s still a great VR showcase you can pick up for free.

Bonfire is the studio’s latest title for Playstation VR, and even though it’s more interactive than their previous work it’s still very much a Boabab production that relies on their prowess creating animation in a VR. Calling it a game would be taking it too far, but it’s definitely an interactive experience that doesn’t just place you inside an animated feature but also lets you engage with the characters featured within.

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In Bonfire, you land on an alien planet with your AI buddy Debbie (voiced by Ali Wong, star of this year’s Always Be My Maybe), who got a little hurt on the landing. As a result, you’re stuck sitting around a small bonfire, and it doesn’t take long before the two of you are joined by a little alien creature.

As much as Debbie is vocal, your new alien friend can only be interacted with in other ways, but it’s fun, intuitive and engaging to do so. You name it Pork Bun, and he’s not the only creature living on this planet either. This complicates things for you, as you were sent to the planet to determine whether or not to colonize it – and thus destroy the habitat of the creatures you just met.

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Bonfire isn’t a grand narrative adventure that spans multiple hours across twists and turns though – it’s a short experience in which you can interact somewhat freely with the environment and your alien visitors despite some tight narrative direction that drives the story forward. As such, it’s easily the most interactive tale that Baobab’s put out so far, and Bonfire even warrants multiple playthroughs so you can experiment with what else is possible.

The whole experience is over too soon, but it’s a charming experience with top notch animation and a lot of fun ways in which you can interact with it. Unlike Invasion it’s not free (though it’s still one of the cheaper VR titles you can buy), but it’s a great demonstration of VR as an entertainment medium.

Score: 7.0/10

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