Subscribe to Pocket Gamer on

You know the phrase "easy to learn, hard to master"? Well FireWhip is more like hard to learn, hard to master.

Sure, you're holding a whip made of fire that can chew through scrappy enemies like a blowtorch through butter. But that doesn't mean you're an overpowered, invincible murder machine.

For starters, you need to master the physics of the whip. Like a real rope, your FireWhip ain't all that useful if you wiggle it about on the floor. It only becomes a deadly killing utensil when spun fast or, even better, cracked.

You're fried

You'll want to learn, though, because it's satisfying to pull off a good hit, or fend off a great mob of enemies, or unleash a crack - which results in a screen-shaking, enemy-eviscerating boom.

Also, you need to keep your whip alight: excessive spinning burns out your rope, and cracking instantly extinguishes your flame. And you need to remember that baddies aren't totally stupid and won't walk into a spinning whip.

You have to lure them in close, before slashing their faces with your FireWhip.

This makes for a game that keeps you thinking and on your toes. There's zero room for screen-mashing and button-bashing. Instead, you need to consider each situation carefully, and act accordingly. A dozen times a minute.

Whip sharp

Especially when new enemies appear - tanks that take four hits, bullets that must be whipped out of the sky, and shields that only break when cracked. Thankfully, everything is taught in a thoughtful challenge mode that acts like a tutorial.

Ultimately, it's worth taking the time to learn.

Because once you get it, FireWhip is a sizzling little score-attack game that feels great to play, has a dirty rock soundtrack, and lets you make GIFs out of your death throes.