bpw.jpgI love it when a platformer shows me something new. The central gameplay mechanic in Burn Pixel Wood is described right in the title. Armed with a flamethrower, it is your task to burn every wooden block in the tower. This simple premise sets up a delicious sidescrolling puzzler. The level is large, and there are a lot of blocks to burn. The tower is patrolled by stupid but deadly orc guards, and you must also avoid burning through a floor and plummeting to your death.

Use WASD to run and jump, and use the mouse to aim and fire your flamethrower. Your weapon actually has two functions, and the right mouse button switches between them. Most of the time, you'll be spraying fire, but you can also spread oil over surfaces and set it alight later. The flamethrower uses some neat physics; the flame burns along the jet of oil, so it is actually the oil that determines the flame's reach, trajectory, and velocity.

Most orcs are dispatched by a mere brush with flame, but some wear fireproof armor. To take out the armored orcs, you'll need to make use of the explosive blocks scattered among the wooden and concrete ones that make up the tower. You'll also need to make sure you don't get so pyromaniacal that you end up leaving a block out of reach.

Burn Pixel Wood is the creation of the Hawaii-based Red Tree Games, the development name of one Daniel Mercier. Sporting attractively chunky pixel art and with controls as smooth as silk, Burn Pixel Wood is a blast to play. The game is currently a beta release, so expect improvements; but it's already a great time--especially for free!