Baobab Studios are carving out a lovely niche for themselves within the realms of VR. Bonfire is their latest VR movie short. With each offering that Baobab makes, the offering brings more interactivity and this comedic alien planet has plenty of charm to offer.
Bonfire is a stationary VR story told across two locations. The first is in your spaceship – which then crashes on an alien planet. What follows is a short 15 minute adventure with your robot whom has constructed a bonfire for you to keep warm with through the night. This robot is voiced superbly by comedienne Ali Wong. As you survey your surroundings and cook marshmallows with your sarcastic sidekick, you’ll soon discover you aren’t alone.
Bonfire knows exactly how to pull plenty of charm out of the few characters that grace the screen and often evokes a lighthearted Pixar Short quality throughout. Whilst there are two endings to enjoy and a variety of things to do, those two endings really do pair off right at the last minute so don’t expect a vastly different story until then. You have the ability to stoke your bonfire, get meals from your robot and scan your surroundings with your scanner. This then sparks dialogue and moves the plot along. Controls handle really nicely and (as a PS4 user using move controllers) is best experienced with two hand controllers. When I used a dualshock 4 controller, Bonfire was far less precise in its movements.
Outside of this basic gameplay, you’ll be watching the story unfold around you. The sound design in particular deserves a shout out as when alien activity is rummaging around the forest behind you, you feel really immersed. Bonfire is a short experience and is priced accordingly which means that whilst you’ll play a few times to explore the achievements/trophies which allude to some of the Easter Eggs hidden in the game, it won’t be an experience you’ll be playing daily over and over.