Developer: Bontemps Games
Platforms: PC (Reviewed), PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox Series S/X
Publisher: Humble Games
While The Iron’s Hot is an adventure crafting game. The game was developed by Bontemps Games and published by Humble Bundle. The Iron’s Hot has a unique concept that isn’t seen in many other games, so it is quite distinct. This review was done for the PC, but the game is also available for Switch, Xbox series and PlayStation series.
While The Iron’s Hot is a single-player game where you play as a blacksmith named, you get to choose their name, who embarks on a journey to reforge the Blacksmith’s island. The story starts off with you stepping into the boots of this skilled blacksmith who asks the captain of the ship to help him reach Ellian. In trying to reach Ellian, a misfortune happens, and the skilled blacksmith washes up on an island. From here, he starts on a journey where he does his best to repair the island and fulfil quests while learning about the townsfolk.
The controls for While The Iron’s Hot are quite simple. When starting off the game, a quick in-game tutorial is given, and the rest all fall into place. There are not many controls that are needed for this game, and they all work well with no noticeable delay. The controls are also highlighted on the screen with icons next to them for their purpose. The controls work smoothly for the game.
The art style for While The Iron’s Hot is pixelated with different elements to highlight its charm. The game can be described as a visual novel. There is a sense of anime-like expressions for the character designs in this game, where facial features are large, emotive and expressive. For example, the bodily expression animations must be one of my favourites where when the smith is tired, his whole back slouches forward to show he’s restless. The character designs are so intricate and colourful, each being unique from one another. With the various islands and regions you explore, you end up meeting more characters that characterise a range of hairstyles, accessories, outfits and traits. A visual aspect of this game that is one of my favourites would be both the background art and the foreground art. There is great detail added to both these elements that help create an immersive setting for the story. The game has elements of mediaeval-themed resemblance that set the story. The visuals of this game coincide extremely well with the soundtrack, which features a diverse range of music to accompany the moods and scenes of the game. The instrumentals include serene to upbeat music. The sound effects also add a great immersiveness from the tinking of the metal to the bushing town noise. The ambience of the game is played out so well from scene to scene. The little cutscenes in the game with the story aspect also make the game so much more exciting. With the visuals, there are also tracks that play with a sense of tradition or folk melodies that represent the unique personalities in this game.
The game offers many features that help allow the players to enjoy it more. For example, unlike other games, mining for ore is very convenient as you only need to hit the deposit once to get a bunch of ore. The day system works similarly to Stardew Valley, where you have the option to sleep till morning/night and are given a daily recap. The daily recap is where XP is collected based on daily tasks completed, such as buildings built, quests completed, characters met, mitigates performed, orders filled, items crafted, tiles travelled, and cloud lifted. The ability to craft recipes is also such a smart mechanic that keeps the player from having to open tabs on tabs.
I really enjoyed playing While The Iron’s Hot, as it’s quite a different concept compared to most games. The idea of you playing out the role of a blacksmith and incorporating story and character-building elements is done really well. The visual truly has its own charm, and something I really loved was the map for this game. The map is an overview that you can physically walk on, which has a mix of 2D/3D elements. The interaction of the path is so much fun, as you can create new paths and collect items on your journey. A little detail added by the developer that has charm to it would be the cursor hammer that falls perfectly with the theme of this game. Personally, the animation of this game is so attentive. When carrying out the tasks, I love that each smithing tool is a little mini-game of its own and the animation for, when forging items in a crafting table, sliding together to become one is a little detail you just can not miss.
The Iron’s Hot is a visual novel crafting game where you play as a Blacksmith who is helping restore the island he ended up on. The game features charming visuals and audio that accompany a great story and unique concept that you cannot come across in other games. The game truly puts you in the boots of a skilled blacksmith. The Iron’s Hot is an enjoyable, relaxing game that you should definitely check out!
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