One Small Fire At a Time is the prequel to the award-winning An Octave Higher by the circle Kidalang. It follows the story of Janis who suffers from a ‘madness’ called Magic Deficiency Disorder in a society which relies on magic. Janis lives with other people with madness in a madhouse named Eclipse, and there seems to be something the owners are hiding…
The story starts off introducing the society and the everyday life in Eclipse that surrounds Janis and the residents. Each of the characters has a different personality which makes interactions enjoyable. Janis comes across as a strong character but the reader gets to know about her past and her doubts at night. The mystery surrounding the madhouse slowly creeps into the story and Kidalang have pulled off the atmosphere and pacing well. The reader can change the story depending on the choices they make, and each one of them will affect Janis’ relationships with other characters. Despite not having played An Octave Higher, I didn’t feel that I was missing anything as it’s a complete game on its own. A comment I have is that the game might have benefitted from spending a bit more time on the epilogue of the True Ending to show Janis’ development.
As well as the great story, the art style is unique as seen in the screenshots and I particularly liked the background art. The music is made up of classical pieces. I wasn’t too used to the game’s shortcuts since it uses F for fast-forward instead of the usual Ctrl, plus the menu can’t be opened using a right-click. Additionally, extra features include the Gallery feature as well as an unlockable in-game mini story.
Overall I enjoyed playing One Small Fire At a Time since the world was easy to get into, and it was fun to watch the characters especially during the slice-of-life scenes. The latter part of the game was gripping and I couldn’t stop reading to find out what happens next. I would like to thank Culture Select for giving me a chance to review the game, I’m definitely looking forward to playing An Octave Higher later on.