Video games involving firefighting have been always around, but never in great numbers. The choice of firefighting always seemed to be kind of niche for game developers and publishers. However, with games like Fire Fighter (Atari 2600), The Firemen (SNES), The Firemen 2 (PlayStation), Fire Fight (PC) and Ignition Factor (SNES), there's a chance you've extinguished a virtual fire. Today, we're going to put out fires in black and white on the original Game Boy, in a game aptly named FireFighter. It was developed in 1992 by the British developer Teeny Weeny Games, that later became famous for developing the first (excellent) Discworld adventure game.
In FireFighter, the player assumes the role of a fireman that has to save children from a burning building. Of course, it's a building with multiple floors and all kids are on different floors. You're equipped with a fire hose that, unfortunately, is woefully inefficient. Instead of a nice and powerful stream, the water gets out in kind of drops in a little bow. That means it takes some practice to aim the hose correctly and, because you only get drops, it takes time to extinguish a flame. Actually, most of the time it's more effective and a less time-consuming to just jump over the flames to get the kids out. Spread across the building are power-ups that refill your water meter or give you the ability to throw axes.
Wait ... you can throw axes? Yes, and you desperately need those axes, since the building is not only burning, but also populated with a bunch of haphazard enemies that, for unclear reasons, seem to like fire. You'll also have to contend with rats, human-sized toy soldiers and pogo sticks with giant eyes. All those creatures like to move or jump around, and you have to be real careful not to get hit, since three knocks sends you back outside of the burning building. These enemies can only be killed with the axes. Players may choose jump over the enemies, but the timing has to be precise. Overall, they are annoying and make absolutely no sense.
In terms of production value, FireFighter is alright. The graphics are clear and the music is the usual middle-of-the-road Game Boy tune. While easily accessible, the game is hard. It's very likely you'll even fail at the first level multiple times. Overall, FireFighter is not horrible but it's not particular great either. But how often do you get the chance to extinguish fires in black and white?