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Nuclear Blaze (Switch) Review

by Joel A. DeWitte - May 2, 2023, 11:56 am EDT
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Fire’ll be here for a good time, not for a long time.

As a kid you’re asked what you want to be when you grow up. Today, like clockwork, the answers range from police officers, doctors, YouTubers, and firefighters. In a naive sense, it’s heartening to know that the youths want to choose roles that are helpers (or in the case of YouTubers, entertainers). It’s in that spirit Nuclear Blaze comes from, connecting your inner child to a 2D platformer with all the fun of blasting water at fires and the weirdness of inserting it into a broader, darker story.

You play as an unnamed firefighter dropped into a raging inferno who finds themselves separated from his team and forced to explore the underbelly of a mysterious facility.Nuclear Blaze’s action is uncomplicated, clearing the way to focus on the firefighting action. Each chapter is a series of rooms with uncontrolled fires, typically with the objective to put out the flames before being able to move on. Some will also have a timed element, needing to keep explosion areas cooled off to avoid time running out and eradicating everything until you can tamp down the fires around it. The little blaze-trailer has a water cannon that shoots at a modest distance. Water tanks are intermittently scattered through the game, just far enough in distance between each other to be a challenge but returnable for infinite refills. Sprinkled throughout are sprinklers that can be enabled at a push of the button, permanently keeping those sections of the map cool. Deeper into the experience additional abilities and challenges add just enough of a layering of difficulty to keep the gameplay fresh and fun.

I have to hand it to Deepnight Games - they went above and beyond my expectations on their modular approach to difficulty. Rather than parsing it by “Easy, Medium, Hard”, difficulty is measured in a gauge with options to increase health, extra water capacity, stronger water stream, and the fire spreading speed. On top of that, there’s a kid-friendly mode which has the little firefighter saving cats from a burning building. In this mode jumping is done automatically between ledges and holding the water button acts as an auto aim. The developer even states it was inspired by his three year old, which is very cute.

The story is minimalistic but the gist is that it follows your little firefighter exploring an abandoned research facility they’ve tumbled into looking for a potential escape point. Small reports are strewn about in office spaces, with minimal information that the protagonist seems more confused about than anything. Occasionally they’ll try to call into their walkie talkie and connect with their partners above. While the game never takes itself too seriously, the environments are dark and music is a quiet chiptune that increases in tempo and drama in pivotal action moments.

Nuclear Blaze is a brisk experience, but one that will give just enough timing and puzzle challenges to keep you engaged through the entire run. Its simplicity is its strength, focusing on the action first and foremost and using those limited toolsets to approach each flame. An impressive approach to difficulty and an appropriate amount of mystery puts this game into a neat package that is approachable and as challenging as you’d prefer. Nuclear Blaze is short, sweet, and definitely worth a look.


  • Detailed pixel art backdrops with bright fire effects
  • Solid 2D puzzle platformer action.
  • Surprisingly modular difficulty settings.
  • A little on the short side.

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Game Profile

Genre Action

Worldwide Releases

na: Nuclear Blaze
Release Apr 28, 2023
RatingEveryone 10+

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