Blue Fire on Stadia review: A Legend of Zelda homage in the most brutal way possible

by Joseph K. Clark

Blue Fire is a mix of ideas that sound compelling at first. It takes very obvious cues from the Legend of Zelda series Pre-Breath of the Wild and has a combat system with Dark Souls-like pacing and never-ending platforming that requires fast reflexes. However, you quickly learn while playing it that it doesn’t add anything new. Despite the game’s design, the Stadia version runs exceptionally well.

At a glance

Blue Fire on Stadia

Bottom line: Blue Fire is like if you took Ocarina of Time-era Hyrule and broke it into a thousand platforms. As incredible as that might sound, the game’s difficulty varies wildly, and it’s easy to get lost since there’s no map in this Stadia version.

The Good

  • Platforming can be fun after receiving a few upgrades
  • Colorful graphics with enemies that pop out from the background

The Bad

  • No minimap or world map
  • The beginning of the game can be brutally frustrating
  • Lack of story with no ending

Blue Fire Stadia reviews Gameplay, report, and presentation.

Blue Fire on Stadia

Blue Fire takes many cues from the Legend of Zelda series, which becomes evident in the game’s first hour. You are a tunic-wearing being tasked with saving the world of Penumbra from corrupting darkness. There is a ninja that appears to guide you along and then promptly disappears. You gain currency, called Ore, by slashing pots. There are dungeons with chests to open, giant doors to unlock with keys, bosses, and gods to meet. There is also a water temple.

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TitleBlue Fire
DeveloperRobi Studios
PublisherGraffiti Games
GenreAction Adventure
Version ReviewedStadia
Stadia Pro?Yes
Release DateJune 1, 2021
Launch Price$20

This structure would seem fine as a loving nod but did not impress me by being too familiar, especially when there is no payoff. After defeating the final boss, the game immediately rolls to credits with a ‘Thank You For Playing’ screen. There seems to have been no point in the similarities at all.

The combat also features the lock-on targeting from Zelda, complete with the widescreen black bars, but has the pacing of Dark Souls. Enemies can kill you in a few hits, so it’s best to hit and then dash out of the way or avoid fighting when appropriate. Dying takes away all Ore earned and sends you back to the nearest save statue, but leaves behind a glowy corpse where it happened, so you can run around and regain everything.

The 3D platforming is what the game is built around. The world is a series of rooms that require you to jump across platforms and not fall into various pits that could chip away at your health. And when we say the world, we mean the entire world. Even the first town I visited required me to balance on tiny platforms to reach the inn for quests and other items. And I had to do it every time I needed to go there.

The first two hours of the game were filled with moments where I would miss a platform by an inch with only a single jump and the dash ability. Thankfully, it became almost cathartic to the forum after receiving the double jump, which gave me more control over the endless series of small venues and enemies along the way. Few shortcuts exist, but Spirit and sword upgrades can make traversal and combat easier. Some Spirit upgrades include increased dash length and creating a temporary invisible platform immediately after walking off a surface.

The challenge of exploring became fun until the final four bosses of the game, where the lack of a minimap or world map became apparent.

There are also Voids, a series of platforming challenges of varying difficulty with no checkpoints. While not required, these are necessary to complete to extend your life, represented by hearts, and collect Void Souls from equipping more Spirit upgrades. The pure platforming challenge was fun as you gained more abilities, but screwing up the last jump before the end and transporting back to the beginning multiple times was soul-crushing.

The challenge of exploring became fun until the final four bosses of the game, where the lack of a minimap or world map became apparent. Backtracking is required to activate certain rooms and giant orbs to trigger two of the bosses. You can warp from save statue to save statue, but the lack of any map means searching every place, especially if I couldn’t remember coming across the specific room the first time. The path to one boss can be easy to miss if you don’t look up high enough to see a platform to wall climb to. It was incredibly frustrating trying to figure out where to go next.

I beat the game in around nine hours, leaving behind a few frustrating Voids and side quests. I played on Recommended difficulty, though there is a Newcomer option for those who want a more effortless experience.

Blue Fire Stadia review Stadia’s performance and features.

The Stadia version of Blue Fire held up incredibly well performance-wise. Despite the constant movement, enemies, and particle effects, the frame rate was smooth and consistent. I can only recall one moment where the game’s framerate hitched while I was in mid-air. There are no Stadia-exclusive features such as State Share or Crowd Play, but it is a single-player game, so these features aren’t necessary.

The only two issues with the game itself occurred when the water pits in the water temple failed to kill me, allowing me to walk under the water and not lose health, and one instance of walking through a loading cave and falling through the world.

The Stadia version of Blue Fire held up incredibly well performance-wise.

According to a Speedtest of my Verizon Fios connection, I had an average download speed of 57Mbps and an average upload speed of 63 Mbps. Google recommends a 10Mbps download speed for 720p streaming, a 20Mbps download speed for 1080p streaming, and at least a 35Mbps download speed for 4K streaming.

I played on a PC with an Xbox One controller, which was more comfortable than a mouse and keyboard. Considering the number of threats at any given time and constantly looking around to plan a path, a big monitor is ideal than a tablet or smartphone screen.

Blue Fire Stadia review Should you buy it?

Blue Fire may seem steep at $20 if you are not a fan of challenging platformers — unless you’re a Stadia Pro subscriber, the game is completely free to claim to begin this month. It’s worth a try if you’re a fan of platformers, but the difficulty of the beginning sections will cement the choice of whether or not to play further.


While the game can be rewarding after beating a boss or section after multiple tries, there is not much else to it, and it fails to evoke the influences it cribs from. Blue Fire can be frustrating to speed through, and it’s easy to forget mechanics or where to go next area if you put it down for too long.

Blue Fire on Stadia

Bottom line: While the Stadia version runs well, the game’s difficulty varies wildly, and it is easy to get lost if not paying enough attention since there is no map system.

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