Fire Fighter (1985 video game)

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Title screen.

Fire Fighter is a freeware turn-based puzzle game where you try to contain forest fires. It was developed and published by Eben Sprinsock for MS-DOS in 1985. In the game, you are a fire fighter trying to stop a series of forest fires from wiping out a forest filled with houses. You can air-drop water, build fire breaks, and start backfires in order to prevent the blaze. Points are awarded for how much of the forest you're able to save once the fire finally dies out. The game was written in Borland Pascal.


I first saw Fire Fighter from the shovelware Keypunch Software title, Convoy, which, as was typical with Keypunch, was renamed to Fire Out and had the developer's credits removed. I wasn't really interested in this game when I first saw it, because it looked like crap and I couldn't really tell what was going on. However, after I read through the rules and replayed it a couple more times, I figured the out. Because of the highly-random, yet monotonous, game play, I quickly lost interest. I've never bothered to record my score, but I can do decent in hard mode.

The game is distributed as freeware, but with a request for $10. It's a high-score based game.


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2 4 1 1 2

Best Version: DOS

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • I like that the developer included multiple strategic options to the game. You aren't just dropping water, you can also make fire breaks and start backfires which both add to the strategy.


  • The game is very lacking in multimedia. It's text-based and has only the most primitive color and sound.
  • There are very few units in the game: forest, fire, burned out, house, lake, and firebreak. This would be enough for a simple board game, but, the developer should have taken advantage of the fact that a computer can easily handle far more complexity. Perhaps more units, more interesting lakes, a larger playing field, etc. As it is, the game is just too simple.


  • The game is pretty dull. You can "beat" it simply by letting the fire rage out of control. Run the game several times over and over again, and you'll eventually get a high score simply out of sheer luck.




Released Notes
1985-??-?? Distribution method unknown, probably BBS.
1987-07-15 Keypunch Software published it in Convoy as Fire Out and hacked the game to remove author's name.


This collection includes the original game and the Keypunch version.