The Ignition Factor (SNES)

Pub & Dev: Jaleco | January 1995 | 8 MEGS
Pub & Dev: Jaleco | January 1995 | 8 MEGS

Many action games call the Super Nintendo home. But only one (that I can think of off the top of my head) contains no actual enemies. The Ignition Factor puts you into the shoes of a firefighter, fending off flames and rescuing helpless citizens. Your only enemy is fire (and breakaway pits). It’s also a bit of a thinking man’s game, with enough strategic elements to keep players constantly on their toes as they roam about the burning buildings, museums, mines and more.


It's known as Fire Fighting in Japan
It’s known as Fire Fighting in Japan
Not to be confused with Human's Firemen
Not to be confused with Human’s Firemen


The Firemen is considered to be something of a semi-cult hit in retro gaming circles. It used to be a lot more obscure but has since pick up a lot of steam in the past decade or so thanks to word of mouth. For the record, I consider Firemen to be the best fire fighting game on the SNES, but Ignition Factor is definitely the second best. Yes, I know there are really only two fire fighting games on the SNES but in all seriousness, Ignition Factor is definitely a decent little game.

It's no Firemen but it's an adequate alternative
Ignition Factor is no Firemen but it’s an OK alternative
Good stuff
Good stuff



As readers of RVGFanatic may recall, I went through a Super Nintendo resurgence when I bought the system on January 17, 2006. On that same day I bought four games: Power Moves, Prehistorik Man, Ignition Factor and Fatal Fury Special. The Ignition Factor was my 3rd overall SNES game purchase, and earlier this month I finally got around to playing it. It only took me 13 years but it was nice to finally play it after all these years, especially on the 13 year anniversary itself.












Sometimes ya just gotta spray 'em REAL good
Sometimes ya just gotta spray ‘em REAL good








Ignition Factor starts off hot with this blazing title screen. Sorry…







Bradshaw Steel Mill or Pygamalion Plaza — the choice is yours to make. It’s nice that Jaleco gave us some options, similar to the Mega Man games. After selecting your stage, place your firetruck at any one of four starting points. Naturally, this alters where you open up a given level. BTW, love that stylish 1994 computer :P







Examine items beforehand and pick the ones you want. You can only equip up to two active items at a time.







Barrels shoot upward and explode as you race across this platform. A sense of urgency is established right from the start.







Jumping in a top-down action game? Yes please! I’m always a sucker for that. Speaking of being a sucker, watch out for falling platforms over a scorching pit!







Remember, you can’t save the people if there’s no you. Don’t rush in or else…







Somebody wasn’t listening.







Similar to the barrels from DOOM, I wouldn’t do that if I were you.







Likewise, I would advise against bludgeoning your fellow comrades by way of axe. You’ll need them, especially for those all too important resupplies.







Certain items lay hidden on the floor. This was a bit annoying since there’s no indicator that an item is there ripe for the picking. A small visual marker, even if it was a flickering light, would have been appreciated.







ProTip: Blue flames can only be taken out with the electrical extinguisher. For your courageous efforts, the city immortalizes your bravery and tenacity.







Jaleco, I see you. Trying to be slick over there, aren’t cha?







Pygamalion Plaza is essentially Mannequins R Us







Damn… now I know how Michael Myers must have felt at the end of Halloween (2018). Um, are you POSITIVE that’s a mannequin? Looks more like a man who needs saving to me.







BITCH you cray cray. Ann woulda left your ass ages ago!







Please, allow me to knock some sense into ya…







Locked doors can be opened via brute force using the axe. As for Nancy, weeeeell… *nervous chuckle*







Avatars add a nice little touch to the game. There are a few puzzles scattered throughout the game, such as seen here. Hmm, how to save Old Man Jenkins there…







McGlone Mine is next. That DANGER!! sign is rather… apropos.







There’s a really cool swirly visual effect in the mine that ups the sense of urgency and angst. Watch out for weak patches of ground that break.







Beware of poisonous gas clouds that randomly pop up. Lean up against the wall if that helps ya! Also keep an eye on your oxygen supply. Better find one of your fire fighting friends fast for a fill-up.







Jurassic Park probably inspired the Dino Park. Sure there may be some gnarly exhibits here, but time is of the utmost essence! No time to stop and meander around.







Random small details are the best. Take, f’rinstance, this guy here flapping his jacket away in hopes of subduing the fire. Gotta give him props for trying. After Dino Park it’s off to Whitney Appliances, where the only dancing you’ll be doing is not with your old flame but a whole lotta flames!







Natural selection on full display here, folks. Instead of waiting to be saved, that fool’s crazy ass decides to walk straight into the fire. But it’s weird shit like this that kind of makes the game oddly endearing.







Gemini Towers is home to the game’s weirdest WTF moment. You’ll find a random dude near the telescope. Talk to him and he’ll urge you to look through it. No big deal, right? WRONG.







WHOA what the hell?! Out of nowhere the dude wallops you with a haymaker! It is so random and bizarre that I actually laughed out loud the first time I saw it. I love it when game developers include random weird stuff into their games.







Remorseful, he at least goes over to apologize after giving you a concussion. That’s nice of him. If you refuse to look through the telescope, he confesses that he started the fire. Hey Billy Joel, guess you were wrong after all. There’s our culprit!

We didn’t start the fire.
It was always burning
Since the world’s been turning.
We didn’t start the fire.
No we didn’t light it.
But we tried to fight it.







Ignition Factor even breaks the 4th wall at one point! Video Games Magazine? Psh. That was an alright magazine, but gimme EGM or GameFan any day!







Gemini Towers has some cool bits where the screen becomes much smaller once you enter certain rooms. I’ve always enjoyed when games do this. EarthBound is a prime example of that technique.







COMING THROUGH! After saving the good folks trapped at Gemini Towers, it’s off to the Shylock Center.







Holding the shoulder button allows you to strafe. It also doubles as a lifesaving tactic where it allows you to see flames in other rooms even before entering.







Sometimes you just want to hide in your cubicle. But then you work up the courage to socialize a bit with your coworkers. And that’s when you find Frank and Ann getting it on down the hallway.







Appalled, you spray ‘em in a futile attempt to stop. When that doesn’t work, you decide to bust out the almighty axe. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. HR is gonna have fun with this one!







UHHHH, me too. How the hell are you still alive?!







There’s a cool Mega Man 2-like effect to this game where you can jump from room to room and the screen switches like such. It’s oddly satisfying.







Another mine stage, we’ve come to the Paris Mine.














Plastic explosives will break thin walls.







There’s a password system thankfully. Although the game isn’t long, the levels can be tough to beat so it’s nice not having to repeat them. However, similar to B.O.B., you don’t get a password for every cleared stage. Instead, you get one every few levels. Still better than nothing, though. But the really cool thing is the secret pass code that unlocks the DM Headquarters. You might remember this level from Jaleco’s Peace Keepers. What a nice nod!







Before you get TOO excited [we wouldn’t want you to soil your undies -Ed.], this is the hardest stage by far. This is due to there being no comrades hanging around to restock your inventory. Once you’re out, you’re out. And that means a long road ahead. It’s a neat bonus but I definitely wish they made it a little easier.







Awesome Easter eggs abound when you come to a skirmish between Flynn and Lago from Peace Keepers! Jaleco with the unexpected fan service. I love when games cross over from the same development firm.







“YEAH KICK HIS ASS, FLYNN!” Another cool bit comes when one of the mutant enemies from Peace Keepers shows up. You just knew those broken glass containers was a bad sign…







Thinking you were safe behind the locked door, the creature gives you something to remember it by!







Popping up magically out of the floor, no place is safe. They’ll electrocute your ass if you’re not careful.







Unfortunately, your water spray has zero effect on them.







Typically, an axe should suffice. But it doesn’t harm them in the least! Why, Jaleco, why? That makes no sense especially since you can easily beat them up with your bare hands in Peace Keepers. Although a neat bonus for sure, I can’t help but feel this was a bit of a wasted opportunity.







Ignition Factor can be a fun but frustrating experience. It’s definitely geared toward more “hardcore” players as the brutal time limit leaves little room for exploring and certainly less room for error. Sure you can run but once you start carrying a certain amount of items, you can’t. Even if you can run, it’s dangerous since flames are all over the place. It’s one of those games that require repeated play and precision. Not the kind of relaxing game you’ll throw in when you just want something quick and easy. I wish there was an option to increase the time limit. Different difficulty levels would have made this game far more accessible.



The Ignition Factor won EGM’s Game of the Month award in issue #68 (March 1995). It garnered scores of 7, 8, 9 and 9. Despite that, it remains kind of obscure even in today’s retro gaming circles. When people talk about SNES fire fighting games, you usually hear about Firemen rather than Ignition Factor. It also came out during a bit of a funky time — the SNES began to lose some star power in early 1995 as the focus was shifting ever so slightly to the 32-bit war machines. The game was also never advertised to the moon so it’s no surprise it’s kind of been forgotten over the decades. When people do talk about it, it seems to elicit mixed reactions. Some consider it a hidden gem while others think of it as merely being decent. Others don’t like it at all and will tell you to stick to HUMAN’s Firemen. Personally, I think there’s definitely room for both titles in one’s collection.




13 years ago I got back into the SNES and on that same night, there was a seller on eBay auctioning off Ignition Factor. I had just bought Power Moves and Prehistorik Man from this seller, and I was ready to break the chain of “PM” games. I faintly remembered seeing Ignition Factor in rental stores back in the mid ’90s but it never quite resonated with me. I had less than a minute to decide as the auction was rapidly coming to a close so I quickly looked up pictures and it looked interesting enough, especially since the idea of fire fighting in video games has always intrigued me a bit. It arrived in the mail back in January 2006 and I remember thinking “I’ll get around to playing it soon enough.” Fast forward 13 years to January 2019 and well, it took me exactly that long to play it. But hey, mission accomplished :P


It’s got a unique concept and the visuals are different from most other SNES games. They have sort of a European feel to them. Unfortunately, some stages look a bit bland and uninspired. There isn’t much music here; Jaleco opted for a more ambient soundtrack where the focus is on the backdrafts. Occasionally, a quick frenetic jingle plays with a voiceover that makes for a pretty cool effect, but it’s nothing special overall. I enjoyed the more strategic approach to the gameplay as you would have to switch from certain extinguishers to eliminate different flames. There are also a slew of items you can toggle between to aid you in your quest. The problem is it could easily have been handled better. To toggle items, you have to go to the menu and then make the appropriate switches. Dedicating a button to switch items would have made for a more seamless and enjoyable experience. That one change would have made a world’s difference.


And as stated earlier, the timer is a bug up your ass. It would be fine if there were an option to adjust difficulty levels and thus time limits, but sadly there isn’t. Ignition Factor isn’t unbeatable, but it should have been made a little more accessible. There’s a bit to like here such as the strategic elements, the choice of levels and odd random quirky moments spread throughout, but there’s a noticeable lack of polish. Still, there’s a decent game lying underneath the rubble if you’re dedicated and patient enough to tackle it head on.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 6.5
Gameplay: 6
Longevity: 5

Overall: 6.0

Keeping the peace!
Keeping the peace!

Operation Logic Bomb (SNES)

Pub & Dev: Jaleco | September 1993 | 8 MEGS
Pub & Dev: Jaleco | September 1993 | 8 MEGS

The Super Nintendo is loaded with plenty of good games for every genre. However, if there was a genre I wish we had more representations of, it would definitely be the top down shooter. Sure you got the Pocky & Rocky series, True Lies, Soldiers of Fortune, Super Smash TV and so forth, but I wish there were even more. Thankfully, Jaleco did their part and gave SNES players a solid addition to the genre. Not a stand out title, but it makes for a quality addition to any Super Nintendo collection.


Operation Logic Bomb was a sequel to a Game Boy title
Operation Logic Bomb is a sequel to a Game Boy title

How many SNES games can you say is a sequel based off a Game Boy title? Not many, right? Operation Logic Bomb would be a good answer to such an obscure trivia question. Jaleco developed Fortified Zone (AKA Ikari no Yōsai in Japan) and released it in September of 1991.

Ikari no Yōsai means "The Fortress of Fury"
Ikari no Yōsai means “The Fortress of Fury”
The Japanese only Game Boy sequel, Ikari no Yōsai 2
The Japanese only Game Boy sequel, Ikari no Yōsai 2








Operation Logic Bomb opens up with a futuristic intro.







Advanced technology created this super soldier warrior. As Agent Logan, you’re tasked with rescuing some scientists from a lab that has been taken over by unwanted intruders. Failure to save the lab will result in the imminent destruction of the entire planet. Good luck, Agent Logan.







Simple but cool intro got me hyped a bit.







Shatter the glass entrance. Nice way to start things!







Exploding barrels? What is this, a top down Doom? TAKE MY MONEY. Unfortunately, this is the only time in the game this happens. A wasted opportunity…







Destroy whatever that “thing” is, and the lights turn on. Nice.







Positioning and playing the angles right is what it’s all about.







Panels may hold a map. The levels aren’t big so there’s little risk of getting lost, but it’s nice to have a map anyway.







Enemies appear in set patterns. When there’s only one it usually means there’s more to soon come.







Purple hives produce enemies. Once you kill the set amount, they stop coming. Take your time to strategize the best plan of attack.







These crab-like robotic creatures are the bosses of the game. They start out very easy but progressively get harder.







They’re very protective of these containers. You’ll see some cutscenes as you play through the game, as seen here.







Obliterate that generator in the corner there to open the door. Ah, it’s the container the crab is so crazy about protecting. Blow it to Kingdom Come.













Cutscenes like this allow you a glimpse into past events. Those scientists stand no chance against the red troopers.







Enemies can only shoot at 45 or 90 degree angles. Use this knowledge, and the various walls and barriers, to your advantage. Moments like this is when the game is at its best.







Containers just sit there defenseless. Always feels good taking them out.







Beginning the game with a single shot and a spread shot, you can gain up to three more weapons as you progress throughout. The first one being this sick ricochet shot.







Bounce your shots with this gun off walls to take out the opposition. It allows you to tinker around with different angles and can be a true Godsend.







Nothing like bouncing it off multiple surfaces to kill the baddies!







Blowing up the generator eliminates those pesky plasma shots that relentlessly pursue you.







Certain generators can only be taken out with the ricochet shot.







Teleporters appear later in the game.







Ricochet shots from a safe angle to take out the bad guys. Later on you’ll face crabs as mid-bosses. This one is a pushover as it can only shoot forward.







Things start to get hairy when you either rush in or the enemies come at you in waves. It’s all about using the right gun for each situation.













Another cutscene previews an upcoming badass boss that’s extremely protective of its territory… but we also get a preview of the flamethrower…







Flamethrower is short, but very potent. Thankfully, all guns have unlimited ammo. So feel free to hold down on that fire button. But damn, you can eviscerate the remains of those guys there. A bit brutal but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it a bit…







Golden [State -Ed.] Warriors are a pain in the ass. Look at those four — who do they think they are, Kevin Durant, Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson? Although low on health, they move fast as hell and can quickly injure you something bad. Speaking of bad news, better kill those generators fast before any more damage can be incurred.







Ricochet shot doesn’t work here. Try the flamethrower…













YOWZERS. Talking about a dramatic, intimidating entrance. This mother crab attacks you with homing missiles and a whole lot of piss and vinegar.







Finally, we get a little change of scenery. The scene shifts outdoors and we’re introduced to a new rock type enemy.







Position yourself correctly and there’s nothing they can do!







Things get a lot tougher when enemies attack in droves. Also, variations of enemies can appear at once, forcing you to adjust on the fly and select the best strategy for each given situation.







Formations vary and moments like these in particular are a bit nasty. Having a new wave of enemies nipping at your heels while you’re contending with another wave in front of you is where the game gets a bit tough.













Flamethrower curls around corners. Love that! But damnit, here comes another wave of baddies eager to chomp your ankles off!







Nothing beats finding a health refill station right in the nick of time.







Generators stand in your way of locked doors.













Halfway through the game you’ll find the PID-R1, AKA the Personal Image Duplicator-Release 1. This handy item allows you to place a holographic decoy image of yourself which attracts your enemies and draws them away from you. Not only the bad guys but also situational obstacles such as this force field. Use your Reflecting Pulse Laser to take care of the generator.







Certain sections can only be accessed after some, ahem, gentle prodding.













Speaking of “gentle prodding”







Trickiest part of the game is when those Golden [State -Ed.] Warriors come at you in waves [Just ask the “King” and Cleveland… -Ed.]. Later on, more crab mini-boss battles ensue.







Satisfying as hell to pick off bad guys from a safe angle.







Choosing the right weapon for the right moment is the name of the game. It’s kill or be killed. You can’t just walk by enemies — you gotta terminate them all. Some doors remain locked until you clear them all out.







Remember all the special tools you gained earlier on? The holographic decoy and the mine? You’re going to need to use both to beat this sucker!







Employ both techniques to wear this bastard down.







Finally, another level that takes place outside the lab. I wish more levels had a unique look like this last one. That would have made this game even more interesting. The last boss isn’t as hard as the one before it.







Defeat this monstrosity and save the scientists by blowing these bad boys up.













Restore peace to the land! #DefendTheLand [Someone has to… -Ed.]


Operation Mixed Bag...
Operation Mixed Bag…

Operation Logic Bomb did OK with the presses. EGM gave it scores of 9, 8, 8 and 6. Super Play, however, rated it 68%. They knocked it for featuring slow and unimaginative gameplay. I sort of agree with that assessment yet at the same time I kind of don’t. The game is no barn burner by any means, but it’s not exactly plodding, either. It’s somewhere in the middle. It’s nice being able to strafe and lock your position. That’s one of my biggest beefs with a game like Zombies Ate My Neighbors. However, Operation Logic Bomb is not as fast as that game is. Its pacing is much more deliberate and cerebral. It sure could have used a rolling option or some kind of evasive action (similar to True Lies and how Arnold could do a somersault).


Truly a game of angles
Truly a game of angles

Sadly, Operation Logic Bomb rarely gets the credit it deserves. You could call it something of an “obscure hidden gem.” It doesn’t seem to get talked about much when people recommend SNES games, even when asking about lesser known titles. But it definitely deserves to be in that conversation. I like that the guns have unlimited ammo and that there is no time limit. You really get to dictate the pace of the game. I also like that each weapon has its pros and cons. Some are weak but they cover the entire length of the screen. Others may be potent but lack range. The two extra items (the mine and the decoy) are also great tactical tools to employ throughout. The enemies aren’t terribly varied, but there’s just enough of them to keep you switching guns and strategies on the fly. It’s kind of pure in that sense. Not too unlike Doom where certain weapons work better on certain demons than others, and it’s a matter of switching to the proper gun for each situation.

Rage against the machine!
Rage against the machine!

Unfortunately, the game is pretty short and can be beaten in around an hour or so. But I suppose this is also a good thing since there are no saves or passwords. It’s an arcade experience that’s meant to last not too long. Although it is short, I do find myself coming back to it occasionally, just because of how fun it is. Nothing beats selecting the right gun for the right situation — especially when it involves bouncing shots off a wall to dismantle a hapless enemy. The visuals are pretty good although there isn’t much variety to speak of in the lab levels. And sadly that’s where the bulk of the game takes place. The sounds get the job done but nothing to write home about, like the music itself. I do enjoy the arcade action although I wish it were a smidgen faster and some sort of evasive action would have made life easier. But all in all, Operation Logic Bomb is a simple, fun arcade-like game that would make a nice addition to any Super Nintendo library.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 7.5
Gameplay: 7.5
Longevity: 6

AwardOverall: 7.5
Bronze Award


Throwback to the 8-bit era