This story is over 5 years old.

Get Cozy by the Digital Fire in 'Yule Log'

Tend to your own digital fire instead of watching one burn on television. (Or, you know, instead of actually igniting one of your own.)

Yule logs never quite caught on in the United States like they had in Europe, that is, until they started airing on TV. New York City TV station WPIX began showing the looping video of a flaming yule log during Christmas in 1966. Presents abound with stockings dangling above the flames, the yule log program was popular with apartment dwellers and those without fireplaces—plus, station workers didn't have to come in for a few hours. Plenty of other stations have picked up on it since then. People love it. Hell, it's a staple in some families. Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman even created his own.


Yule Log is the next iteration of that, and frankly, it's better, too: You get to do the digital burning. Created by Ice Water Games—the folks behind Eidolon and The Absence of IsYule Log puts you in front of the fireplace tasked with caring for a firelighter and some low-poly logs.

Yule Log begins in a darkened room with a glowing fire-starting block. Logs drop from the sky when you push the spacebar, and you're able to adjust the size of each with your mouse's scroll wheel. Logs will begin to shrivel and burn out as time goes by: Just like real life! There's a setting in the menu—push ESC to access it—that lets you watch your fire rage (thrilling) or settle for a long-lasting burn (soothing), too.

There's no music inside the game itself, but Ice Water Games does have a suggested playlist that you can access from the menu. But if that's not your thing, pop on some different holiday tunes—or not—and get to it.

Ice Water Games' atmospheric game is meant to be the sort of thing that you let slowly burn away in the background, say, while you're wrapping presents or chugging eggnog, tending to the fiery pixels as you please.

Yule Log is available for free or to name your own price on .