#754 Flywrench

Posted: 18th October 2011 by Mulholland in Games
Tags: , , , ,

93rd game played so far

Genre: Puzzle/Action
Platform: PC
Year of Release: 2007
Developer: Mark Essen
Publisher: N/A

A game so obscure that it doesn’t even have it’s own Wikipedia page? Well I never thought we would actually get this with a list game but here we are with Flywrench, an indie puzzle/action game that takes pride in spinny things and bright colours… ooh bright colours… NO! Focus!

This is not exactly a picnic for those of us who are colourblind but hey that’s not what we’re here for… to the review!

Our Thoughts

I must say that I always look forward to playing these sort of indie games. Sure, they don’t always look like much and don’t seem awesome, but they invariably have some awesome concept that makes them worth playing and very addictive. I guess it’s because they don’t have to make back as much investor backing – they can afford to be different and try something else. As we have seen with the previously played game Quadradius (seriously readers you HAVE to give that a go) as well as other titles such as Braid and Cogs (which I look forward to playing) we really have been seeing the rise of the indie game in the last few years. The fact that you have Steam giving away the so-called Humble Indie Bundle is a sure sign that not only is awareness growing amongst many gamers but distribution sites are really getting behind them since these are the titles that are finding new angles to tired genres. This is probably helped by internet connections becoming fast enough to deal with the downloading of these games, making it easier to distribute these for cheap. Such a business model does not factor into Flywrench since, like Line Rider, Drop7 and Quadradius, it has always been available for free with development paid by internet donations.

Now, was the excitement there for a reason? Was it good enough to make it worth it? I think it was… mostly because the action puzzles allow for a lot of “Oh, I’ll try it once more”. Some of the levels are fiendlishly difficult, but before we get to that I think a brief gameplay description is in order since we can skirt over the framing narrative… which is pretty superfluous. (Escape, infiltrate and/or sabotagefrom the planets through gates. Done) You control the ‘flywrench’ which is some form of vehicle/probe/linethingy and you have to guide it through mazes towards the end gate. The way you move is simple – you can either accelerate upwards (with your ship turning red), move left or right (when your ship is white) or spin uncontrollably (which makes the ship green). In the mean time you have to avoid and pass through barries. There are red, white and green ones – which you can only pass through if you’re the right colour. There are yellow ones, which you can’t pass through and can only be touched when you’re spinning. And then there’s other barriers you should simply avoid. Later in the game you come across barriers that can only be traversed by triggering a time-sensitive switch, cannons which fire green bullets at you, brown patches that alter your speed… and a number of others.

As you progress from the outer planets towards the sun more and more elements are added to the levels allowing there to be a progression in difficulty that, whilst very challenging, never feels impossible to overcome. Even harder here is that most of the time, the solution is there, and failure doesn’t come much from not knowing…. it’s the challenge of getting your movements just right. As the game says, speed is good but timing is the most important. Also, you tend to find that once you successfully complete a level you tend to have the muscle memory required to get through it quicker than previously. However, as with any level, once you hit a mental block on a particular element you can be there for ages. I found this with the helicopter boss in Killzone 2 as well as some puzzles in Professor Layton and the Curious Village and by Jove I found it here in Flywrench. At least you got past the first planet… somehow… by not playing it. There’s one section in the Pluto area that had me stuck for at least fifteen minutes, which is a long time when you’re usually dead within 15 seconds. If that…

But still, you saw how complex some of the levels become and many require substantial forward thinking as well as a light touch. Absolutely, and it’s easy to see how you can get lost in the game. Even more so, the current version of the game features a level editor, so if this isn’t enough, you can make plenty more games to challenge your friends with. For a free game I have to admit that this is incredibly impressive. It IS rather short but due to the level builder there is a huge scope for players to expand the game so not only can you conquer the Solar System but the entire Milky Way.

Final Thoughts

Are you keen on trying this little oddity? Then click here for the free download. This may make me sound like a whore but good God I love freebies.

  1. […] in our way to finish this – Civilization might be more time consuming, Infamous more complex, Flywrench more… strange – but we can play them, do them in whatever order we want – […]