Flywrench is a somewhat-abstract game that has players controlling a short, white dash through varied environments toward ever-more-difficult goals. Storywise, the game says you are a spaceship navigating through space and unlocking different gates as you journey from the outer-reaches of the solar system (Pluto) through to Earth.
Each level plays out as a frenetic puzzle in which you guide your white dash through and around different-colored obstacles — hold X to get through a red obstacle, square to go through green — as you try to get to the gate. A successful run through a level could take anywhere from a second to 30 seconds, though the most difficult levels will demand multiple tries.
Flywrench offers an “easy” mode that lets your ship bounce off the yellow barrier that outlines the levels. The normal mode makes you start over when you hit the wall. I played the “easy” mode and still found myself re-playing levels multiple times. This is a really tough game, though failing starts you almost instantly at the beginning of the level.
The art is minimal, and the music is entrancing. When I really got going in the game, I could just kind of zone out to the music and have a great experience. Levels are quick to get into with just a push of a button, and when you’re on a roll, you can really blast through.
As you progress through the game, each planet adds a new element that makes the game more difficult. Buy the end, you’re needing to manage flying with tumbling, pressing buttons for different amounts of times and even dealing with environmental obstacles like increased gravity. Flywrench is pure, unrelenting gameplay.
My biggest problem with the game stems from the nagging feeling that I was lucky in completing many of the levels. Figuring out a level isn’t exactly taxing on the brain, as the solution is readily apparent once you understand the mechanics of the game. Your success depends purely on your ability to execute quickly. But many times, I found myself doing the same thing 15 times in a row, only to finally grasp the goal through what felt like luck. Thus, I didn’t receive the same feeling of accomplishment as I do in defeating a boss in a game like Bloodborne, or solving a puzzle like in The Witness. Without that sense of accomplishment, I just don’t have the desire to push through some of the more difficult levels.
At a budget price, Flywrench is worth playing if it sounds and looks like your kind of game. The soundtrack is great and the game is fast and mostly fun, even without the complete sense of accomplishment. The game is so fast sometimes, however, that I am not sure I can recommend it for gamers susceptible to seizures, as the transition between levels has somewhat of a strobing effect.