Flywrench

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Flywrench Game Poster Image
Simple, twitchy action game demands precision, attention.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

No plot, no characters, no message.

Positive Role Models & Representations

No characters or story, so no role models to speak of here. 

Ease of Play

Easy to learn, hard to master. Expect to be put to the test. 

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Flywrench is a downloadable arcade game similar to classic arcade or Atari games. There's no real plot, just frenzied action with a daunting challenge level intended to test your reflexes and capacity for frustration. There's no offensive content to be found.

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What's it about?

There's no actual story in FLYWRENCH. There's a vague space theme and cut scenes before and after each world, but they're really just breathers between the obstacles of each level. Players direct their ship around a space full of obstacles, and each course correction changes the color of their ship. Matching the color of the obstacle in front of the ship allows it to pass through the obstacle safely, but mistime the color change, or cut your corner too close, and your ship explodes.

Is it any good?

This arcade action title is good and refreshing, but at the same time, it's also weird and frustrating. In an age where so many video games are attempting to be self-serious artistic statements, it's nice to have a game that's meant only to be that: a game. You play as a tiny shape wth wings -- it insists this is "an aerobatic ship" -- and each button on your controller changes both the color of your ship and the aerodynamics of your wings. Your only goal on each level is to navigate through every differently colored barrier in your way, and you can only do so by matching that color. 

As you can imagine, this quickly gets rather hectic and challenging. Pacing and finesse are both equally important and increasingly difficult to manage, as you must go faster and faster through some levels. For example, halfway through the game, you'll start running into purple windmills that run the length of the entire screen. Since you can't match that color, your only option is to rush through to the end. Other levels introduce yellow backgrounds, which slow you down. There are a few simple mechanics here on display, but they're all explored to full effect. The only real strike against the game is its occasional bugginess: As if traversing each color line wasn't hard enough, you can also sometimes find yourself flapping outside the level and having to kill yourself off to start again. That really sucks when it happens near the goal. Otherwise, the game is fun and won't break the bank, so it's definitely worth a spin for an approachable challenge.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why some people think "realistic" graphics in video games are "better." Does that mean old movies are not as good as modern ones? What does that mean?

  • Are the skills that can be sharpened in these types of video games transferrable to other parts of real life? Why, or why not? 

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love challenges

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