Fly in the House (2015)
Developer: Mykhail Konokh
Back at it again with another destructive simulator? After playing Catlateral Damage (review here), Steam has learned what I'm about and recommended me some games that can be classified within the same genre. Fly in the House is a simple first-person walking simulator where your objective is to take out the annoying fly in your house by throwing anything and everything at it.
The "story mode" of Fly in the House is just as simple as I described: kill the fly. You can pick up essentially any item in the house to use as ammunition against the fly buzzing around your house. The buzzing is a little too real when wearing headphones - I occasionally would bat my ear as a reflex. I would've muted it if it wasn't for the fact that the sound helps you in tracking down the pesky fly. The developer definitely did an excellent job of making this experience as realistic as possible, which means the fly is extremely annoying and frustrating. It's actually really difficult to hit the fly, even if you throw large objects in its direction at full force. I managed to get it twice total in playing through story mode. Not only can you run out of time, but if you happen to break a window (you probably will), the fly can get out and it's game over.
If Fly in the House only had story mode to offer, I would've probably dropped this game within 30 minutes of gameplay and called it a day. Fortunately, there is a wonderful "free mode" available, with peace, quiet, and no fly (thank goodness). I say peace, but this is the mode where you're free to cause as much unlimited destruction as you please. The art style is realistic enough to where it feels like a real environment with real items. Throw a TV out the window, throw a toilet at a door, you can do it all. Also, free mode comes with its own objectives - a list of items you must find around the level, usually by breaking specific items. The item list is given to you with some hints, but even so, some are pretty hard to find, sometimes requiring you to activate certain parts of the stage in a certain order or throw a specific item out the window. I felt successful after finding all the items in both the house and office levels, even though I accomplished very little in story mode.
I'll be honest, Fly in the House is a somewhat scrappy product with a couple bugs, which is probably why it has mixed reviews on Steam. As much as I understand why, I still respect this game for nailing down important things exactly right. The items you throw all have a realistic weight to them depending on what they are. You get a different sounds for different objects hitting specific surfaces. They also break depending on their material quality. Also, they break, and then you throw the pieces. You can keep breaking those pieces down even more, often times. That specific last point is where Catlateral Damage failed me.
Now, you may have noticed I also tagged this game as "horror". This isn't because you hear unidentified screams when you toss an item out a window (I feel both guilty and amused somehow). Fly in the House also has a "horror mode" where you walk around a dark, haunted mansion and the game is reversed on you: a giant fly is now after you. As weirdly fun as this idea is, it feels a little disconnected from the rest of the game. It just isn't the mode for me, since I often don't enjoy horror games where I know something is going to pop out any second. It felt like playing that Slenderman game, Slender, except with a giant fly. I don't know which is scarier, but I screamed at both of those.
For me, this Fly in the House is deeply satisfying and even relaxing. I truly wish it had more to offer in terms of stages, as it only has the house and the office available for free mode. I could happily continue to play through a game like through endless stages, without the fly, just in free mode. I appreciate the developer's attention to detail in the physics and the sounds, and if a sequel ever comes out with more content, I'll be first in line. However, three hours in, I felt I've gotten all I can from this one.
Fly in the House is available on PC.
Played on: PC
Last Played: 5/23/19
Playtime: 3 hrs