Puzzle games come in all shapes and sizes, but rarely do they put you on a movie set.
It’s A Wrap is a really refreshing take for the genre, combining some platforming with scene arrangement, all while paying close attention to your script and bringing key scenes together for a feature film.
This one gripped me from the off. The Popeye esque art style, dry humor, scratching an itch I never knew I had. It’s a really interesting idea and all told, stands apart enough to be compelling.
But the difficulty really made it a tough one to love at first. There’s no steady incline here, you’re right in the fast lane, sailing through an avalanche with a speed boat, sinking in lava, or riding a minecart away from explosives from the off.
Each feature film has a different setting, taking you from space to a curse-ridden mountain, with each increasing in difficulty and the action varied enough to keep you on your toes.
The scenes play out in a similar way, the idea being you’re in a paused state and need to adjust the action boxes below so that you can ensure a path of safety.
The game starts simply enough by having you cross a collapsing bridge in time before falling into a pit of snakes. You have to work with the actions within a scene, combined with your years of platforming experience to
Think of the layout a bit like Premiere Pro or Photoshop. The aim is to drag the corresponding action to the right position within the scene to make it safely across. So in this case, the action is the bridge collapsing. In order for you to make it across, you need to drag the collapsing action as far as you can across the scene grid so you can run across safely enough and jump over at the last minute.
Doing this on Switch is nice and easy with a touch and tap interface, and you can skim through the corresponding actions to get a feel for how things might play out.
The tricks and difficulty come later, though, as some sequences are locked and can’t be moved on the grid. And within the scripts there are certain conditions you have to fulfil in a particular order so that the scene is considered a success. Plus you still need to rely on your own timing skills when in play. You can see where the difficulties start to arise.
All the tools you need are in play, though, such as being able to zoom in on a particular area of the scene, panning across if it’s a wider open map, selecting multiple action sequences at the same time, and even setting up small save states for your current lineup.
It’s a Wrap is full of really smart ways to keep the action fresh, like having you directly aim missiles at particular areas of the screen to make progress, find a way forward through floating cars and vehicles, and even shooting at enemy craft as you try to make your way to the goal.
The game is beautifully presented through some fun animated cutscenes that blend the story of the film with the action happening behind the scenes, presenting you as both an actor and a character simultaneously. And the music has suitably tones that will remind you of some of your favourite movies like an Indiana Jones and even Blade Runner.
I’ve never seen quite the same successful combination of both being in the Director’s Chair and being the face in front of the camera. All while making it really feel you’re in charge of the next blockbuster to take the world by storm. Maybe…
It’s a Wrap is a smart, challenging puzzler that has a great sense of humor, wonderful presentation and some clever ideas that keep it fresh, interesting and relevant. With a fun peek behind the camera at the use of effects and tricky platforming to keep you on your toes.
+ Fun, tricky puzzler that keeps itself interesting and entertaining
+ Beautiful animated cutscenes and art style
+ Lovely soundtrack
– Difficulty curve may be offputting for some
It’s a Wrap is out now on PC and Switch
Code Kindly Provided by ChankoStudios for review purposes
Tested on Switch