Indie Quickie: Fly in the House

It takes a lot longer to fully review a game than it does to get a good sense of what a game is. Even with a full-time staff of writers it would be impossible to fully review the thousands of games that are released every year. Indie Quickie is our way to offer snap impressions of the countless indie titles small teams and one-man game studios are releasing literally every single day, and to help guide players to worthwhile games they may not have heard about before.

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What is it? Relieve some stress and unleash your inner Walter White fly hunter rage in this silly game of mass home décor destruction.

Who made it and where can you get it? Fly in the House comes from the mind of game developer Mykhail Konokh, with publisher backing from Kiss Ltd. $9.99’s the asking price on Steam.

How much did we play? In an hour and forty-five minutes, I finished all objectives in the first stage and made decent progress on the second. The game is small with only three levels total, but the requirements for clearing one stage and unlocking the next can be a bit tricky and do provide some replayability.

Any technical concerns, hardware requirements or other details you should know about? I’ve noticed some occasional frame rate stutters, but nothing to be overly concerned about. Some elements that initially proved problematic, like fiddly controls and a general lack of explanation, have been addressed in a new patch. Now the controls are a lot more reliable and hints are provided to help with clearing the previously obscure objectives.

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Why should you play it?

    • The Lab Has Been Contaminated: Have you ever been so annoyed by an insect or some other pest that you accidentally caused damage to yourself or your surroundings while trying to get rid of it? In your heightened state of obsessive aggravation, maybe you went all Walter White from the “Fly” episode of Breaking Bad (one of my personal favorites of the whole series) and knocked out a lamp or fell off a table. (Of course, he fell from a railing and landed on a piece of meth-making lab equipment, but that’s beside the point.) This game taps into that state of mind, tasking you with the seemingly simple goal to kill a measly housefly that’s contaminating your apartment (and later an office building and a castle). Only in this game you are allowed–no, encouraged–to destroy everything on your quest to slay the millimeter-size terror. Walking around in first person, you mouse click to pick up everyday objects–tables, TVs, speakers, laptops, chairs, toilets, sinks, exercise equipment, pots and pans–and then jam the ‘F’ key to throw them. Trying to toss things at a fly that’s constantly bobbing and weaving is even more futile than the hunt with a rolled-up magazine often is in real life, which makes the moment you actually do kill one of the buzzing bastards–sometimes through skill and anticipation, more often out of sheer dumb luck–feel like a triumphant sense of relief. One of my prize kills so far was lifting up a round-top table that had been flipped sideways and skillfully pancaking the fly as I turned and slammed the flat tabletop against the wall. (Yeah, I totally meant to do that.) Spontaneous moments like that are always good for a chuckle.

    • Bring the House Down: The whole “kill the fly” objective is a fun challenge, but it’s really just an excuse to go crazy and break shit like a bull in a china shop. The true purpose of the game is to demolish everything in sight and rack up destruction combos to build a high score. Even though the graphics are chunky and rough around the edges, the physics are pretty good, so tossing crap around and watching tables topple over, windows break out, and walls and ceilings eventually cave in provides an immediate sense of gratification. And there is at least some method to all this madness, as a checklist of objectives challenges you to destroy the environment in specific ways to earn ranking titles (like Boozer for smashing bottles, Fresh Air for busting out the windows, or No Bosses for throwing the office manager’s chair out a window) and uncover hiding places to pick up secret collectibles. In addition to “story” mode in which you have to kill a fly before it escapes the house or the time runs out, each level has an untimed free play option as well as three other mode variations: killing as many flies as you can within a time limit, speed-swatting to kill the fly as fast as possible, and an accuracy stipulation which basically requires you to squash the airborne bug in one shot because the moment you break something the game ends. A minimum score/time in all of these modes needs to be achieved in order to unlock the next level, which is a whole lot easier said than done. But at least you get to wreak havoc while cursing that damn fly under your breath for constantly evading your attacks.

Parting Thoughts: In case you couldn’t already tell, this game falls into the same category of intentionally dopey and obtuse “so bad they’re actually kind of fun” games like Surgeon Simulator, Goat Simulator, and Ampu-Tea. So it’s safe to say that if you didn’t enjoy any of those games, you probably won’t dig this one. Fly in the House is pure mindless fluff, and for that very reason it’s the type of game you’ll either play once for a few minutes and never go back to, making the 10-buck asking price seem steep, or that you will find oddly addictive as you obsess over killing every damn fly, earning every rank title, and hunting down every last hidden object. If you have that OCD collectible gene on top of a lot of pent up stress and frustration to release, a strong hatred of annoying insects, and the sense to not take things seriously, whip out your best fly swatter and take a swing.

Disclosure: A free Steam code for Fly in the House was provided to VGBlogger.com for coverage purposes.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!