Solo developer Mikhail Konokh recently released Fly in the House, a uniquely strange title that plays on one of the world’s biggest annoyances: A fly buzzing around the house. It almost seems too mundane of a task to make a game concept out of, but believe it or not, there’s a fair amount of depth to this versatile title that plays out through either Campaign or Arcade mode. For some odd reason, the player character has just returned after a several-year vacation. Why anyone would leave such a nice apartment for that amount of time is absolutely mind-boggling, but nonetheless, it is where the player enters. Of all the things to come home and find (a dusty home, a nest of arachnids, the skeleton of a squatter, etc) the one thing out of place is a fly that somehow made it into the house. It doesn’t matter how it got in, because your life is about to be re-purposed for one thing: Annihilating the fly to some generic heavy metal music.
The game is fairly short, with only three levels: Apartment, Office, and Castle. To keep the player from blowing through the game within just a couple minutes, each stage has a laundry list of accomplishments that must be checked off before moving on. In Campaign mode, the player is tasked with breaking a high score, collecting hidden items in the stage, sustaining a good accuracy percentage, and more. Not the least of which is to, of course, kill the fly.
After a few times of playing the first stage, it becomes apparent that killing the fly is not the true objective. The mission is to smash the home to pieces. Busting up tables, fracturing windows, and blowing a hole in the wall are not just possibilities, they are necessary to progress. Luckily, the list will show hints for achieving everything upon mousing over each item. While throwing everything around in your home, the fly might unexpectedly get squashed while you’re trying to hit your achievements. This presents a new challenge, especially when trying to chain combo your way to that 1000 point high score in one session. Killing the fly before reaching the score will end the round, and you’ll have to start all over again. The balance between friend and foe begins to blur as you frantically toss a shelving unit into the kitchen island for a massive combo, all while now avoiding the pesky fly. But while sparing the fly to hit a high score, there’s a chance it will escape through a smashed window, presenting yet another obstacle.
Campaign mode presents a heavy challenge, and can be very frustrating. I recommend muting the music, running a media player, and playing your own motivational death metal. Afterwards, when it’s time to wind down and enjoy some free-form home destruction, Arcade mode is there. In this mode, the session timer is removed, the music silenced, and the fly absent. Arcade mode is great for earning Ranks, which are achieved by performing ridiculous tasks. For instance, busting open a window will earn you the “Fresh Air” rank. I thought it would be funny to find a way to push the fridge out through the kitchen window. To my surprise, it earned me the “Strongman” rank.
Fly in the House is a simple, silly game that can be played as a challenge, or just a time killer. The premise is an easy concept to grasp: Kill the fly. While the gameplay is addicting, the presence of challenges and silly humor keeps the experience interesting enough to keep playing again and again. Fly in the House is available on Steam for $9.99 USD and is being maintained by the developer, who continuously provides updates to gameplay as feedback is sent in. I find FitH to be a challenging, addicting bit of mindless fun.