It’s a Wrap! Impressions: Take It From The Top

Shadow dropped last week and out today on Switch, It’s a Wrap is an intriguing pitch. Players take the role of both over-the-top actor Johnny Rush and the the exacting movie director filming each movie. The resulting puzzle-focused platformer is a compelling challenge of intellect and coordination.

Levels consist of different scenes in a various films. The first of Johnny’s starring roles is a thinly veiled Indiana Jones character, and the developers take advantage of this by throwing in fun, recognizable lines for their fictional hero. Scenes start off with getting the script. I adore this kind of meta tool, as the creators use the pages to not only deliver fun dialogue, but also tell the player directly what they need to do without breaking the fourth wall.

My first challenge, Dead Eye Mountain, is a simple task of running across a snow-covered, rickety bridge spanning a body of water oddly home to frost-loving crocodiles. Don’t question, just go with it. The script tells me I’m supposed to make it over the bridge, jumping to safety just as the structure collapses to the ground.

But Johnny can’t make this happen by himself. Taking my turn as the director, I realize the bridge is set to fall too early, ensuring my leading man’s demise. So, before calling action, I manipulate the scene by jumping into a familiar video editing software.

Dragging elements of the editor around allows me to rearrange the set, changing the timing of the fraying ropes. The biggest part of each scene’s challenge is this puzzle-like production work. As the sets get increasingly elaborate and complex, it becomes more and more difficult to place all the moving parts perfectly.

Of course, once I’m sure the background will go off like clockwork, the job isn’t done. Calling action, I switch back to Johnny and I now have to jump, climp, and wall jump my way through an — often deadly — obstacle course to get the take.

Even though it appears more action-oriented in trailers, puzzle fans really are the audience for It’s a Wrap. So, if you like taxing your puzzle-solving skills before testing your reflexes, don’t let this title pass you by.

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