Review – It’s A Wrap!

This is the second time I am reviewing a game published by AMC (yes, the same ones behind Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul), but I guess this is the first game of theirs I’m aware of that’s actually… a game. Airplane Mode almost felt like a joke, being a game about doing nothing inside a cramped commercial airliner. It’s A Wrap is the complete opposite, being an innovative mix between a 2D platformer, a puzzler, and a moviemaking simulator. You read that last one right.

It's A Wrap Fuchsbaum

That was her twin, duh.

So, you take control of a somewhat washed up, slightly arrogant, but still popular actor who does most of his stunts. Think of It’s A Wrap as a Tom Cruise simulator of sorts. You are given a scene to act in, complete with a script and all. You then have to complete said scene, performing exactly what’s told in said script, in the set amount of time. That usually revolves around completing a specific series of platforming gauntlets and puzzles. The kicker is, the props in each scene are faulty, and the film’s crew doesn’t know the best timing to activate them in order for you to perform these stunts.

This is where the game shines the brightest: you can set up the exact time in which each prop will be activated, be a platform being lifted by a volcanic eruption, a shot from a tank, falling debris, and so on. There are sliders on the bottom of the screen where you can properly set these timers up. This is why It’s A Wrap momentarily becomes a puzzle game: trying to figure out when and where to set up the props is really challenging, and tons of fun. It also helps that you can easily tinker with each slider with the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen.

It's A Wrap gameplay

Striped panels cannot be moved. They add an extra layer of challenge to the mix.

Finally, once everything is set, you still have to, well, perform in the specified scene. We’re back in 2D platforming territory from then on. It’s nothing too mind-blowing, being your standard platformer, but the physics are sound, and the controls are pretty good. It’s the sum of the gameplay elements that make It’s A Wrap stand out.

That, sadly, comes with a few caveats. The thing about the game’s entire gameplay loop is being able to properly analyze the entire level in one screen before tackling it as the actor himself. This results in the entire level looking minuscule onscreen, making it hard to pay attention to smaller props. That wouldn’t be an issue if you’ve just decided to play it on docked mode and call it a day, but if you decide to do so, you lose access to touchscreen controls. The button-based interface is still decent, don’t get me wrong, but it feels less ideal. It’s almost as if you have to choose between one problem in order to solve another.

It's A Wrap humor

You talkin’ to me??

As for the rest, It’s A Wrap doesn’t feature that many issues. Sure, its short length is a bit disappointing, but that’s only because its core concept is just too good. The game, as a whole, feels almost like a restrained experiment. I don’t have a lot to complain about its visuals or sound department either. Granted, I don’t have a lot to praise about them (both the music, voice acting, and visuals are good, but not outstanding), but there’s nothing wrong with them. I did like the occasional funny cutscene in between levels, and what little the game has in terms of voice acting (namely shouts coming from the movie’s director) is alright. As a whole, the presentation is competent, just like the game as a whole.

It's A Wrap issues

If you squint really hard, you’ll be able to see your playable character in the middle of the screen.

I feel like It’s A Wrap is, more than anything else, a great foundation for much better sequels. Its core gameplay idea is sound, but it needs a bit of tinkering with its difficulty spikes (even though the hint system is already excellent) and its visuals. Even though they are great, you can barely look at what’s happening onscreen on portable mode, while you don’t have access to its great touchscreen controls on docked mode. As for the rest, it’s a bit short, but it’s still worth picking up. It’s so unique, in a sea of repetitive and uninspired indie platformers, that I can’t help but laud it for its innovative vision.


Graphics: 7.0

Well animated, but due to the way the game handles its interface, things look minuscule on portable mode.

Gameplay: 9.0

The highlight of the game. Adjusting the timing of each prop works perfectly, especially due to the inclusion of touchscreen controls. The platforming is also responsive enough. Finally, a hint system allows for players to get rid of an annoying puzzle if they can’t figure out a solution.

Sound: 7.0

Very few (but very well-acted) lines of dialogue and decent music and sound effects. It gets the job done.

Fun Factor: 7.5

It’s innovative, it’s funny, and it’s accessible. My main gripe is the fact its visuals are best suited for a big screen, but its controls are best suited for handheld play. It’s also devoid of replayability.

Final Verdict: 7.5

It’s A Wrap is available now on PC and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of It’s A Wrap was provided by the publisher.