Escape Plan brings some unique and quirky touch-based puzzle-solving fun to your PlayStation Vita. This is a game that utilises pretty much all of the Vita’s touch features in a fun and imaginative way, and that’s all down to developers Fun Bits Interactive and their appreciation for what works and what doesn’t in the Vita’s suite of control methods.
Escape Plan features two hapless and lovable characters, Lil and Laarg who have been captured and need your influence, skill and brainpower to escape from a dark labyrinth of puzzles and traps. You do this by the altering the environments and influencing Lil and Laarg to help them escape the deadly rooms and environments before their nemesis, Bakuki, captures them and recycles them into one of his minions. Escape Plan makes full use of the PlayStation Vita’s multi-touch screen and looks fantastic. This by far is one of the nicest looking games I have seen yet.
One of the most interesting things I found while playing Escape Plan is that you really become attached to the characters and the game itself. The game seems to bring its own personality out very well. Although the whole game is in black and white, this really gives you an enjoyable vibe; the feeling of an old black and white movie. Believe me, this does not impact badly on the game at all, instead, it adds to it and certainly makes it stand out from the rest of the Vita’s release titles.
Lil is a small thin character and Laarg is a large fat guy. Although we have no spoken dialogue, the game has that old Laurel and Hardy feeling to it. It feels like the developers have built the game around the characters, fine tuning it to match their personalities. We have a decent soundtrack that in each area ranges from classical songs to some jazzy pieces. They all tie in pretty well to the room you are trying to escape from. You can see a lot of thought and effort has been put into Escape Plan.
As I have mentioned, the controls all use the touch-features. As an example you may have to swipe your finger or tap a character to make him jump, or use the back of the Vita to knock boxes off ledges or tap the wall to distract one of Bakuki’s many minions that is trying to stop Lil and Laarg from escaping.
Each room that you have to escape from is totally different and really good looking. All the objects and environments look fantastic and are highly detailed. As you complete each room, you are rated in a way like we have seen in games like Angry Birds. You are marked on the time it took you and how many gestures you needed to use. You have up to three stars to get on each room. You can select different rooms and move between them or replay them. I guess this is there to keep you happy as some rooms take a while to work out what to do. The puzzles range from the pretty easy ones at the beginning, which are really there to introduce you to the game’s mechanics and characters and build the storyline, to the decidedly more fiendish ones as you get closer to the end.
To round things off, Escape Plan is a great game. It’s full of fun and enjoyment and an easy game to pick up and play every now and again when you feel like playing something that doesn’t demand quick hand/eye coordination. I could easily see someone sitting on their couch on a Sunday afternoon with their girlfriend trying to solve each puzzle. This is a must buy for you PlayStation Vita, a very high scoring game. I can’t wait to see what else Fun Bits Interactive brings us if this is a taste of what they are capable of.
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