Developer: Fun Bits Interactive
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Release Date: February 22nd, 2012 (Vita), December 3rd, 2013 (Ps4)
Available on: Playstation Vita, Playstation 4
Reviewer’s note: I played this game on the Playstation 4. There may be differences between versions.
Starting out as a Playstation Vita launch title, Escape Plan was one of the more unique games available at launch. Featuring game play that took heavy use of all the unique features of the Vita, how does the game translate to the Playstation 4? I’m happy to say pretty well.
Escape Plan has you assisting two prisoners named Lil and Laarg as they try to escape from Bakuki’s prison. The game is story light, mostly just using it real quick to get to the next level or for a bit of humor between chapters. It’s simple and not the kind that will keep you thinking and there’s nothing wrong with that. It knows what it is and it doesn’t try to be anything more.
The game play focuses on getting Lil or Laarg (or sometimes both) out of a room they’re trapped in. You move a cursor around the screen and simply tap the X button to either interact with objects or to push them into background. Likewise, you can use the right trigger to push objects into the foreground. You can’t actually control Lil and Laarg directly, instead you can only ask them to move left, right, or to stop. Each character has a few special abilities to assist them with breaking out. Lil can drink coffee to move faster or suck in hydrogen to float, while Laarg can break through boards on the floor or walls with his size. If you think this game sounds too simple, don’t worry. There’s a lot of little things to it.
The game makes good use of the touch pad and motion controls on the Playstation 4’s controller. For example, you may need to turn a fan on to suck up poisonous smoke. To do this you just simply need to make circles on the touch pad to get it spinning. Need an elevator to go up? Swipe up with the touch pad. When Lil inflates you just have to tilt the controller to move him around. It all works very well, making the game surprisingly easy to control. Using this you’ll be avoiding blades, hammers, spikes, and other sorts of traps. Sometimes you’ll have to lure Bakuki’s minions into traps by tapping on walls, or scare sheep with noises so they stop on pressure pads. Usually you’ll have a solution worked out shortly after you start a level, it’s just executing the solution that will take up the meat of the gameplay.
One thing that doesn’t translate the best to the Playstation 4 version is the fact that the game is designed for very short game sessions. The game has about 70+ levels, each of which take between 30 to 60 seconds. The longest level for me only took about two minutes, while I had a few levels seriously not getting past 8 seconds. It made me sort of wish that the game did a few rooms in a row rather than making each room its own level. Once you finish one you’ll have to go through the result screen and wait through the short load time before you can continue. It could be worse but it makes the game’s pick up and play portable nature pretty obvious. It took me about 5 hours to finish the game, which seemed like a good length for it.
Once you finish the game you unlock an extra set of levels to play. Besides that you also get a challenge mode where you have to try and beat the game in under 20 deaths for Lil and Laarg combined. There’s also collectable signs and unlockable costumes in the game to serve as an extra reward for thorough players.
Escape Plan is a fun game. The puzzles are creative and the gameplay is simple enough for anyone to pick up but is difficult enough to challenge people. Weather you own the Playstation Vita or the Playstation 4 this is a game I have to recommend.