review
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POSTED 4/3/12


ESCAPE PLAN

Sony
Vita

Oi!

Every year some movies are nominated for awards despite their abject shitness at being movies. You know; sound editing, production design...

Monochromatic puzzler Escape Plan is the gaming equivalent. What’s most annoying is that if it didn’t slavishly showcase ALL of Vita’s touchy-feely stuff, it’d be quite the funktastic little diversion.

The first attention-grabber is the look. EP expertly approximates the vibe of classic old noirish horror flicks, especially when taken in tandem with its deft sonic stuff.

Variously you control two characters that appear to be ensconced in latex gimp suits. There’s Lil – who’s little - and Laarg – who’s... aww, come on! They’ve been imprisoned for recycling as minions by a baddie called Bukak- ah, Bakuki, whose tanties when his clueless henchmen fail to pull off his evil imprisonating plans are a delight.

When we say ‘you control’, unfortunately we’re mostly using the term loosely. You variously poke and prod the front screen and back, swiping to walk, pinching to get the lead out, stabbing or poking to manipulate other environmental objects – even operating coffee machines to get somnambulistic Lil to perc up. In theory it’s neat pushing a rod forwards from the back of the screen to be walked upon. In reality you can’t fricking see where your fingers are, so if you miss – especially once precision timing becomes key - you and frustration will soon be intimate.

Also, scoring’s based upon how few moves you make achieving each bite-sized goal. This includes random touches on the Vita’s backside, where – unless you’re super-dainty - you’ll be clutching your Vita. Somebody didn’t think that one through.

We wanted to love EP as a game as much as we loved its style, but... The sooner everybody gets over the “Ooh! We can use touch for EVERYTHING!” over-excitation and puts alternate, functional controls in games like this the better.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.