Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X (Reviewed)|S
Publisher: PQube Limited
The Plane Effect is an isometric surreal platformer puzzle game where you take the role of an office worker who is trying to make the way home. On your way home, you encounter a whole array of challenges that will block your journey home.
The Plane Effect combines the unique art style with an isometric view that gives the game an amazing; look and feel. The art style is gorgeous and sublime. The character has a minimalistic look – you wear glasses and carry around a briefcase as you navigate this fantastic dystopian world. You leave your boring office job to discover this crazy world ahead of you. The world is a mix of bright, beautiful, with rich scenic levels that are complemented, with dark and barren levels too. All the levels are fantastic full of little details that make them seem more immersive. The deep rich sound effects and an intriguing dystopian world help drive the story.
Gameplay is a mix of platformer and puzzles to solve. Primarily, you can run, walk, jump and use items. The use item action varies depending on the puzzle you are solving and items available in each area; this is environment-dependent. There are issues in certain sections of the game where you must backtrack for items which can be tedious at times. You may find the puzzles trickier than they first seem too. The game does have a mix of random events where the player; ends up being transported to different environments, which can be jarring at times. It does, however, add a nice break to regular gameplay and is novel at first.
The game has three modes: normal, narrative hint and guided. Normal mode gives no prompts or assistance when trying to solve puzzles. It’s all up to you to figure how to navigate each area. The narrative hint mode gives prompts as to what needs to be done next, usually in the form of an icon above the player. The guided mode provides an indicator that will mark the next puzzle to solve in the form of a line that directs you. You can change the mode type in-game if you get stuck or if you want more of a challenge. I primarily played the normal mode, which does require patience and for the player to discover every part of each level.
The art style and the isometric gameplay view is unique. I can’t fault the visuals, the sound effects and general level design. The art style and level design are gorgeous. There is a huge variety of environments to keep the game fresh. While the game mechanics seem straightforward, they change depending on the items available in each section. Depending on your game mode, your experience will vary greatly. Normal is for the people who want a challenge and want to figure it all out for themselves. Narrative hints and guidance makes the game much easier to navigate. I did enjoy the game, but I did feel some events were repetitive at times. At times you must backtrack for clues and to pick up items which can be tedious at times. I did like playing a puzzle focus with very few cues to assist. The game is about discovery and exploration in a beautiful dystopian world. It’s an enjoyable puzzle/platformer.