Review – The Plane Effect

Isometric, but not Isomazing

Courtesy of the folks at Innovina, Studio Kiku and PQube, I’ve been taking a look at the cryptic puzzle platformer The Plane Effect

The Basics

The Plane Effect is a slow title, with an isometric viewpoint which reminds me of the first time I played Batman back on the Amstrad CPC464. This one provides a rather cinematic journey through a dystopian future world, as you try and simply commute home after clocking off from your job as a corporate office clone.

There are a number of puzzles to solve, and a twisted and constantly evolving storyline, as you solve constant puzzles to navigate through a bizarre world. You’ll visit a fair number of different environments on your journey home, some of which you might anticipate but a lot you likely won’t, and each brings some nice atmosphere to your time in game.

Parent’s Eye View

The Plane Effect is rated by PEGI at 16 and above, and by the ESRB at Everybody 10+. There’s not a huge deal in terms of blood in the title, but there is some basic violence throughout. There are also some more adult themes as you progress through the story, and some heavy hitting emotions which can come through. Additionally for little ones, it’s worth noting that this one is a very very slow title, and with the consistent puzzles, generally slow movement, while it’s not awful in terms of content, it’s likely not one they’d get along with in terms of gameplay.

Your life as a corporate drone is… well… accurate

Accessibility

For accessibility, The Plane Effect is getting a rating of casual. This one has some decent enough checkpoints to mean you can pick up and put down whenever you like. In terms of difficulty there are options not only for standard puzzles, but hints and even a full guided mode which is nice to see. There’s not a huge deal of reading to do at all, so while slow it is good and accessible.

The Run Down

Visuals – Lacking: At first the visuals are quite nice, and I enjoyed the stylised cartoon graphics. Sadly the draw of these does wear off fairly soon, and with a good number of clipping errors, and visual glitches (outside the ones you are meant to find) while it’s not awful this one could do with some more polish.

Audio – Good: A decent showing overall here, and the musical themes and incidental music and ques are all genuinely quite nice. Sadly, in terms of effects, I have found myself getting annoyed with the repetition of the “no” sound when trying out puzzle solutions

Narrative – Good: It’s not the easiest to follow, and there’s a lot of analogy and allegories going on, but there’s a decent narrative in The Plane Effect to uncover as you go along.

Replay – Poor: I’ve not found many extra bits and pieces or collectables, and in honesty the extremely slow pace of this one make it one which is frustrating to play through for the first time, let along go again for no extra experiences

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Its a dystopian (and very grey) future world out there
The Verdict

Overall the Pixel Bandits What Is Happening Level for The Plane Effect is, sadly Give it a Miss. This one is just a little too slow overall, and with simple pick up and order item puzzles it’s not one which has posed too much of a challenge most of the time. On top of this, certain areas which require close control are held back by controls which are laggy and sluggish, providing frustration as you replay the same 20 seconds over and over again. Overall, while there are some good ideas and a nice story, this is one which we just didn’t get on with.

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