The Plane Effect | PS5 Review
Updated: Jan 18, 2022
The Plane Effect, developed by Studio Kiku and Innovina Interactive, and published by PQube is an indie puzzle game, currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of my review I was playing the PlayStation 5 version.
In The Plane Effect, you begin the game as the character who we later know as Solo. He is working in his dark and dreary office and it is his last day in his current job until some form of cosmic chaos begins to take over and you become wrapped up in some mysterious dream state and all you know is you need to return to your family as soon as possible. As the game progresses you begin to experience hallucinations and begin to show signs of delirium. To some, The Plane Effect will feel quite heavy psychologically which it certainly did to me at times, but overall it isn’t a particularly disturbing experience so I don’t really have much to offer in terms of trigger warnings. However, for those who get quite absorbed and invested into storylines, it could feel quite heavy at times.
The Plane Effect is very much a walking simulator meets a point and click story except with an isometric perspective. The puzzles are relatively similar to each other initially and usually only really require you to find the right things to progress such as finding the key for the door, or finding the right switch to flick. Before you start the game you're given the option to play with an assisted mode on which baffled me initially and I opted to leave the hints off. However, after a little bit I started to realise why this was offered because the puzzles become very much trial and error, and this really slows down the game. For me it felt like it really detracted from the story in a bad way and every task became a frustrating burden to deal with. Whilst I’m by no means an absolute genius or a pro puzzler, I do think I have reasonable logic and problem solving skills, I started to find the puzzles deeply frustrating and slightly illogical and I began to understand why the assisted mode was offered because to be quite frank, the game never gripped me enough that I actually held enough interest to care enough about walking at an insanely slow pace, testing every single theory that I could come up with. Due to this frustration and slight boredom I opted to turn on the assisted mode just to see whether that allowed the story to shine in its own right and I was glad I did because my enjoyment for the story line was able to take front and center, which I’m glad about. The hints weren’t overly obstructive and were usually more like a way-point marker to find the various things which took a lot of the frustration and boredom out of it for me.
I would have preferred The Plane Effect to focus more on the story rather than the seemingly aimless meandering that it felt like I was doing. If this was a graphic novel, point-and-click without any of the puzzle elements then I would have rated it much higher as the story was actually really deep and handled some really deep emotions and themes, but I also feel like the slow gameplay and the obnoxious puzzles took a lot of that enjoyment away for me and totally ruined the pacing of the game for me. As a story it was excellent and really offers a lot to anyone giving it the time, but as a game I feel like its lacking in a lot of areas.
Lj’s Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
For more information on The Plane Effect please use the following links...
Studio Kiku - Developer | Twitter | Website
Innovina Interactive - Developer | Twitter | Website
PQube - Publisher | Facebook | Twitter | Website
Many thanks to PQube for the Review Key.
The Plane Effect | Windows PC | PlayStation | XBox | Nintendo Switch
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