A game of getting from A to B in as few inputs as possible, Escape Plan puts Vita’s touch controls through their paces. The escapees in question are Lil and Laarg, held captive by blabbering antagonist Bakaku in his Burton-esque prison. Each room presents a different challenge – some simple, some sinister – but all are brought to life with noir brushstrokes. Standout looks are to be expected from the producers of colourful PSN tower defence charmer Fat Princess, but Escape Plan achieves something that game didn’t: it delivers a unique gameplay spin on an old concept, thanks to the designer’s embrace of Vita’s controls.
Swiping, squeezing, popping, pushing and tilting the characters and their world is a game of discovery, and chasing the star ratings awarded for using but a few gestures adds replay to Escape Plan’s one-trick rooms. This approach allows Fun Bits to appease both casual and hardcore players. If you just want to see the game’s sights, tap and touch till you find the solution; if you want to hit higher scores, be economical with your moves and logical in your assessment of the stages.
There are shades of Sleepwalker, Lemmings and even the contemporary Lost Winds in Escape Plan’s oddball world of quiet quirk. It’s not perfect, and even skilled players will struggle with some of the more demanding multitasking required for certain scenarios (the level-skip is an acknowledgement of the inconsistent difficulty), but it’s clever, cunning and entertaining.