Solo is an ordinary man in every way. He starts the day with breakfast with family. Shuttles to his 9-5 job. And returns home… well, he would like to go home. But something strange stops him. Why? Who knows why. But coming home is the only thing that helps Solo move forward. All that matters is that he comes home.
The Plane Effect is an isometric adventure game. In this game, players take control of Solo, a lone officer who tries to get back home despite impossible odds. The game promises to be a remarkable journey expertly brought to life with beautiful visuals, created and tailored by VFX experts.
The demo starts with a look at Solo’s daily life – everything from his morning routine to working all night. We’ll start to get him under control as soon as he clocks out. From the obvious lack of tutorials or hand-holding, I can already tell it’s one of those sophisticated games. We don’t normally get these kinds of games anymore. Not since it became the norm to tell the player where to go. But I digress.
The game allows you to change the difficulty in the form of a mode that turns on tooltip icons that show the player that they can interact with. There is also a mode that allows you to receive hints at your leisure. I chose the tooltips. I think it’s a reasonable compromise between the three. I could have gone without any help but I will probably lose it because of the feeling of no progress.
Fittingly enough, the first puzzle required us to get out of the office. After some searching around, I found that my options boiled down to picking up a paper plane, a jacket, and a fuse box. Initially, picking up the aircraft causes it to return to its starting position. But after you turn off the power, a device that I assume is the heater will also turn off. I didn’t know what to do after that. I was in touch with the paper plane again… and look at that. It did something different. It actually knocked a keycard from a lamp. I didn’t even notice the keycard.
So we are dealing with That kind of game.
Looks like this game is going to do the whole WTF troubleshooting method. You know, the ones where it shouldn’t make sense, but…for some reason it does. That’s when I remembered all the point-and-click games I’ve played before. And now I can experience them again, as an isometric adventure game.
The next segment of the demo is a bit more forgiving. I won’t give away much more than my WTF moment in the office, let’s say you still have to perform certain actions in a certain order to progress. What I can say now is that you should check soda machines for ransom and follow the electrical cables.
To be honest, solving puzzle after puzzle motivated me to see what happens next. That’s all well and good, until things start to drag. That’s where the third part of the demo comes in.
After getting on the metro, we see ourselves back at street level. I already knew that this is going to be a dystopian world we live in, but what I saw after that is downright depressing. A red barrier is activated on the road at regular intervals. I didn’t want to cross the barrier at first for fear of losing progress. But after going so long without any progress I made a mistake, just in time for drone to fly off screen to shock me to death.
Why did it have to be drones???
Towards the end of the level, another drone patrolled the walkway. I don’t know why a drone would do that, but it is. So to get the drone moving, I had to perform certain actions that cause its attention to be elsewhere. What resulted was something that came out of left field. You’ll just have to discover it for yourself. One thing I would say though, a bird couldn’t have done that much damage unless the dominoes fell perfectly.
Reaching the end door sparked another event that brings us back to the office. But with something wrong. Between the shadowy figure looking at me from above and the floating furniture around me… something is definitely wrong with this world. I had to get that damn thing out of there.
I went through the door again. I found myself walking through a snow field and following a bird going from one location to another. Finally, we see the ghost of a woman who seemingly greets me in the middle of a field. This is the end. Just in time for a giant worm to swallow Solo whole. The Plane Effect demo ends with a message that Solo’s journey doesn’t end here…
I’m especially excited for this title to come out. I have mixed feelings when it comes to the illogical solutions of some puzzles. But now that I know more about the game, I think I see how it would play out in the overall story of the game. We’ll just have to wait.
The Plane Effect is coming to PC (via Steam), PS5, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch on August 12, 2021.
You can find more about the game here.
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