From the very first level in Escape Plan's deadly maze of devious traps, it's hard not to be amazed at how visually stunning the game looks on the PS Vita system's screen. The original, black and white art style is darkly humorous, especially when one of the characters is hit by a falling object and is abruptly squashed into a pile of black gloop.
The characters themselves have so much personality, despite not being able to talk. Laarg seems vulnerable and a bit unsure of his surroundings, whereas Lil appears more serious and determined to reach his goal. Their unique personalities and amusing abilities will only increase your determination to help them dodge death.
Adding to the comedy aspect of the game is a classical soundtrack which, when coupled with an applauding crowd when Lil or Laarg falls short of reaching their goal, gives the game the feel of a classic silent film.
Packed with stunning visuals and dark humour, Escape Plan provides an original take on the side-scrolling puzzle genre. Be sure to pick up Escape Plan when PS Vita launches in February 2012.
Keep them alive
Escape Plan puts you in control of two unusual yet charming characters - the small and slender Lil, and his oversized buddy Laarg. Both have been imprisoned in the evil Bakuki's gloop factory, and you have to help them get out. Alive.
It's your job to manoeuvre the pair through a labyrinth of trap-laden rooms by swiping, tapping or squeezing the touchscreen with one simple goal - reach the exit. Each room is filled with potential hazards and threats that could prove fatal - luckily there is always a way round, through or over each danger.
Environments can be manipulated using the rear touch pad. Tap it to push out platforms for Lil and Laarg to walk over, or coax enemies into devious situations and move objects out of the way. You can also use the front touchscreen to stop gas leaks, pull levers and interact with your surroundings.
Due to their different shapes and sizes, Lil and Laarg can use distinct abilities to help them solve these treacherous puzzles. Lil can inflate himself and, once full, you can squeeze the gas out of him by pressing the rear touch pad and the touchscreen at the same time - he'll shoot forwards at tremendous speeds. Laarg's size means he can crash through walls and floors, making an easy tunnel for his companion to walk through - it's worth doing this just to see the smile on his face. Swipe the touchscreen towards a fragile looking barrier and watch Laarg smash through it with ease.
Escape Plan is a game of trial and error, with the latter ending in one of your characters being splattered over a wall or fried by a stray electrical wire. This combination of slapstick humour and deliciously intricate puzzles will leave you hungry for more.