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Review

Free to Play Sunday: The Plan

Hello fellow gamer! I know it might not still be Sunday where you are, but I've still got 40 minutes until its officially Monday technically it's now Monday here as well (boo). For many of you that means back to work, and that isn't very fun at all, but I'm told money doesn't grow on trees, so back to work you go. You have got to pay for your games after all... on the other hand you could play more free to play games and save yourself a bit of cash (and maybe call in sick more often). Anyway, I'd like to introduce you to a new weekly (hopefully) segment where I will be reviewing a single free to play game each week. Some of them will hopefully be gems, but I make no promises. For each of these "mini" reviews I will be giving my impressions of the game based on gameplay, aesthetics, and story, followed by an overall score.

For today, I bring you The  Plan, by Krillbite studio. You may recognize Krillbite studio as the makers of Among the Sleep. If you've played Among the Sleep you probably have a pretty good idea of what this game is like and whether or not you will like it. Nonetheless I bring you the very first Free to Play Sunday: The Plan

Gameplay

To be frank, the gameplay is lacking. You need nothing more than wasd to play and there is no strategy or thought required to reach the end of the game. In fact, you could likely just hold w (while occasionally switching it up and going for d) and successfully reach the end. There are a few events, if they can even be called that, that lead you to believe that there are going to be more obstacles in your way, but I found myself disappointed when I realized that failure was not an option. Playing as a fly, I expected to have to handle a few tricky spiders, and while there were spider webs, there were no enemies to be seen. There is no way to lose this game and so technically there is no way to win this game; your only real options are to complete it or to quit.

Story

In all honesty I am not sure how I feel about the story of this game. I am stuck somewhere between "this is deep (I think)" and "that was boring." It makes me think back to high school when an English teacher of mine would insist that there was some deeply significant meaning behind the presence of oranges before all of the death scenes in The Godfather (maybe Francis Ford Coppola just had a thing for oranges). I won't give any spoilers, just in case you really want to play this game, but if I were being forced to write a paper on the meaning of this game I'm positive I'd get an "A" for discussing mortality and the finite nature of life. Though I have to admit that the ending made me chuckle, and then briefly question whether or not I was a bad person for finding humour in the situation when surely the feeling I was supposed to have was one more akin to melancholy.

Aesthetics

Despite the disappointing lack of gameplay, and my mixed feelings on the story, I found both the visuals and audio in this game to be spot on. I'll start by saying that the visuals were nothing entirely special. The art style was basically the popular artsy-indie-shadowy style, similar to what you would see in Limbo,  or Grimind, or even Never Alone, that being said the graphics suited the game well and I believe that any impact that this game has would have been lost if another style had been adopted. My favourite part of this game was hands down the audio. It was altogether lovely, relaxing, and atmospheric.


Final Thoughts

Once again I find myself with mixed feelings towards this game. I'm not sure if it's brilliantly or boringly simple. This game has very little replay value, but it takes under 10 minutes to complete and you can even get an achievement (if you're into that sort of thing). If you enjoy laid back games that are more like poetry than like epics then you may genuinely enjoy this game, but all in all it's a free game available on Steam so at the very least you should give The Plan a play and see for yourself. You don't have anything to lose after all!


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