Review: Floor Plan 2
Turbo Button’s original puzzle title Floor Plan offered a novel approach to the genre when it launched in 2016, set entirely in an elevator the quirky videogame had you travelling between floors to solve the various brain teasers. Those same comedy/puzzle stylings return in 2021 with Floor Plan 2, going bigger, bolder and just as wacky that’ll get you thinking and coming back for more.
The premise remains that you have to travel between various floors, engaging with their unusual inhabitants – ever come across a crocodile living on a second floor? – whilst working out how everything fits together in this giant jigsaw puzzle. You find yourself in this giant skyscraper as a new employee of Puzzl, a corporation built around helping people solve their problems. In the modern age, times are tough so you’re instructed by the CEO to retrieve a couple of lost artefacts hidden in the building which could turn the company’s fortunes around.
Thanks to modern VR hardware Floor Plan 2 gives you more room to breathe, move around and take things at your own pace. There’s no free locomotion you simply teleport between pre-set points which may sound restrictive considering the amount of freedom allotted to most modern VR titles. However, just like other puzzle videogames such as Mare the system does ensure a comfortable experience for everyone plus you’re not aimlessly wandering around wondering if you’ve missed something, each floor has a finite amount of points to explore and focus on.
So yes, you can now step outside of the elevator and have a good look around, further increasing the challenge you can now face. Turbo Button has simplified one aspect of the gameplay, the elevator itself. The original videogame had one, with an array of buttons that grew as you progressed. This time there are two elevators, the east side and west side making the entire experience a bit more manageable – especially where new players are concerned.
You start in the east tower containing only three floors which doesn’t sound like much. In reality, while there is a basic training introduction this section is a nice showcase to how the puzzles interconnect between the floors and why it’s best to have a wander through them all before getting your thinking cap on. Played seated or standing, one of Floor Plan 2’s best features is its puzzle arc, simply requiring some good common sense – such as finding a gas bottle to identify lasers – without getting to the stage where they’re overly convoluted. They do become difficult once you get to the west tower and its four floors, no doubt about that, but the design won’t keep you scrambling around for ages. The west side is far less linear, so you’ve got some freedom as to the order you tackle things.
On that point, another good feature is the hints system. The elevators have a big red intercom button which you can hit should the next step elude you. You have the option of a couple of hints at a time, each one detailing a little more without flat out offering up the answer. It’s just enough to keep the gameplay nicely flowing through both towers until the final stage in the boss’s office where you are left entirely on your own.
So an initial run through should take around four hours or so. Thankfully, Turbo Button has included a feature quite a few puzzle titles worryingly seem to omit, a reason to come back and keep playing! This is achieved by some loveable little furballs called Red Harrys. These critters are tucked away on each floor, you need to solve a mini-puzzle to collect each one. The first time you play there are five to collect in each tower and you head to the daycare centre to drop them off. At certain intervals, you’ll be able to unlock new hands, metal cyborg hands or ones that fart every time the grip button is pressed. Once the campaign is completed head back to the elevators and an ‘Overtime’ option will have unlocked. This gives you access to a further five Red Harrys in each tower, and thus even more puzzles to solve! Simple and effective, it’s so nice to have a reason to come back and continue playing rather than being another one-and-done VR game.
The only real gripe comes from the gripping mechanic. While the fanny pack – or bum bag depending on where you are in the world – is a great way to store items (stretch it over your head to open the options menu!) sometimes trying to grab items at distance was haphazard. This wasn’t too noticeable when standing as you can step closer or crouch but seated often required finding a really small sweet spot to highlight an object. Drop or throw an item out of reach and it’ll handily teleport directly under you which becomes frustratingly difficult to pick whilst seated. Surely that shouldn’t be the case?
With its colourful aesthetic, muppet-like characters and off-the-wall sense of humour Floor Plan 2 is a delight, perfectly suited to the Oculus Quest platform. The pacing and complexity of the gameplay is very well crafted, ensuring players of all ages should enjoy exploring all the various floors. It could do with being a little more difficult especially for puzzle fans but the experience is still satisfying to complete. As Floor Plan 2 does a lot right and little wrong, this is an easy win when it comes to purchasing.
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