The first game that I reviewed on the Gear VR was Adventure Time: Magic Man’s Head Games. I loved that game in spite of it’s short length. It was well made, looked great, had lots of humour and was just a lot of fun. All of these features are back in Floor Plan, including, unfortunately, the short play time. This combination of features was exactly what we wanted in the early days of the Gear VR when there was a dearth of experiences to be had. But now that the library has filled up more, is it enough to warrant putting down your hard earned dollars?
Unlike Adventure Time, Floor Plan is a puzzle game. It’s a specific type of puzzle game though. I’m unsure what to call this genre, but there seem to be more and more of them showing up on the Gear VR. Like Please Don’t Touch Anything, or Escape Room, Floor Plan places you in a situation and gives you no instructions. You just try things out until you find something that works. After that you have a pretty good idea of what you have to do and, if you get stuck, there are hints available. I don’t advise using them unless you are really lost though because they are less like hints and more like near-exact directions on what to do next.
The idea of floor plan is that you are in an elevator that is supposed to be shut down for repairs. You visit various floors of the building and the door will open to one crazy scene or another. One floor is a meat locker with a snowman, another is a weird fantasy land with bees and a gumball machine. The key is to figure out what you’re supposed to do on one floor to make something happen on another floor all in an effort to collect the pieces of a suit that is on the top floor.
The problem with this type of puzzle game is that once you’ve beaten it, there is very little replay value. It’s not like Tetris where the replay value is nearly infinite because how well you do is skill based. Nor does it have branching paths that would allow you to go back and play again a different way. My first playthrough was 34 minutes long. I’m guessing my second playthrough could be half that because I know what to do now.
But I often wonder if replay value is always necessary. Floor Plan is a fun game. I had a blast playing it. It’s funny, the puzzles are smart, if not overly difficult, and the production values of every aspect of the game from graphics to sound to animation are top notch. I may not play through again for a challenge, but I will just to enjoy how well made the game is.
More than once as I was solving a puzzle I was smiling and thinking to myself, “I would never have thought to do that.” There were also times when there seemed to be nothing to on a floor, but later on you realize what you’re supposed to do with it and it’s just genius. Sometimes what seems obvious is the wrong answer, but the right answer still makes total sense. Floor Plan is a very smart game.
When I first heard of Floor Plan I was cautiously optimistic. I didn’t understand how they were going to make a game that takes place entirely in an elevator interesting, let alone fun. But this was Turbo Button and they were able to throw together one of the best Gear VR games in only a few months when they made Magic Man’s Head Games.
I was also preparing for disappointment. What if Adventure Time was a fluke, helped along by the use of a known property and a very familiar game style? What if when they tried to do something wholly original, completely their own, they just didn’t catch the magic? What if they were the M. Night Shamalamadingdongs of VR?
Thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the case. Turbo Button may not make long games, but they make good ones. I would love to see what they could do with more money and more time and maybe that is coming in the future. One way to make sure of it is to buy the game. At $6.99 it costs a little more than two cups of coffee. It may only last half an hour, but I paid more than that for a submarine sandwich that only lasted five minutes tonight and I have no regrets about that. In this reviewers opinion, Floor Plan is one of the most enjoyable experiences on the Gear VR.
Floor Plan is a brilliant, but short game about riding an elevator and solving puzzles on each floor. It has all the polish that you would expect from a Turbo Button game and, unfortunately the duration that we’ve come to expect. But that should not deter you as what you get is a game that you can clearly see was made with all the passion these three devs could put into it. Many will say the price is too steep, many will say the game is too short. And they will be missing out.