Stylish monochromatic puzzler Escape Plan received relatively good reviews when it came out as a Vita launch title, but the common bugbear that turned a lot of people off was the gimmicky touchscreen controls. This is no longer an issue with the new 1.04 patch released today that allows players direct control of their character with the d-pad and buttons.
There's something slightly fraudulent about Escape Plan. At first glance, the bloated sad-sack characters, the empty-eyed china masks, the distended bellies and the barbs and spikes scattered about might lead you to believe that this creepy monochrome adventure is the genuine product of a tortured creative psyche.
Look again, though, and it's all a little too precise: the environments are too tidily organised, the horrors too artfully suggestive. It's weird, alright, but it's Corporate Weird; it's that slightly hollow, made-to-measure surrealism you see in self-consciously edgy commercials. It's Ren and Stimpy reworked by the people who make those Judderman ads.
And underneath all that, of course, Escape Plan isn't weird at all. It's a simple piece of no-fuss entertainment designed to showcase the many inputs of Sony's lovely new handheld. This is a 2D platformer that's filled with industrial gimmickry: an assault course in which you power two hapless heroes - Laarg, the fat one who can bust through floors, Lil, the thin one that can inflate - by flinging and tapping, by pinching, tilting, and rocking. At times, it feels like a console manual with fail states.