Developer / Publisher – Turbo Button
Price – US $24.99 / CA $28.99 / EU €24.99 / UK £22.79 / AU $32.95
Release Date – April 1st 2021
Control Method – 2 x Tracked Motion Controllers
Play Area – Seated, Standing, Room-scale
Reviewed on – Oculus Quest, Quest via link
Store Links – Steam, Oculus
For those who don’t know about the 1st Floor Plan game, it was a stationary puzzler designed for mobile VR headsets like the Gear VR and Daydream and subsequently released on the more powerful HMD’s. In that title, you navigated through a series of room via an elevator you never left solving some light-hearted puzzles. As sequels tend to do, Floor Plan 2 looks to be bigger and better offering some light locomotion mechanics and room-scale puzzling in a much larger building.
Unlike the first game’s lacking story, Floor Plan 2 puts you in the shoes of a new employee and Puzzl, a company founded on solving people’s problems and is facing bankruptcy thanks to the internet. It’s up to you to follow the boss’s orders and acquire items needed to save the company which are “luckily” hidden throughout the building. That same core gameplay of navigating floors in an elevator is still here though now you have a pair of hands to grab at the stuff around you and can even teleport to specific points on individual floors for much more complicated puzzles. You’ll find items on one floor needed for another and must figure out how each is used. You can store up to 3 items in your trust fanny pack which is accessed by grabbing at your waste and pulling it outward, revealing it’s contents. Some items simply need to be placed somewhere else while others may need to be used in some way like a can of smoke or a running water tap. An opening tutorial breaks down the basic mechanics with the 1st 3rd of the game playing very much like the 1st one. Once you reach your 2nd elevator though, puzzles get more complex, reminding me of more serious ventures like The Room: A Dark Matter. Should you ever get stuck, you can return the elevator and call the operator who will give you 2 optional hints to help get you unstuck. It should be mentioned that click or smooth turn options are available as well as a slider for just how fast you turn though teleportation is your only form of locomotion. Lastly would be the very optional task of hunting down little critters that have gotten lost throughout the building and must be returned to the pet babysitting station via a chute in the elevator giving the game some added replay value should you miss them all on your first go with game even changing up puzzle solutions should you wish to play a second time.
Floor Plan 2 is visually, a substantial upgrade over its predecessor with fully realized textures and way more dynamic and extensive stages. The people characters you meet look like Jim Henson’s Muppets and throughout the building you’ll me sentient frogs, chickens, aliens…maybe…I dunno, but suffice to say it’s a quirky game with surprises on every floor. I visited a museum, a dance club, bathroom, space station and many more locations, each with their own unique and sometimes impressive interactions. You can mess with electric balls, play with a faucet, bypass a security system, wear a disguise, grow a plant, kill a plant, barter with a bee with each puzzle offering up not only unique scenarios, but unique interactions that almost never repeat. It’s the shear variety in everything you stumble across that makes this game so damned charming and while it’s not the best-looking game I’ve ever seen, it’s miles ahead of the original and the art-style chosen just works great with the gameplay.
Every scenario has different music playing though it’s more often than not subtle in its execution and yet still provides some comedic moments like when you have to swap a DJ’s mix for something a little more…classic. 3D audio is present though doesn’t seem needed for the puzzle solving in this, but still adds to the immersion of it all. No one speaks English in here with them speaking in nonsense akin to simlish, though when you are supposed to be able to understand them, text bubble appear letting you read through any narrative moments. You’ll occasionally be given the option for dialogue choices which require you to make a thumbs up or down gesture to choose that narrative path. Once again, charm is what this game is striving for and charming it is!
Floor Plan 2 builds upon the original games’ foundation but does still take some missteps that may need to be addressed. For starters, is that this is meant to be played standing and there really is no reason to make this standing only save for the light room-scale elements. There is a ‘giant’ mode option designed for shorter people and I ended up using this mode while seated as standing for hours on end just isn’t that comfortable. Unfortunately, the game is meant to be played standing as the game tends to move your in-game position forcing minor positional adjustments in the real world which makes playing seated unnecessarily challenging. It’s doable, but I’ve never seen a VR game lose center as much as Floor Plan 2 does. The only other issue to bring up is just how obtuse some puzzles may be. I’m not taking any points off my final score for this one, but it can sooooo frustrating when you hit those walls and on one occasion, even the operator’s clues didn’t help me leaving me to pull my hair out until I found a walkthrough, where the solution was so simple, I felt like a complete moron for not seeing it. The level of challenge and creativity in the puzzles makes this worth your time, just be warned that despite the casual visuals, this is fairly hardcore puzzler.
Floor Plan 2 is as good as VR puzzler as any out there and this 2nd installment has, in my mind, established it as a franchise to be respected. The puzzles in here are not only challenging but also extremely fun and rewarding. Throw in the story, findable creatures and new solutions on your second playthrough and you get a puzzle solvers’ dream all wrapped up in a very charming package.
What would I pay? This is $25 US, 6 times the originals prices and… totally worth every penny. It’s funny, challenging and has a decent replay factor which makes me highly recommend this title and I can’t wait to see the next entry in this franchise or whatever Turbo Button comes up with next!
Turbo Button provided The VR Grid with a press code for this title and, regardless of this review, we thank them for that!