Floor Plan 2’s warm humor, playful puzzles and moments of genius offset its sometimes obscure puzzling. More in our Floor Plan 2 review!
I haven’t done this for a while. Laughing in VR, that is. Trawling back through the list of our most recently reviewed games, I’ve come to realize that VR’s gotten very serious of late; it’s all zombie apocalypses and epic quests. Not that those are bad things, of course, but that touch of Schell Games’ secret agent parody or Squanch’s absurdist shouting has been missed.
Floor Plan 2 brings it back in droves. A fitting release for this most cursed of days.
This is a wonderful bit of VR puppetry, a 3+ hour Willy Wonka ride with gameplay ingenuity to match its glowing positivity. Floor Plan 2 is a logic-based puzzle game in a completely illogical world; as a new employee of the Puzzl Corporation — whose mission to help anyone with any problem has fallen on hard times in the age of smartphone searching — you travel between the floors of its reality-defying headquarters, solving challenges in hopes of reaching mysterious artefacts.
One floor, for example, is a museum housing historic items. Above it, though, is a rotating bathroom that you can flip upside down and a nightclub for sunglass-wearing chickens that give you the evil eye if you tamper with their music. Later on you’ll enter a beehive and a space station.
If you have any experience with the first game’s friendly personality, you’ll know what to expect here – environments are vibrant, interactive playgrounds but it’s the characters within them that really stand out. Puzzl’s employees are overly-chirpy Muppets with big, beady eyes that you can’t help but smile in the presence of, and there’s a momentary spark of human reaction when you try to swipe a security guard’s hat off of his head or steal a radio out from under the hands of a snoozing frog. I also love the puppetized hands you control and the fantastic stretchy inventory system, which I think might be the best I’ve used in a headset.
One particularly brilliant moment has a companion silently communicating with you through a window, directing your hand to the correct switches. It’s an incredible bit of VR-centric gameplay that capitalizes on both the unique interaction and connectivity the medium offers.
Puzzle solving can be similarly euphoric. In the training area alone you’ll be greasing finger traps with butter and finding long-lost items hidden under worn hats. Floor Plan 2 graduates from the Grim Fandango school of brain-teasing; there’s not a recurring hook to the challenges and most require some insane stretch of logic, though the game does a good job of helping you along the path. Or at least, it does at first; Floor Plan 2 is mainly split between two environments, and the second is larger, more complex and ultimately more troublesome that the first.
If you’ve ever lost 30 minutes frustratingly trying to force every item upon every obstacle in a LucasArts or Double Fine game, you’ll be familiar with this sensation. Most of Floor Plan 2’s puzzles do a good job of sign posting their bizarre logic, but there are a handful of road bumps that even the game’s two-hints-per-puzzle tips system can’t quite point you in the right direction of. In one case I had to go back and reuse a machine I’d already solved a puzzle on, but this time purposefully break it to set off a chain reaction. There wasn’t a lot of indication that I needed to use the machine again and, when I happened upon the solution, it felt cheap. There’s an even more criminal element to the final puzzle too.
But, even as those moments begin to stack and threaten to grate on the game’s charm, the latter eventually wins out. Also — and I acknowledge that this is far easier said than done — I wish the game had a means of reigning levels in, as people in smaller play spaces might struggle with the assumed amount of virtual space you have. There is a system for extending your hands to grab objects and a giant mode that puts things within arms’ reach, but much of the magic comes from human-scale, close-up interactions.
Once your done Turbo Button remixes both segments to give you more challenges, and there are bonuses to unlock by hunting out adorable red fluffy creatures. Even with all that considered, I would have definitely welcomed a third or fourth ‘main’ area to flesh the experience out, though the developer says a third elevator will be added for free post-launch.
Floor Plan 2 Review Final Impressions
Floor Plan 2 feels like a VR episode of The Muppet Show, not just in the hilarious absurdity of its world but also in the constant, invigorating ingenuity of its puzzles. Though the solutions start to become a little too obscure for their own good towards the end of the game, its winning personality and brilliant VR-centric mechanics kept me determined to overcome those roadblocks, and I mostly felt rewarded for doing so. We could all use a laugh right now, and Floor Plan 2 gives you plenty of reasons to smile.
For more on how we arrived at this score, read our review guidelines. What did you make of our Floor Plane 2 review? Let us know in the comments below!