One of VR’s best group-oriented titles, Richie’s Plank Experience, finally released on PSVR last week. But, incredibly, developer Toast is now warning some people against buying it.
The studio took to Reddit this week following some backlash surrounding the console version of the game, which has players testing their fear of heights by physically walking along a virtual plank on a skyscraper. On the US PlayStation Store the game has an average user rating of two and a half stars and its down to just two stars in the EU. But on Steam, where the game released last year, it has a user-rating of ‘Very Positive’. Clearly something’s afoot, and I’m not talking about the plank walk.
“We designed Richie’s Plank Experience specifically to be used to entertain your friends and family. It’s a go-to experience to bring out when you have visitors or parties,” the developer wrote on r/PSVR. “So if you don’t plan on using it for this, it’s probably not for you. Please don’t buy it! It is not a game that can be played for hours by yourself.”
The note implies that people have been complaining about the $14.99 price tag (the same as it is on Steam). We haven’t seen the comments for ourselves, but we suspect PSVR owners may have been caught off guard by the game’s emphasis on what Toast calls the Real Plank feature. This allows you to lay a plank down in your play space, measure it, enter those dimensions into the game and then walk along a virtually-identical counterpart to maintain immersion.
Without a plank, the game is considerably less convincing and we somehow doubt that many players have a slab of wood laying around to use (my Rock Band equipment takes up enough space as it is). Toast’s issue, then, is letting people know about that before they buy the game.
“Before you purchase our title we urge you to consider if Richie’s Plank Experience is right for you!” the developer concluded. “Watching the reactions of your friends and family freaking out is where the value is and if the plank doesn’t scare them, the flying may impress them instead.”
Quite an extraordinary thing for a developer to be saying, but it’s admirably honest.