Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad mini Retina
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
In a future post-nuclear world, cities have been encapsulated in self-contained biospheres and are oxygenated by some of the last remaining botanical gardens, each containing the last remnants of the natural world. One lone plant manager is tasked with exterminating the pesky bugs that plague the facility.
As Andy Sprout, players must navigate each level looking for the little critters before luring them onto bug zappers and watching them splatter. Movement is controlled by swiping to run, jump, and use elevator pads. Tapping will stop Plantman in his tracks or activate traps and doors accordingly. Players can also use bait to tempt the bugs onto the shock plates, or get them to clear an overgrowth of foliage that's blocking the path ahead.
In terms of visuals, the greenhouses, monitors, and bug zappers are all linked by an ambient neon glow that is almost hypnotic in nature - providing a brilliant backdrop for the stealth action and strategic play often required. The story is both unexpectedly poignant and consistently funny thanks to the excellent voice acting and dramatic cutscenes, which are definitely worth sticking around for.
At the time of this review there is actually a real-life bug that prevents progress from being saved, causing the Continue button in the menu to initiate an endless loading screen. Fortunately a fix is on the way, so players might want to hold off unless they plan to finish the first episode in one sitting.
Regardless, Plantman is a great platformer that echoes classics such as Abe's Oddysee, thanks to its simple but deceptively challenging gameplay, dependent on manipulating and utilizing others to progress onwards. If the developers decide to charge players to unlock future episodes after this initial free one, Plantman will certainly be worth the asking price.