Free To Play Array, Part 05 – The Plan

This article is part of a series. The first part can be found here : Free To Play Array, Part 01 – AdVenture Capitalist

Through my discovery queue, I came across The Plan.
I was about to disregard the game, when I saw it was the first game created by Krillbite Studios. Krillbite are most well-known for their game, Among The Sleep; a game I supported on Kickstarter when I had money. Having enjoyed the small amount of Among The Sleep I have played, I decided to give this a go.

TP01 - Title 01

The Plan puts you in the role of a fly. Wait, stick with it…
You start on the ground and move towards the light at the edge of the screen, travelling through a world. That is it.

TP02 - Game 01

On your journey, you will encounter a handful of set pieces; falling leaves, a spiderweb and strong winds. All of these seem negligible but, as a fly, they are quite substantial challenges to face, for such a fragile being.

TP03 - Game 02

Now, I can’t help but feel my opinions on this will paint me as a somewhat ignorant individual, but I don’t really understand the draw of The Plan.
I understand the power and futility of the journey; the perspective of a being and the impact it has on one’s life. By which, I mean, the fly pursues what it believe to be divine ascension, to which we can see it has been drawn to a fly-zapper and dies.
I also appreciate the idea of the illusion of choice; no matter where you go, you can only proceed along the pre-determined path. After you fly so far, you are actually restricted from going back, only enforcing the fact you can only go forward [up]. It was an accidental discovery, but did catch me off guard.
I even understand the power of the swelling soundtrack and the impact of pairing it with celestial/otherworldly imagery of galaxies and nebulas. I want to write soundtracks and scores, so I am more than familiar with the power of a well-timed musical crescendo.

TP04 - Game 03

But with all of that in mind, it is a four-minute max journey in which the player has no agency. Sure, you “control” the fly, but you don’t really do anything; you can delay the fly’s journey, but nothing else.
I appreciate it is more of an art piece than an actual game, but it is marketed as a game and I don’t feel it delivers on that.
The most perplexing element to me was the inclusion of a “final thought” screen. When the journey is over, you are given an opportunity to write you thoughts and feelings on the experience, although you aren’t actually told that; you are merely present with a blank screen and a flickering typing cursor. I interpreted it as a high score entry; this means that somewhere there are a few simple “Ellen” statements. Ha!
This only enforces the idea of The Plan feeling pretentious, to me.

TP05 - Game 04

What was even more unexpected, but something I really like, is how well received The Plan has been. It may not be my cup of tea, but there are plenty of people who enjoy it and have supported Krillbite with it. Over time, Krillbite have added a secret character to the game and a secret easter egg, to add an element of replay-ability.
That being said, I don’t think it is nearly enough to draw me back. I played through The Plan three times to get the screenshot for this article and I was bored throughout.

TP06 - End 01

I would say The Plan is worth a single playthrough and then you can just delete it. The game has a single achievement which doesn’t trigger on Macs, so maybe I am just a little bitter; who knows?
Yeah, you probably shouldn’t have stuck with it… Sorry…

Ellen often dreams of flying away to the sun, but The Plan has kind of ruined her hopes of success. She managed to capture the screenshots without any risk of electrocution, but one can never be too risky when dealing with the works of Krillbite Studios.
Last played and completed on 10/01/16, for Steam.
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