Review: Salary Man Escape (PS4/PSVR)

Review: Salary Man Escape (PS4/PSVR)

Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PC
  • Oculus Rift
  • HTC Vive

Platform/Hardware Used:

  • PSN Download
  • PS4 Pro
  • HDTV

Extras:

  • PlayStation VR Optional
  • DualShock 4 Required (1)
  • Move Optional (1)
  • PS VR Aim Controller None
Title: Salary Man Escape
Format: PSN (930 MB)
Release Date: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Oasis Games Limited
Developer: Red Accent Studios
Original MSRP: $15.99 (US), €14.99 (EU), £11.99 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
Salary Man Escape is playable in its entirety in both VR and the standard TV setup. I chose to try out the latter to begin with and was pleasantly surprised. You don’t control the nameless man in this peculiar puzzle game, you move the red blocks.

Once a cup of coffee or a shiny coin appears or the path is clear to the exit, the red tie man runs for them. The coins are generally hidden or on a different path and require some clever strategic thinking to allow access to their shiny spinning goodness.

Not every level has a coin but all seem to be more devious in their design than the last. Each one has a time limit but can be repeated as often as you’d like. The completion times aren’t important and as far as I’m aware, not registered, so rushing isn’t necessary, just so long as the bloke gets through the door.

Review: Salary Man Escape (PS4/PSVR) Review: Salary Man Escape (PS4/PSVR)

Now the controls are simple. Using the DualShock 4 motion control or a Move controller to select a red block, you can pull, push, or slide them out of the original spot. This often causes the immovable white blocks to fall into the gap. All the man needs is a somewhat level path to the coffee cup checkpoints or the exit.

Only a few buttons on the standard controller are used to adjust the camera and move blocks and even less on the Move, although you need to be touching the desired piece, which is more hassle than just pointing to it with the regular controller.

Salary Man Escape relies on physics for almost every single level but sometimes it doesn’t go according to plan as blocks snag on each other or twist a tiny amount, making it impossible to line them back up. This means a restart, from either the cup of coffee checkpoint or even right back at the beginning.

Visuals:
The backgrounds are purposely dull with a bland grey palette while the play area feels like an office toy, suspended in midair. The levels are generally hanging over an old office computer or floating outside among the drab and dreary buildings.

Some levels are in almost complete darkness and either the light bar on the DualShock or the ball on the Move acts like a torch. It barely illuminates anything and makes even the simple conundrums that much harder. The VR environment, as you would expect, is much more immersive with some of the backgrounds being part of the menus.

While the physics in Salary Man Escape can be a pain on some occasions, they also provide some humor as not everything on the level is as solid as those blocks. There’s also some text for each level that often results in a few chuckles when read.

Review: Salary Man Escape (PS4/PSVR) Review: Salary Man Escape (PS4/PSVR)

Audio:
The game has some strange but catchy songs which fit surprisingly well but can annoy after a long session. One or two sound effects can be heard but I tend to concentrate on the puzzles anyway so I don’t pay much attention to them.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is one player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
Salary Man Escape is a clever puzzle game that’s easy to understand but difficult to master. I do have to restart more than I’d like due to troublesome physics, but seeing as the levels are generally a couple of minutes long it never becomes a big issue.

I was surprised to find myself preferring the standard way of playing with a regular controller. While the VR mode works well it isn’t quite as refined as one would expect. Still, I’m glad the option is there.

I heartily recommend this nice and fun little puzzle game that’s more addictive than your morning coffee.

Score:
8.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

PS4 Screens

PS VR Screens

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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