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Published 05.11.2021 00:00
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Plan B from Outer Space review

What would you do if you crash-landed on an alien planet? That's the question Plan B From Outer Space poses as its premise, except you play as an alien and the foreign land you find yourself in is Bavaria. You know, the south-eastern region of Germany, on Earth, with the aliens being just human beings. This role reversing setup makes for an entertaining "choose-your-own-adventure"-style romp, but is a relatively quick play and not particularly substantive, making it a questionable value proposition.

Shape your narrative

Plan B From Outer Space is a text-driven adventure game where you play as an interstellar traveler on a sophisticated spaceship with an advanced AI system onboard. The game starts giving some exposition about your character and their past exploits, which gives you the opportunity to choose what kind of character to play as, including a few prompts to give your alien race some background as well as a character creation menu to customize the look of your alien to your liking.

From there, the adventure well and truly begins with your spaceship getting hit with a foreign object, forcing an emergency landing on the closest nearby planet. From here, you go on an adventure with your AI companion to try and find a way to repair your ship and leave without letting any intelligent life know you were ever there.

Blend in with Bavarians

Very quickly into your journey, you realize that your alien has crash-landed on Earth and must avoid detection from all different kinds of folks like hunters, FBI agents, and random bystanders. Fortunately, your alien race has the natural ability to change shape at will, which makes this adventure a lot less about strict sneaking around and more about awkwardly trying to navigate human customs as a being that has no context on how to blend in outside of their own, limited observations.

This narrative setup is a large part of what makes Plan B From Outer Space so enjoyable. It's charming writing daringly invents absurd ways for you to get into funny predicaments in your attempts to deceive the humans around you, and--for the most part--doesn't have too many dead ends or barriers in place that force you to rely on trial-and-error to make your way through the game.

A brief encounter with aliens

Without a ton of fail states in Plan B From Outer Space (though there are a few), the entire game flows so smoothly to the point that it feels somewhat short. For a game about a place so specific as Bavaria, you visit only one notable landmark and otherwise play through 3-4 chapters where you're largely trying to blend in with random groups of people for long enough to complete an objective.

This is to say that I don't necessarily thing Plan B From Outer Space should have been harder so much as a little more ambitious in the places it takes you to and things it has you do. I say this particularly because the game's asking price feels quite high for an experience that will take a couple hours at most to complete.

The bottom line

Plan B From Outer Space is an entirely enjoyable experience, but it's perhaps a little too breezy and light as an experience. It doesn't necessarily leave a lasting impression, nor does it give you much of a reason to return to it. For what it is, it's fun, but I'm not so sure I'd pay the price being asked for it.

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