Salary Man Escape (PS4, PSVR, PC)

People with mundane desk jobs know the feeling of wanting to escape, so here’s a physics-based puzzle game with those themes.  Each stage is a maze of blocks, and you must create a safe path so a briefcase-carrying business man can make it to a door.  To do this, you must remove blocks so other blocks will move or fall into place.  So it’s a bit like Jenga.  Salary Man Escape is available to download on PS4 and PC, and will also work with VR devices like PSVR.  But since I don’t have a VR headset, it’s just reviewed on PS4 here.

One of the unique things about this game is that it uses aspects of the PS4 controller not used in most titles.  You must use the motion controls to aim a cursor on the screen to highlight blocks you can move.  You can tell which blocks you can move because they will be red.  Then you must ‘grab’ them with the R2 button and then use the R stick to move them around.  When you’re not holding onto a block, you can also use the R stick to move the camera around to get a better lay of the land.

Once the salary man has a safe path to the door, without any slopes too high or anything he has to jump over, he’ll make a mad dash to the door.  Some levels have cups of coffee that act as checkpoints, and if you can make a safe path to those, the salary man will run to them and then you can start from there if you mess up.  Some levels have hidden coins, too.  If you can make a path to them, the salary man will run to them.  Collect enough coins to unlock secret levels.  The game will end if blocks fall on the salary man or the door, or if you run out of time.  Sometimes you must also start levels over or at the checkpoint if you mess up.

Since this is a physics-based game, sometimes blocks will fall in a way that’ll keep you from completing the level, even if you did it the right way.  So you may have to start levels over.  The only other problem I had with the game was that when you start a level, the timer automatically counts down.  I wish they would’ve let it sit there so you can look at everything, and then start the timer as soon as you move a piece.  But otherwise, this is a very fun and quirky puzzler.  The Japanese music and work-based humor make me think of games like Katamari Damacy and Intelligent Qube, and there are tons of levels, too.

Kid Factor:

Blocks can fall on your little worker man, but you usually don’t see him, and that’s as violent as it gets.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, and younger players may get frustrated at the high difficulty and controls.  Salary Man Escape is rated E for Everyone.

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