"Quick, Jeeves, to the local supermarket and fetch me some aspirin. I’ve been playing this bally puzzler that makes no sense. My wrist aches, and it’s driving me further and further into a pit of despair with every passing second!” If only we all had a butler. You could remove the final ‘t’ from this game’s title and it would give a more accurate idea of what to expect. The sad and strange thing is that it really didn’t have to be this way. Plattchen (meaning ‘panels’ in German) has had a lot of time invested in it. It’s nice-looking, and there are some neat ideas in there.
But it plays horribly. The many reasons for this boil down to one gigantic flaw: complexity. Plattchen has a tutorial that seems quite comprehensive, consisting of ten patiently explained lessons, but it tells you almost nothing about how to play the damn thing. We spent half an hour on the first level wondering why we couldn’t clear it, before giving up and restarting.
Plattchen is crushed under the weight of its own rules and a truly awful interface designed by someone with iron wrists. To change the color you’re flipping panels to, you have to twist the remote to move a selection wheel – but really twist it, almost upside-down, and constantly. On levels with two colors, not so bad; on levels with four, it’s a killer. Puzzle games have to be clear with simple rules and logical objectives. Plattchen has neither, and though there might be a brilliant game hidden here, you’ll never find it. And at 1,500 Wii points it’s too expensive to gamble on (though it's a more reasonable 1,000 in the US).
Nov 6, 2008