App Army Assemble: Rubicon: Plan B from Outer Space - Should this comedic sci-fi game be your next adventure?

We ask the App Army

App Army Assemble: Rubicon: Plan B from Outer Space - Should this comedic sci-fi game be your next adventure?

Plan B from Outer Space is a narrative-driven adventure game that sees players creating their own alien before trying to escape a group of Barbvarians. Or, you can look to try and conquer the planet for yourself. It's a game with multiple endings then, so we sent the App Army to see how they would approach the game.

Here's what they said:

Brian Wigington

Interactive Fiction games tend to be a polarizing genre and I feel that this game is no exception. While I had some fun, I think those that are true fans of games in the genre will enjoy it more. Essentially, the game starts with an alien of your choosing landing on a planet with no way to get home. Your ship's AI is your only help in communicating with your "people" to get you safely back home. The game has a lot of bits of humour injected into the dialogue which are sometimes successful and other times are a bit too corny.

I did enjoy your character's and the AI's descriptions of things on the foreign planet. You are able to make choices from several dialogue choices which affect the path of the particular playthrough. You are then treated to paragraphs of text to progress the story as you try to learn about people and/or how to be rescued. There are more than a dozen endings depending on how you play through the game. I personally feel like a few endings are all I care to play through but others will surely want to see them all. The amount of endings is admirable in a premium game like this.

The game art is pretty well done and the characters have neat, short animations as you converse. The music is pleasant but did not really stand out to me. I experienced no crashes and was only mildly annoyed at the achievement pop-ups. Again, I enjoyed the initial playthrough but I feel I may not be a big enough fan or possibly that the game gets a bit tiresome after a playthrough. I recommend waiting for a bit of a sale unless you really love interactive fiction. I do however see myself coming back to the game to relax and try some different choices to see what happens.

Oksana Ryan

This was a good version of an interactive novel. From choosing your character to the text, it was good to read and direct with the interactive choices. There were pictures at the top of the screen to help visualise the story as it unfolded and there was plenty in the story to keep you interested. There are multiple directions to take the game which gives it greater playability. There were a couple of things that I would have changed. The writing is in the second person, where I would have liked it in the first person, which would have given the story a more personal feel. And the background music was very boring and I spent all but the first ten minutes or so with it switched off. That said, I still enjoyed it overall and will try a few more combinations towards different endings.

Robert Maines

Plan B from Outer Space is a variation of ‘Choose your own adventure’ for your phone. You must help an alien to get home by choosing actions that influence how the story plays out. Graphics are very simple and you will be mostly reading a lot of text. It feels like something that would be at home on old computers. I don’t know if it’s down to translation or differences in humour between English and Germans but the jokes often fall flat or just plain cringe-worthy (the ship AI being called ASS for goodness sake). However, the actual plot is fun to play out and it’s full of sci-fi references. I liked the game but I’ve been playing video games once the 80s. Not sure it will appeal to a younger crowd as replaying sections gets repetitive fast and the gameplay is so old school.

Sven Herrmann

This game is fun to play. I played it in English and in German and you can tell the person doing the localisation into English wasn’t a native. The story is fun to read the humour could’ve been a little more sarcastic, though. This game is for people who love to play inkle’s titles because to get the full story (with every start), you have to read a lot of text. I like the game and due to the number of different endings will definitely go for another round once in a while. Thanks for letting me test it!

Owen Buck

First off, I really appreciate the chance to test this game. However, it was not for me I'm afraid. A mix of a choose your own sci-fi and light humour. The game is nicely presented and well crafted, but wasn't to my taste. Found myself wanting to skip the text at times rather than read. Reached the end in around 20 to 30 minutes. Ending number 19, so I'm assuming at least another 18 possibles. Unfortunately not enough of a draw for me to want to experience any of the others. I'd go a 2.5 out of 5 for it. OK if you like that kind of thing, but I feel the proposed £4.99 (I seem to remember) price tag is far too high.

Diane Close

Plan B from Outer Space is an absolutely delightful choose-your-own narrative adventure game. I’ve played a lot of these–everything from Tim Man Games’ Oeuvre through Inkle’s offerings to the Lifeline series and indies like A Dark Room. Few of them enthralled me so much I stuck around for the finish. Fewer still I would consider keeping on my phone after a playthrough and return to it again and again. This was one of those!
The plot is interesting, the writing clever (even given a few grammatical errors in English), and the story itself is very amusing. There are a lot of in-jokes for the sci-fi crowd, and even more for those who like clever wordplay.

I encountered a couple of buggy issues in my first playthrough worth mentioning. One was that the 3-hat bar at the bottom of the screen doesn’t always respond right away to touch, and sometimes it took 5 or 6 presses to advance to the next screen. Another is the way the achievement system has been implemented on Android: when you complete an achievement, the system pops up the entire list of available achievements and you must dismiss this before what you actually achieved is briefly revealed in a much smaller box.

I highly recommend this text-choice adventure! My favourite thing about it: you get a choice of playing as a violent and war-like being, a peaceful and nature-loving one, or an ambitious business person. I wasn’t expecting such diverse choices at all! And this diversity extends to the world map choices when they are revealed as well. Kudos to the developers for this!

Mark Abukoff

It took me a while to warm to this. It’s an interactive story with wild and kind of bathroom humour, which was cute. It has fun with classic sci-fi tropes and Bavarian culture plus plenty of conspiracy theory madness that kept me engaged and amused. I didn’t realize at first that the only save points were at the chapter ends, so I did a bit of repeating... only to find myself eventually caught and dissected (but at least I got a few beers in first).

No problem though, because there are multiple choices to make so lots of story paths and lots of possible endings. Plus there’s the option to replay chapters so you can try to correct any mistakes. The graphics are cute and appropriate for the mood of the game. Controls are basic and simple. The music was okay but ultimately distracted me from reading all the text, so I turned it off. Overall it’s a cute adventure with lots of humour and appealing graphics. A solid entry in the interactive story/narrative genre.

Max Williams

This is the first time I've played a "narrative game". I'd always wondered if it was literally like reading a book, with some story options, and the answer is "Yes" in this case. I must admit that it didn't really grab me. Even in games like Mass Effect or Skyrim, I find myself skipping through the dialogue trees as I can't really be arsed reading it, so a game that consists solely of dialogue trees was never going to work for me. I didn't get very far into it before I lost interest and quit.

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