Although PLANK! is officially described as an arcade game due to its simple gameplay structure, a better way to describe it would be something in the puzzle genre.
It’s a pretty easy game to get into, but getting used to the ever-changing levels can take some time.
You start on a single platform and must go from one to another by connecting them with planks until you finally reach the end, and you fail if your plank is too small or too long.
The game thrives on the concept of minimalism and offers low-poly graphics and simple gameplay. So is it perhaps too simple to hold your interest for long? Let's find out.
The gameplay, as previously mentioned, is nothing complex.
You simply make planks by holding onto the screen and you have to make sure that the size is going to be perfect.
Making the planks too small or too low will cause your character to fall to his doom, albeit with a funny animation.
There are different scores that you can earn from each plank you get right because it can be slightly different in length and the only way to get a perfect score is to make sure it lands exactly on the middle spot of the next platform.
You can unlock new characters which kind of serves as a rewarding experience for completing different levels and there are even unlockable worlds that are slightly different in aesthetics.
In each of the worlds, you can rescue various animals and they begin following you through the levels, which is a nice little touch.
However, besides a little difference in the voice for the characters – absolutely nothing changes in terms of their gameplay and it is the same either way.
Even so, PLANK! is not repetitive at all and is addictive to play because the levels are designed very well. It's fun to guess how long each plank should be and eventually get it right – but even getting it wrong is hilarious and makes you want to retry to get better.
The graphics of PLANK! are very easy on the eyes, which is something I love and it adds to the game’s relaxing atmosphere.
The low-poly models look adequate enough and have a fair amount of detail, and the world of the game is always changing its colors which stops it from getting aesthetically repetitive. It’s nothing top-notch but for a game that’s all about minimalism, it works out well.
The UI and polish are fine, there’s not much to do for a game like this and the game does not have any confusing or over-crowded menus. In the time that I spent playing, I did not encounter any bugs either.
The sound design is nothing special and just does the basic job that you would expect it to, so nothing positive nor negative can be said about it. But I love the screams the characters have when they fall, so it’s neat sometimes.
Now, one thing that I need to mention here is that PLANK! is nothing short of unplayable if you are not willing to pay for the no-ads version. The game is genuinely impossible to play as it throws in a very long ad every time you complete a level or die, which was infuriating to tolerate while reviewing the game. The ads aren’t simple either, most of them are completely unskippable, and those that allow skipping tend to have multiple phases that make it long anyway.
And if that wasn’t enough, a lot of the ads automatically lead to a Play Store pop-up without me touching the screen at all. It’s impossible to enjoy the game in this state, and saying it is unplayable is not at all an exaggeration.
Thankfully, you can purchase the no-ads version, and while the game still tries to make you watch ads for hints and revivals (which is rather greedy), it at least makes the game more playable and fun.
PLANK! is a unique mobile game with very addicting gameplay and beautiful low-poly graphics – so you could find yourself playing it whenever you need a quick gaming break.
However, the free version is unplayable so unless you are willing to purchase it, try a different game that respects its free audience more.