A co-op game that doesn’t always offer co-op to the player…
Type: Singleplayer, Co-op
Genre: Action, Local Co-op,
Developer: Huu Games
Publisher: Assemble Ent.
Release date: 15th Dec 2020.
Shakes on a Plane is a Casual chaotic co-op game where you and your friends play as a flight crew. Your goal is to serve all of your passengers on time and obviously keeping the “annoying” passengers in check. The game is all about timing, rhythm, and organization. Let’s just say that you will get a very chaotic 2 minutes out of every game.
NOTE: Updated Review
Remote-Play now works decently when it comes to connecting 3 other EU/Greece players. We played 2 matches after the latest patch and there were obviously some lag issues. At the end of the day, the devs fixed the Remote play experience which was one of the main reasons why I couldn’t give this game a positive rating.
Call me a drama queen but I am truly not trying to make this game look bad. My problem isn’t with this game only but many others. Remote Play can be a game-changer for Coop games that do not offer online services. I mean just think about it, you get a nice coop game but it isn’t optimized at all for single player runs, it doesn’t offer a stable Remote Play experience and it obviously doesn’t have any server. This obviously will make your experience just a little sour. Luckily the devs fixed this issue in their latest update (05.01.2021). Remote Play now works decent enough. 3 of my friends in the EU joined my game (EU as well) and outside of some lag and connection issues, we had a pleasant experience for half an hour.
Shakes on a Plane reminds me a lot of the Overcooked game series and I will have to say that this game is actually a worthy comparison as the gameplay truly is a nice and pleasant experience.
Single-Player gameplay experience:
Keep in mind that the game doesn’t actually let you start without selecting a second character, that alone is weird to me as it should start without questioning the number of players. Nonetheless, this is a small problem in my eyes. Now to the actual gameplay. Your character does have a Special ability but keep in mind that every character offers a special ability that can come in clutch in tight situations so be sure to use them. Another ability is that you can actually change your character mid-game and use the second one you selected earlier. Granted this is completely useless as I have barely used it despite reaching Level 9 using only one character. Lastly, you do have the Dash and Interact button and these buttons will be used 9 out of 10 times in your solo matches. Other than just serving food you do have to pick up and dispose of the trash given to you after the passenger consumed his food. Other than serving food you will have to fight against the turbulence falls that randomly happen throughout a match. Sometimes passengers will stand up and actually block your entrance which will either force you to run them over like a boss but get a negative rating by them or you simply use the interaction key to put them back in their seat. The most hectic part comes when you will have to cook food (for example burgers) and then put it on a plate with other things, this process can easily break your game if you don’t have good coordination and concentration.
Local-Multiplayer gameplay experience:
This was when the game truly shined for me. I was able to play with my brother and another cousin and via Remote Play, we invited one more friend. We were able to get to stage 22 which is still way off but keep in mind that none of them have ever played games like these. Still the experience was a lot less hectic and the pressure wasn’t a thing that concerned us. Everyone had their role, one player was preparing the food another one was putting them on the plate and the other guys were there for serving and disposing of the trash. Remote Play worked very nicely with one player so it still works to some extent. Other than that it was a very pleasant experience but the matches were a little too short in my opinion.
- I really like the last cutscene where passengers leave the plane and give you their rating.
- You can actually throw a kid off the plane or stop him from doing something naughty.
- Remote play still has some smaller issues but when it comes to “same country” remote play it was a solid experience. Kudos to the devs for working on that issue!
- Key mapping is atrocious, usually, a game has a different preset for the Menu and a different one when it comes to the game. Here I had to press LShift instead of Enter or some generic button which was and still is very awkward to use.
Graphics / Audio:
Shakes on a Plane make use of the well-known Unity Engine which gives this game a very cartoony but simplistic design. In the settings, you do only get 3 unlabeled settings when it comes to graphics quality. The difference is barely minimal and only removes shadows if my assumptions are correct.
Audio / Soundtrack:
There isn’t much audio going on. You do get some default sounds by serving the passengers and using the food machines but other than that it is a pretty bland and basic sounding game. The soundtrack matches the game a lot and it actually gets faster when the timer runs out but at the end of the day, it gets boring after 20 minutes. Perhaps some more tracks would help in my opinion.
As mentioned the game runs very well on almost any machine.
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700 X, 32GB Ram, Nvidia RTX 2070 Super:
I was running the game with Maxed settings on 1080p resolution while constantly hitting close to 144fps.
- AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, 16GB Ram,Vega 8:
The game was running with Max Settings in 1080p resolution while constantly hitting 60fps.
- AMD Ryzen 7 3700 X, 32GB Ram, Nvidia RTX 2070 Super:
Shakes on a Plane benchmark completed, 43015 frames rendered in 298.828 s
Average framerate: 143.9 FPS
Minimum framerate: 142.5 FPS
Maximum framerate: 144.6 FPS
1% low framerate: 140.3 FPS
0.1% low framerate: 101.8 FPS
- AMD Ryzen 5 3500U, 16GB Ram, Vega 8:
Shakes on a Plane benchmark completed, 13660 frames rendered in 240.015 s
Average framerate: 56.9 FPS
Minimum framerate: 0.3 FPS
Maximum framerate: 61.1 FPS
1% low framerate: 0.3 FPS
0.1% low framerate: 0.3 FPS
Bugs / Glitches / Crashes:
In 4 hours of being a pretty flight attendant, I experienced no bugs, glitches, or crashes at all.
After the latest update, I can finally recommend this game. The gameplay is very good as well as the performance. The issues with the Remote Play feature got fixed to some extent which only leaves the single-player experience and the controls which I am sure the devs will work on in the future! A pleasant gameplay experience at the end of the day!
The review got updated after the devs dropped their latest patch fixing the remote play experience on the 4th of January 2021