ReviewsReview: Shakes on a Plane

Review: Shakes on a Plane

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Your dream job fills your head from a young age. Doctors, vets, nurses, teachers, and so forth always make the list. Another industry that’s always fashionable is aviation. No matter the role you wish to take, they are all sexy and undeniably cool. When you are eight years old, that is. If you’ve always aspired to work at thirty thousand feet, but never made it, now is your chance! Shakes on a Plane is a comical, hectic and fun solo and multiplayer experience that lets you live out this fantasy.

It has been developed by Huu Games and Assemble Entertainment, and published by the latter and Whisper Games. It’s a fast-paced, challenging and amusing look at the job of an air steward. The aim is simple, fulfil each passenger’s desires, no matter how weird, and be awarded the maximum score. Sounds easy, right? It’s anything but, and it’ll test the most hardened veterans of the genre.

Shakes on a Plane stands out from its peers.

The multiplayer cooperative genre is loaded with top-end titles. Moving Out, Overcooked, and Tools Up are, to name but a few. I have a soft spot for this genre, and when Shakes on a Plane was released, I jumped at the opportunity to review it. You see, I’m a glutton for punishment, as these games are becoming increasingly harder and more experimental. From stage one my predictions came true, and I knew I was in for a tough but enjoyable time.

The whimsical and bizarre story revolves around a group of aliens who wish to win an interstellar food competition. Their cooking skills are non-existent and so they visit Earth to capture some chefs. Only the best will do, and this eclectic bunch is unusual to look at, and each has special skills. Once the story is explained, the game focuses on fulfilling passengers’ needs.

If you love this genre, you’ll know that the standard mechanics are similar across the board. Where Shakes on a Plane stands out is its combination of theme-specific mechanics. These amusing and tough twists set this apart from its peers and will bring a wry smile even when they are driving you mad.

Complete missions from around the globe.

The difficulty quickly ramps up. 

The gameplay focuses heavily on drip-feeding new mechanics to make the action increasingly hectic and harder. You’ll begin by frying food, serving drinks, and dishing up ice cream. Next, it’ll be smoothies, adding toppings, removal of luggage and passengers, and more. This wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t for turbulence, annoying children, vomit, and moving objects. These problems are but the tip of the iceberg, and it quickly becomes unbearable. 

Attempting to get three stars on every level is tough, and as a solo player, it quickly becomes impossible. You have two characters to share the load, but each is controlled separately. This saves time but is nowhere near as efficient as multiple human players. I’d imagine with three friends this would be hilarious and an enormous amount of fun. Whereas being a lone wolf becomes overwhelming quickly. 

I adored the challenge and lowered my hopes accordingly. I simply wish the developers matched Team17’s option of an easier solo setting.

Keep every passenger happy.

Shakes on a Plane is colourful and captures the aviation industry perfectly. 

I was amused by the little details that reminded me of every flight I’ve taken. The blend of passengers, the bland and calming colours, and the plane layouts were all interesting to look at. The cartoon style adds a comical edge and each of the playable characters is unique with a striking image. The bird’s-eye perspective allows a clear view of the mayhem that unfolds, and visually Shakes on a Plane is well-designed. The gameplay is smooth, and I experienced no problems, even when all hell broke loose. The developers have created several environments and aircraft to explore, and this variety will hold your interest from start to finish. 

The audio comprises the normal upbeat soundtrack that the genre is renowned for. I loved the pace of the music and it’ll drive you to move at a million miles an hour. The sound effects were exceptional, and I chuckled repeatedly. You’ll hear the steward call button, the wind blowing, and turbulence impacting the engines. You’ll not tire of the sound of vomit or angry passengers when you mess up their order. 

Aesthetically Shakes on a Plane delivers what I expected from the genre. Yet, its little nods to air travel were appreciated and make the game that bit more enjoyable.

Why not serve food and beverages in an alien ship?

Hectic, difficult, but easy to control. 

Yes, the gameplay is brutally tough, and you’ll be fed up with Joan in seat 21c, but the controls are a dream to master. An extremely basic layout allows you to focus on cleaning up sick, serving food, and ejecting annoying brats. You’ll master the fundamentals in no time, and new mechanics are thoroughly explained at the start of each level. The developers covered every base, and I was very grateful for their effort. 

Shakes on a Plane is addictive and will keep you playing. However, its peers perform better with challenges and drawing you back in. Sadly, there are no additional aims and this prevents it from excelling. I was desperate for the game to have secret collectables or tasks for me to achieve, yet none exist. This was an oversight and I hope it can be rectified in future DLC. 

Shakes on a Plane is fantastic fun, especially in a group. 

This is undoubtedly a fun game to play! It’ll test your resolve and will push you to your limit. If you have a group of friends who enjoy couch co-op action, you’ll have a great time. As a solo gamer, it’s not as enjoyable and feels a little imbalanced. There are minor shortcomings, but these are overcome because of the excellent game mechanics. I had a great time and recommend you buy it here! Jump onboard your aircraft, serve up some food, and keep everyone happy. 

SUMMARY

Shakes on a Plane is a hectic but fun cooperative title. Play solo or with three friends as you serve every passenger and overcome each obstacle. The difficulty becomes much harder as new mechanics are drip-fed, so, stay calm, serve every passenger, and collect your well deserved three-star reward.

+ Wonderful cartoon aesthetics.
+ Excellent audio.
+ Challenging and fun mechanics.
+ Plenty of variety and lots of replay value.
+ Easy controls.
+ Stands out from its peers.
- No online mode.
- The difficulty can be to harsh for solo players.

(Reviewed on Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: Shakes on a PlaneShakes on a Plane is a hectic but fun cooperative title. Play solo or with three friends as you serve every passenger and overcome each obstacle. The difficulty becomes much harder as new mechanics are drip-fed, so, stay calm, serve every passenger, and collect your well deserved three-star reward. <br/> <br/> + Wonderful cartoon aesthetics. <br/> + Excellent audio. <br/> + Challenging and fun mechanics. <br/> + Plenty of variety and lots of replay value.<br/> + Easy controls. <br/> + Stands out from its peers. <br/> - No online mode. <br/> - The difficulty can be to harsh for solo players. <br/> <br/> (Reviewed on Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)<br/>