Is it damning praise to say I prefer Escape Plan as a showcase of the Vita's multiple input-doohickies and screeny-wotsits than Little Deviants? Yes, of course it is - because Little Deviants is chuffing rubbish. Escape Plan has poise and style, even if I do get the slight sense of some slick, suited Sony executive gently suggesting to include even more Vita features at every development milestone.
Boot up Escape Plan for the first time and you've got this monochromatic world that immediately catches the eye, trapped in a miserly little penitentiary holding the game's latex-suited mask-wearing duo captive. CCTV cameras watch your every move, and your prison break spirals out across 80-odd levels into factories, workshops and the dumps.
To achieve your planned escape, Lil (thin and little) and Laarg (big and fat) need to get through various screens of mobile-sized puzzles. This is a game modelled around the well-worn template of the App Store market, where levels are short and swift, and completing them with a touch of dazzle and panache gives you the maximum three-star rating.
One of the best features about the game is that Lil and Laarg wear their current death count on their chest, and you can expect those two numbers to get real big real fast. This is a game that revels in grisly, darkly comic executions - from the simplicity of having your brains bashed out by tripping over a brick to the more elaborate demise that comes from being caught in a spinning fan - and you can expect to see the gooey insides of your escapees sprayed across the screen on numerous occasions.
At least nobody can criticise Escape Plan for having a paucity of controls - your swipe, push, poke, squeeze and hold the characters and their environments using just about every single possible combination of inputs available. You can even bash stuff from the background to the foreground using the back panel, which is particularly fancy the first time you see it happen. But the problem here is one of a spiralling economy, and there's simply too much to do and too many options to possibly hope for a sense of chiselled refinement in its execution.
The other fundamental flaw is one of accuracy. This is a precise game marred by inexact controls, and you'll spend increasing amounts of time fighting these oafish input methods the further into the game you get. Escape Plan is a challenge, but the real test for most players will be if they can be bothered to persevere or not.