(This walkthrough applies to Plangman v1.7.0 and above.)

Level 1

Use the arrow keys or WASD to move. Jump using Up, W, or X. (Native controller input is also supported.) Select letters using space, and attempt to guess the word represented by dashes at the top of the screen.

Select the atom to get a visual clue for the word you’re guessing.

Tip: Pay attention to the visual clues…you’ll need to use information gleaned from them later in the game.

Tip: To avoid a double penalty when selecting an incorrect letter over empty space, run or jump to the right or left after selecting it so you don’t fall into the abyss.

Level 2

Select the letter with the arrow pointing to it, which will cause it to drop. Push it to the right or left, and use it as a step to get up to the other letters.

Level 3

Select and drop the blank block and pillar, then push the blank block to the right. Use it as a step, then ride the elevator up to the next section. Jump left off the elevator and clear the gap over the starting area to reach the uppermost letters.

Level 4

Ride the elevator up, jump to the left, and drop both blank pillars. To reach a letter covered by a blank block, select the blank block and push it off the letter it’s covering.

Level 5

Collect the bomb to your right, then press B to destroy the blank block and create a passageway. Run to the right and get the jetpack. Fly around and explore. Pay attention to the arrows.

Extra bombs: 3

Tip: there are quite a few bombs hidden throughout the game, and you can carry them between levels. Collect as many as you can in order to access a special area at the end of the game.

Captain Goodnight Hangman
The initial prototype of what eventually became Plangman, circa 1999.

Level 6

Drop wrong letters onto the enemies to kill them. To get the clue, activate the blank block at the entrance to the winding upward passage and push it left. After winding your way to the top, jump over the enemies and drop through the chute onto the atom.

Extra bombs: 1

Level 7

Select the vertical pillar, then push it left to form a bridge.

Level 8

Watch out for those enemies! To access the section over to the right, jump onto the horizontal pillar, wait for the elevator to come down, then drop the pillar, run to the right, and jump onto the elevator. Then drop the blank block into the gap to allow the enemy to move out of your way and collect a bomb.

Extra bombs: 1

Level 9

If you can’t figure this one out, select the horizontal pillar at the beginning of the level and wait. What happens next is a hint. If that doesn’t help, here’s the solution: drop a wrong letter to the left of the second enemy, and let him push it for you.

Level 10

Stack up a couple layers of wrong letters (two on the bottom and one on the top works well), and push them to the right to form a staircase.

Extra bombs: 3

The game's visual style was inspired by watching my son play Choplifter on this Apple II+ rescued from my parents' attic.
The game’s visual style was inspired by watching my son play games on this Apple II+.

Level 11

Collect the bomb and press B to detonate the horizontal pillar. Wait for the enemies to get close before doing so, and the explosion will take them out as well.

Level 12

Bomb your way through one of the eye holes.

Level 13

Collect the bomb, drop the right blank block, then detonate the left blank block. This will jettison the right blank block off the letter you need. To the right there’s a bonus section. Drop the ball and roll it slowly to the right. Then ride it down the staircase as it takes out enemies.

Extra bombs: 1

Level 14

Collect the bomb and select the two wrong letters on either side of the blank block. Then detonate the blank block to knock them out of the way.

Level 15

Select the two pillars, collect the bomb, and detonate the center blank block. Then select the horizontal pillar that was underneath, collect the jetpack, fly beneath the pillar, and lift the pillar from its place.

Extra bombs: 3

It takes a lot of paper and ink to make a video game.
It takes a lot of paper and ink to make a video game.

Level 16

De-activate letter gravity, push the rightmost letter, and ride it across the chasm. To get the clue, ride a block to the right and jump back to safety immediately after activating the atom.

Level 17

De-activate letter gravity, push a block to the right, and ride it. Midway through you’ll come to a lone block. Before your ride hits it, jump onto it and select it. When your previous ride collides with it, the impact will propel you forward.

Level 18

Drop the wrong letter to your right, de-activate letter gravity, then use the horizontal pillar to push the block to the left. Quickly hop on before it gets away.

Extra bombs: 1

Level 19

There are two wrong letters to your right. Drop the rightmost one and push it right. Then drop the other one and push it left. De-activate letter gravity, pop the lone wrong letter block straight upward, and the inverted enemy should begin walking across it, allowing you to pass.

Level 20

De-activate letter gravity, push the block to your right, then re-activate letter gravity when the enemy is under you. Push the block to the right, use it as a step, and take a flying leap. Drop the block that obstructs your way into the little tunnel (running to the right as it falls). Drop the last block at the end of the tunnel and jump off as it falls to get the jetpack.

Extra bombs: 2

Tip: The arrangement of the bonus stars in this level is not random, but follows the shape of a certain constellation.

Some of the visual clues, pre-pixellation.
Some of the visual clues, pre-pixellation.

Level 21

Push the ground-level wrong letter to the right through the small passageway, then back to the left, and use it as a step. Drop the horizontal pillars out of the way, then the vertical pillar.

Level 22

Stack two blocks and push them to the right to access the castle basement.

Extra bombs: 1

Level 23

Don’t collect those stars! (At least, not yet.) Select the wrong letter to your right, then detonate the pillar beneath it to propel the letter to the next pillar. You’ll then need to position the letter roughly where it was on the first pillar, and detonate the second pillar. Carefully jump onto the block as it teeters on the stars to access the final set of letters.

Level 24

Jump off the stars, then bop the inverted bad guy using de-activated letter gravity. To get past the gang of inverted enemies, let the nearby non-inverted enemy push a block onto the elevator, then de-activate gravity to send the block upward.

Tip: Some of the earlier levels contain shortcuts that involve jumping off stars/atoms. Use these shortcuts to achieve faster “Time to Complete Level” scores.

Level 25

Did you notice any recurring number in the visual clues earlier in the game? (Solution: the number of letters in the English alphabet.)

Allusion Collage
Plangman contains a number of small nods to classic games. Did you spot any of them?

Level 26

Extra bombs: 4 (plus a bunch at the end of the hourglass tower section)

Tip: You need 10 bombs to access the hourglass tower to the right of the starting area. If you get to level 26 and don’t have enough bombs, but don’t want to replay from the start of the game, you can press K to move back one level at a time to a place where you can start to pick up some bombs (such as level 20), and play forward from there.

Tip: The “move back one level” key (K) can also be handy if you’re looking to get a top “Time to Complete Level” score, since it allows you to repeatedly retry a level.

What’s Next? Now that you’ve finished the game, why not try creating your own level?


Have you seen him?
Have you seen him?