Stick It To The Man! is an interesting platformer / puzzle game in which players take on a main character Ray, who after a mysterious head injury can now read minds. Everything opens up with a subliminal dream sequence – which may be taken as a metaphor preluding to later events – as players get the character to awaken himself from the dream and discover a parasite of some sort within the brain.
When the character awakens from this dream-world then it becomes apparent that something is definitely not normal as the player’s main character now has a hand growing from inside his brain and the ability to read minds, transfer thought processes, and must use these over the course of the rest of the game to solve social puzzles such as suicidal cab drivers, alligators that only crave human flesh, a mafia don with a stolen girlfriend, and much more.
Eventually this mind-reading ability begins to get the best of our main character and reveal the world around him as something he may not have wanted to be a part of. Having such a detailed look at people’s intimate thoughts often gives a sense of surreal and unsettling hopelessness in the environments the game takes place in.
Most of the gameplay consists of turning this up on its side by having players attempt to solve these social problems. Tags are collected, called “stickers”, which are basically thought bubbles or items that players can slap onto non-playable characters – attempting to end their suffering, solve their problems, or just divert them from their original goals for the greater good. Length can be an issue for some players as the title runs a bit short, however the asking price is not too steep for such an experience so this is negligible depending on a gamer’s budget. There’s a lot to this game that seems to be done right and have us geared up for a great experience, it’s just unfortunate that it seems to fall short of knocking that potential out of the park – mainly due to repetition in gameplay and an art design that is not always easy on the eyes.
Graphically Stick It To The Man! is presented as a combination of 3D models and hand-drawn graphics. These visuals are not the best ever seen by a long-shot, and could have been better. Most indie gamers will have no problem trudging through the way the game looks in order to experience its gameplay and story – but some who are not so found of hand-drawn graphics will surely not mistaken this title for a higher budget game.
The soundtrack and voice acting found in the game are very well done, and level design is equally well thought-out, all of which fit the scenario at any given time quite well. The main soundtrack’s theme song stuck out as particularly interesting, with a pretty good fit for the game’s overall message and an interesting song in and of itself. Gameplay is going to be a hit or miss for many players, as most Puzzle games are. If this game is something you think you’d be interested in – you owe it to yourself to try it at least.
Overall, there is not much to complain about with Stick It To The Man! delivering a unique and intriguing puzzle / platformer for the PlayStation and PC platforms. The looks are something that take a minute to get used to, but come across as fitting once players seep into the world that is being offered by developer Zoink! in this game. Audio stands out as the most polished aspect of the game while gameplay tends to be a bit tacky and repetitive but serves the narrative well and manages to pull off cohesion. In the end, this game could have come out a lot worse – but we can’t help but feel like there’s a lot of untapped potential and hope to see this pursued in the future by the developer and their projects going forward.
Overall Score: 6.5 / 10
Publisher: Ripstone Games
Available On: PC | PS3 | Vita
Played On: Sony PlayStation 3
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review