Developer: Zoink Games
Publisher: Zoink Games
Release Date: 23rd November
Price as of Article: $11.99 USD, £10.99 GBP
You are Ray Doewood, a professional hard hat tester. One day at work a mystery package falls out of a military aeroplane and ironically lands on your head knocking you out cold. In the ensuing dream you find you have a giant pink spaghetti arm sticking out of your head which lets you read minds and helps you swing from ledge to ledge. When you wake up however you realise that this spaghetti arm is real and the blue alien in your brain is real as well, welcome – to Stick it to the man!
Your are thrust quickly into an escapade spanning 10 utterly bonkers chapters, you are on the run for reportedly killing your girlfriend and a sinister plot involving a shady government agent known as The Man, Ted the Alien that crashed into you and all manner of people and otherworldly apparitions and their thoughts. The story is a bundle of laughs from beginning to end.
Fantastic and over the top voice acting throughout the game brings the story to life and hearing a characters innermost thoughts leads to genuine laugh out loud moments, its impressive that every single character in the game is voice acted with ray himself being a standout performer.
The music throughout suits the quirky world and adds to the overall experience, there are 23 unique tracks here to enjoy.
The adventure takes place in a 2D paper craft world that is intetionally roughly drawn and made. The art style is definitely different and reminds me of adult cartoons like Bojack Horseman or South Park. The game makes clever use of its flatness, you can peel back the fronts of certain objects to peek inside and pick up stickers that can be used to solve certain puzzles.
The foreground pops because of this style though the details in the background add to the world – you will see waves moving along, cars zooming around and other day to day features.
On the move the game looks just as good as when docked, perhaps better as the images whilst nice are not that detailed.
Stick it to the man combines platforming with point and click adventuring in a side scrolling fashion set across 10 levels.
You make your way through levels and come up stuck needing to read minds to get clues and stickers which are a manifestation of a thought. A thug out to get you might be thinking about sleeping and you can use this thought sticker to send him to sleep and sneak past in order to progress.
The gameplay is all built around your spaghetti arm and whilst you move your character with the left analog stick you move this arm with the right. You can jump around using B and bring up a map with X and as you collect stickers you can switch between these using Y and A. ZL lets you head into mind reading mode and ZR flings your arm at whatever is selected in order to interact. This can be quite fiddly as the arm is quite wobbly and there are usually a few different possible selections in a small area, whilst this isn’t a major issue through most of the game there are a couple of times when timing is crucial and this becomes a pain.
Whilst technically the game is a platformer this part is really secondary to the main puzzle solving adventuring. As you find yourself unable to progress you need to speak to those nearby and more importantly – hear their thoughts in order to figure out the weird and obscure desires or distractions needed in order for you to get past them. You might find yourself having fun listening in to different characters and with voice acting on every character it can be a bag of laughs to do so. After a while though you will find yourself trying to get through a puzzle and repeating the same voice sections can be a pain – they thought of this and you can use the left analog stick to fast forward and rewind any clip. Each of the 10 levels is cleverly laid out and whilst you might find some of the scenarios a little off the wall making it a bit closer to hit and hope than strategic planning, this is part of the games charm.
It would have been nice to see some more variety and difficulty in the platforming sections, as it stands it feels more like a movie that you are taking part in. The port has been done well and I experienced no performance issues either on the move or when docked, personally I enjoyed the game the most on the move as I found the controls to be a little easier to handle. Touchscreen is not used during the game but rumble is built in.
The game was originally released in 2013 and whilst no new content has been added the performance has been fixed over this time. The cost of the game is fair considering its healthy campaign and full voice acting though there is unlikely to be anything that draws you back for any play after you complete the game.