Stick It To The Man!
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 10

Stick It To The Man is one of those titles that are so much fun to play that you don’t want it to end. Everything from the visuals to the audio is in a class all by itself and the superb humour is just the icing on the cake. The puzzle solving, while not very taxing, is still a blast and the quirky combination of platforming and point and click adventuring makes this a stand out title.

Gameplay: Inside the platform framework beats the heart of a point & click adventure.

Graphics: Fantastic visuals with plenty of memorable scenes.

Sound: Great music and even better voice overs

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Stick It To The Man!

Developer: Zoink! | Publisher: Ripstone | Release Date: 2013 | Genre: Indie / Action / Adventure | Website: Official Website | Format: Digital Download

Ray has a pretty average life, working as a hardhat tester and living with his girlfriend Arlene, until he is knocked out by a mysterious package falling from the sky. When Ray wakes up in hospital he finds himself with what he calls a “pink spaghetti arm” sticking out of his brain. As his insurance doesn’t cover the accident the hospital throws him out and Ray discovers that not only is he the only one that can see his new cerebral appendage, but that it grants him some pretty spectacular powers as well.

At first glance Stick It To The Man appears to be just another 2.5D platform title, albeit one with a very unique art direction, but after playing for a while it becomes clear that there is much more to it. While you will be hopping around platforms and using the spaghetti arm to swing from push pins that dot the levels, the majority of your time is spent listening to the crazy thoughts of other characters and solving puzzles in classic point & click fashion.

Ray not only has the power to read minds but can actually rip thoughts out of people’s heads in the form of stickers and then uses these to solve puzzles. Apart from literally ripping thoughts from people’s heads and stuffing them into the heads of other people, some items or objects in the environments are also stickers. For example, you can rip the teeth out of a vicious alligator and stick it to a small toothless dog to get rid of some goons that are blocking your way. The puzzles are very surreal, but quite brilliant, so as much as I would like to I cannot share any more examples. Trust me, half the fun in the game is working out what bizarre chain of events you have to instigate in order to accomplish your main goals. The spots to use stickers are clearly indicated, so even the most obscure combinations can be figured out with a bit of trial and error.

The areas in the game, which ranges from a city to the inside of a mental asylum and even Ray’s nightmares are made up of cardboard and stickers providing quite a unique visual style. You are not just confined to walking left to right, but can explore levels Metroidvania style to eavesdrop on the thoughts of others. You can pull up a handy map at any time and levels are liberally sprinkled with checkpoints (in the form of copy machines that simply prints a new version of Ray if he bites the dust) so getting lost or stuck is rarely an issue.

Some parts of the level are usually blocked off until you solved a few puzzles and later on you will also encounter goons, working for the titular “Man” that wants to capture Ray. As Ray cannot fight back the only way to get past the goons is avoiding them or using their own thoughts against them.

Playing Stick It To The Man is like watching a Saturday morning cartoon and everything from the visuals to the audio are top notch. The people you encounter are all caricatures with long spindly arms and tiny legs or severely over exaggerated features. The results are pretty grotesque at times, but the game never loses any of its charm. The characters all have unique personalities and I was taken aback by how great the voice acting was. Voice acting in Indie games (and AAA titles for that matter) can be pretty hit or miss, but Stick It To The Man nails it perfectly. Characters tend to speak a little slow, but even with the ability to fast forward through speeches I never skipped any dialogue. The excellent use of audio extends to the music in the game and from the unexpected crooning of Kenny Rogers on the title screen to the wonderfully jazzy soundtrack you are in for a treat.

The gameworld of Stick It To The Man is wonderfully surreal and filled with all kinds of bizarre characters ranging from zombies, suicidal cabbies, mobsters, ghosts, skeletons, robots and in what has to be a first for a game, a pregnant man. Exploring levels to discover what kind of crazy thoughts you will hear next is loads of fun and I found myself laughing out loud on more than a few occasions. From animals that sound like Shakespearian actors to stupid looking goons that might surprise you with their intellectual thoughts you never know what is going to happen next. It is a pity that the game only has ten chapters as I wanted to see more of this wacky and unique gameworld. You can replay chapters if you missed any achievements but there are no secrets or collectables to extend the longevity.

Stick It To The Man is a crazy fusion of platforming and adventure gaming that manages to combine the best of both worlds. The whole game is a big, entertaining romp through one crazy situation after the other and should definitely not be missed.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP or higher
  • Processor: Dual-Core 1.6 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: AMD Radeon 6310 / ATI Radeon HD 4650 or better
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
  • Sound Card: sound card
  • OS: Mac OS 10.7.4 or higher
  • Processor: 1.86 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 320M or better
  • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space

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