Stick It To the Man! Xbox One Review
An Adventure Game Tucked Inside A Platformer –
With a quirky visual and humorous aesthetic of games like LittleBigPlanet or Tearaway, Stick It To The Man! relies on a 2D world with 2.5D gameplay mechanics and is basically a point-and-click adventure game exposed as a platformer.
Ray, the playable character, is the victim of an accident in the opening scene where he gains the ability to control a giant pink hand, that only he can see, out of his head. This goofy power-up allows the player to platform by grabbing objects with a sort of slingshot effect, pull pieces of the background down, and peel-and-stick stickers on NPCs. He can also read thoughts which is usually the main form of story progression. Even though there are some trial and error platforming, the meat of the gameplay revolves around solving brainteasers like most adventure games of yesteryear.
The “sticking it to the man” aspect comes into play as stages involve leading enemies, or the man, away from particular access points to advance the story. While these chase sequences are entertaining ways to break up gameplay, the floaty jumping mechanics and inaccurate pink-hand controls are finicky at best and can unnecessary stutter the overall gameplay.
This downloadable title shines through with an uncanny amount of personality as the story, characters, and environment play second fiddle to the actual gameplay. With chore-like backtracking and being forced to read the minds of NPCs, some puzzles can come across as tedious as each solution usually involves some crazy task. But these obscure puzzles and their eccentric solutions undoubtedly fit the overall aesthetic of the world it is placed in. The dark humor is something that is rarely seen in games, let alone a lower costing downloadable title, that puts a new and welcomed twist on the platform puzzle genre.