This article has been archived and may have some errors due to a previous design of MGL. None of the review has been altered however. Indie Games, oh how we do love them on My Games lounge! We have recently brought our members a fantastic interview with Martin Turton from Clever Beans providing a fantastic insight into what it’s like to make an Indie game and what companies set out to achieve.

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But once again the indie games developers have shown us exactly why they are releasing some of the best games out there at the moment with this incredibly funny and engrossing title from Zoink Games: Stick it to the man.

Stick It follows the unfortunate story of Ray, A hard hat tester who spends his days being whacked on the head with objects hoping his hard hat is strong enough to protect him… he then gives them a star rating based on how many he sees after impact! You may all be pulling a face right now but this is one of the parts of the story that makes the most sense. The adventure is a quirky and hilarious one with Ray being hit with an Alien craft on the head and being given mind reading abilities from a pink, spaghetti hand popping out of his head.

As I said… it’s quirky!

Look and Feel

You have to hand it to Zoink here, this is some seriously unique and out there narrative about a man who was slightly strange to begin with, becoming even weirder with the addition of an alien living in his brain!

The cardboard cut out scenery really works well with the cool lighting effects and adds to the quirky theme of the game!

Sometimes being a bit unusual can work really well, others it falls flat on its face: with Stick It To The Man it’s spot on and really pulls you into the game. Some of the characters you meet as you solve puzzles in a 2D world (with some depth much like Little Big Planet) put together in a paper/cardboard cut-out style that really does look cool and the south park style bobbling heads when people talk adds to the style of this title. Effects like making Ray out of a piece of paper every time you die or get caught by The Man’s goons, after you and what’s in your head, really make you smile.

Everything is laid out like a typical platformer with a slight twist that you use the pink mind arm to grab red pins in the environment to move from section to section, a nice addition. The looks of the game are great with a varying style depending on where you are; on the streets, in a mental institution, a space station or even Ray’s vivid imagination.

Story

One of Zoink games priorities is strong narratives that really suck you in, make you laugh and ultimately enjoy your experience. This is very evident in the game. The overarching story is one of Ray and the lost alien in his head having fallen from a military plane and whacked him on his way home. The Man, a shadowy chain smoker is after the alien and it’s abilities so therefore chases Ray leading to all kinds of problems. Ray during all this has no idea what’s going on really, not that he has much of an idea what is going on in general. He’s a great lead character and says some very funny things at times as does Ted, the alien and the characters of the world.

Some of the characters and random things they say as part of the story really make you laugh out loud.

What I found great about this game were the small stories people were going through in the world and some of the very stupidly funny things people say and the predicaments they are in. A woman is infatuated by a Mob Don because of his shiny, white teeth and her husband is going to hang himself as his are not so pearly white… quite the opposite in fact. You help them by solving various puzzles in the world in order to get stickers, more on these shortly.

The overall story and the little missions along with some interesting and quite hilarious characters make this game from being good to great in my opinion, and some of the cut scenes are worth the cost of the game alone.

Gameplay

Platforming and puzzle solving, with some interesting stickers and characters!

As stated, it’s a puzzle based platformer. No form of fighting is involved, you will be finding your way across a 2D area (with 3D elements) in order to either escape your own imagination or find you way past a particular obstacle; finding your way out of an mental hospital for instance. There are areas populated by goons or other people who chase you but they will stop if you can get past them to an area they can’t get to.

Then there are the stickers! The reason its called stick it of course; you earn stickers by finding them in the environment or reading peoples thoughts. These can then be used on people to make them change their behaviour, more simple examples mean that you can read a sleepy goon’s mind and steal a ZZZ sleepy sticker. You slap this on any in your way or chasing you and they instantly go to sleep. Then there are the specific puzzle based ones where you find some items that can help people out of their predicament, for example one person is struggling with a split personality: a serious doctor and a party animal! You stick some dance music to him and off he flips into his alter ego and you can then take a sticker of him to solve another puzzle in the level.

The way they all integrate together and some of the things you need to do are brilliant and make the 10 chapters very fun and engaging. There was the odd time it was hard to figure out exactly what to do but not overly often. Using the arm is really fun and the thoughts of people, that change depending on what you may stick to them, are always worth listening to. Occasionally the control on the Vita was a bit tricky to grab certain minds or stickers, I didn’t play on PC but I would think it would be easier with mouse clicks. It would have been perfect had they integrated the Vita’s touch screen here but it’s not overly concerning and does not spoil the experience.

Overall

The reason I got a Vita was for Indie Games and the Final Fantasy X remake. This game has proven the console is worth the cash but of course you can get this for PC from steam here. Everything about this title is what makes indies so special and unique while delivering a title that is as good as anything out there published by the big boys. It’s funny, enjoyable and puts a big smile on your face every time you play. More than enough reason to get this for the reasonable price of £9.99 on Vita.

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