Stick It to the Man
Developed by: Zoink Games
Published by: Zoink Games
Release date: November 23, 2017
Available on: Nintendo Switch, iOS, PC, Ps4, Xbox One, PS Vita
Genre: Puzzle, Platformer
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: Everyone for Alcohol Reference, Comic Mischief, Fantasy Violence, Mild Blood, Use of Tobacco
Pros: Great cartoon cut out graphics, unique gameplay with your “spaghetti hand”
Cons: Dialogue can be overwhelming and grabbing things with your hand can be inaccurate.
Thanks to Zoink Games for the review copy of this game!
The acclaimed puzzle platformer, Stick it to the Man, has finally made it’s journey to the Nintendo Switch. This game has gathered several positive reviews and has been released on many other consoles, including even a mobile port. The game released on Thanksgiving and I couldn’t help but be thankful that this game has come to the Nintendo Switch eshop. The game is outstanding in its writing, graphics, unique gameplay, and is a high-quality port.
Stick it to the Man has ten chapters and each chapter has its own distinct level. Your main goal is to exit the level, which is easier said than done. In the second chapter, something happens to Ray, the main protagonist, that grants him a hand that grows out of his head. Crazy right? You then learn to use this hand to grab pins and tear things down to see what is in buildings. A level later and you learn you can use your hand to read people’s minds and this is the key to successfully exiting a level and progressing the story. The gameplay hook here is platforming, solving puzzles, and light combat. After you read a person’s mind, which are hilarious at times, often a sticker will pop up above their head that you can grab. Other times it will reveal that that character or thing needs a sticker. Your job is to match the stickers to the proper people or things. This is the puzzle part of the game. The way I handled it was by exploring each level and reading every person’s mind, then backtracking to match the stickers to the needs of the people or things. Once you place the stickers in their proper place, you will complete the level and move on. There is even light combat, as agents are sent to kill you because of the power of your pink hand. Most levels will have them, and you must either avoid them, or read their minds, to get a combat sticker. When you read an enemies mind, sometimes you will get a sticker that helps get around them. One is a sleeping sticker and when placed on an enemy he will fall asleep for a few seconds. Another combat sticker is your face that you can place on an enemy. The other agents will then follow that enemy with Ray’s face on him, letting you sneak around them. If you run into an agent you will die and be sent back to the last check point you activated.
Each level is polished and looks fantastic. The graphics are sharp and have a cardboard box or paper cut out look to them. Some levels have a darker tone to them than others. Ray and all the characters look different and unique. Cardboard cut outs of lights will have a nice light glow that comes off them. Your hand that comes out of your head has a neon pink look to it and reminds me of this sticky hand you would get as a kid. You know they are stretchy and you could throw the hand to stick to things. The background is all varied and a lot of work into setting the scene for each chapter.
The writing is top notch and is no surprise as Ryan North from Adventure Time wrote the story. I found myself laughing out loud often. The game opens with Ray at his job as a hard hat tester. Later, you find out why he as such a passion for hard hats. Different things get dropped on him as he tests different hard hats. Of course, on his way home from his long day at work, something drops out of the sky and knocks him in the head and gives him the power of the pink neon hand! Of course, no one can see it but you, so people think you’re crazy! The main villain, called The Man, and henchmen know what it is that gave you that power. You will run into many wacky and funny characters on your journey. The music is worth mentioning as it has a jazzy feel to it especially when being chased by bad guys.
My criticisms are small. Even though the writing is top notch, some of the dialogue of the characters would go on for a bit and I fast forwarded it at times just to move things along. Another thing is that sometimes moving your hand with the right stick wasn’t as accurate as you would like it to be. Sometimes I would read another person’s mind when I was aiming for the character right next to them.
This game is a fantastic puzzle, platforming adventure. The writing, graphics, and unique gameplay with that neon hand set this above other puzzle platforming games that just sticks. If you are in the market for an awesome puzzle platformer, look no further than, Stick it to the Man.