Stick It to The Man Review
Want a funny game? You read my mind!
Stick It To The Man first released back in 2013, but now Zoink Games has brought it to the Nintendo Switch. The game's story introduces us to Ray, a hard hat construction tester. His job is to get hit over the head and rate the severity of the impact. As bad luck would have it, while heading home for the night he is struck by a large cargo container dropped by a passing airplane. The container holds a secret alien-being that immediately climbs inside Ray's head and that's where our story gets going.
Ray quickly learns that an octopus-like alien named Ted is rolling around inside his head. He also has big spaghetti arm hanging out of his head. This arm allows him to read minds, swing around the environment, and interact with stickers. But with these awesome new powers comes a huge risk. The Man (the main antagonist of the game) is after Ted the alien creature. Ted was supposed to be delivered to him before a lightning storm caused the airplane incident. And now that Ray has it, The Man and his Agent goons are coming after Ray.
Stick It To The Man is not a terribly long game. It consists of 10 Chapters or levels to play through, some being much shorter than others. In total, the game took me around five hours to beat. Despite how short it is, the experience is well worth the time. It's an incredibly entertaining game with hilarious writing and fabulous voice work. The voice work and presentation alone make the game worth playing. While going through the game, I often felt like I was playing out a very comical Saturday night cartoon. It's also a great game to watch. I had two others that occasionally watched and they were thoroughly entertained.
The gameplay is a unique blend of interactive storytelling, puzzle solving, and platforming. Ray is able to read the minds of almost every NPC and this is a core mechanic in a majority of game's puzzles. For instance, you can read the Agent's mind as he might be talking about the guy they're trying to capture, and he'll imagine Ray's face. Ray's face will appear as a sticker and you can slap it on another Agent to create a decoy for the other enemies to chase. This lets the player bypass heavily guarded areas and sneak into other areas to advance the story. One of my favorite chapters was when Ray had to impersonate a famous singer. He had to go steal her lips and other items that resembled her attire and hairstyle. Another fun level has Ray escaping an insane asylum and trying to solve the patients' problems with different stickers.
The gameplay mechanics of reading minds, and peeling and placing stickers don't really evolve beyond the first few chapters, but the game is short enough where it never really feels like a drag. Ray often needs to read the minds of all the characters to piece together the proper stickers and placements to proceed.
The platforming in the game can be a bit tricky. It's definitely not as smooth as a Mario platformer. Maybe more like a Little Big Planet where it's not quite 100% as precise as you'd like. The platforming sections are usually running through the environment to escape the evil Agents. The player can also fast travel through some tunnels/pipes. There are also red push pins that the arm can latch onto to reach areas inaccessible by jumping.
The player can die in this game, either by being captured and zapped with a ray gun or by falling into death pits. However, the game uses a very kind checkpoint system where checkpoints are littered throughout each stage. If you do fail or get caught, you've generally only lost 10-30 seconds of your time. I really appreciated the number of checkpoints in each level as this game focuses more on storytelling and puzzle solving than rapid-fire action moves.
I've mentioned many times that I was extremely impressed with the voice acting in the game. But another part I loved was the use of Kenny Roger's song "Just Dropped In" as the main theme song of the game. I haven't sat a title screen just to hear the opening theme music like this since Borderlands 2.
The audio team should receive a lot of praise. Not only for helping put together the excellent voice work, but also the sound effects of peeling and placing stickers, and environmental interactions. The game made great use out of my new soundbar.
The game accomplishes everything it was trying to achieve. The game is really fun with a very entertaining story and clever puzzles. I was laughing throughout the adventure because of the comedic lines and their great delivery. I didn't know about Stick It To the Man back in when it first came out, but I'm glad I've had the opportunity to review it in 2017. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game and I look forward to future titles by Zoink Games.
Who Should Play This Game?
Those that love story based puzzle games like Professor Layton or Phoenix Wright that prioritize story and puzzle solving over action. Those looking to play something more unique with the humor of more adult-oriented cartoons like Ren and Stimpy or the Adult Swim lineup.
What Makes the Game Worth Buying?
Zoink Games delivers a unique experience at the very affordable price of $11.99. The game has a bizarre unique story, great art, fun presentation, and outstanding voice work. It prioritizes puzzle solving and storytelling over massive action battles or gunfights. If you're looking for something fun, creative and different from the norm, Stick It To The Man is a great option.
Amazing voice work and art style bring this game to life.
Script and story are engaging and very funny.
The sticker puzzle solving is really clever and often leads to hilarious results.
The game is pretty short and can be completed in about 4-5 hours.
Sometimes platform jumps and swinging on push pins can be a little tricky.
With limited action gameplay, those that want intense twitch skill showcases may be disappointed.
Disclaimer: A Switch review code was provided by the developer.