Stick It To The Man Review
There have been six failed attempts at writing the intro for this review. Six. Because there’s no easy way to introduce Stick It To The Man, a game about a guy with a sort of, well, psychic ‘pink spaghetti arm’ protruding from his head, and you have to slap stickers on mouths to…
Seven failed attempts.
Stick It To The Man is an impossible game to introduce because it’s an almost impossible game to describe. You play the hapless Ray, who has the previously-mentioned arm sticking out of his head. The arm allows Ray to grab pull down brown paper to reveal new areas and he can also grapple his way around using pins.
Pins? Oh yes, Minor Point Worth Mentioning: the world made entirely of cardboard.
Another Minor Point Worth Mentioning: you grab stickers, not items, and using these items is a case of using your arm to slap them on people’s mouths, faces, behinds or whatever else.
Still following? Good.
No-one else can see the arm, which drives Ray mad. The arm can also be used to read people’s minds, which also drives Ray mad. You may have guessed by now – Stick It To The Man isn’t a game that takes itself seriously. At all.
Dark humour is a big part of the appeal, from depressed characters with ropes tied around their necks after being driven to the point of suicide by disappointing teeth (honestly) or kidnapped disco dancers leaping out of the boot of a car to talk about how difficult Silver Surfer was on NES.
The other big part of the big part of the appeal is the look. Stick It To The Man is rich with imagination, flipping from a dark, depressing, dank city to a bright, vibrant utopia inside Ray’s psyche. Everything here is bursting with personality and life, making the world and its unusual, quirky inhabitants just as compelling as the gameplay itself.
Stick It To The Man – How Does It Play?
Strip away the stickers and Stick It To The Man’s gameplay is deceptively straightforward, falling somewhere between 2D platformer and point-and-click adventure.
The platforming is mostly a case of avoiding the guards who patrol certain sections of the level, as you bait them out of position and then use your psychic hand to grapple past. It’s not really stealth but more chase gameplay, with the odd puzzle and escort section thrown in. It’s never really a full-on platformer, nor does Stick It To The Man want to be a full-on platformer. It’s more a diversion, something to break up the pace.
The bulk of the gameplay falls under point-and-click adventure, your psychic hand serving as a cursor as you grab items (well, stickers, not items) from the environment and then figure out when and where to use them (well, slap them, not use them).
In true point-and-click style, Stick It To The Man features fairly abstract puzzles than most, and those who remember the days of a rubber chicken with a pulley in the middle will likely approve of how bizarre and humorous some of the solutions are. But it’s never really that abstract or that difficult. Stick It To The Man doesn’t hide where you can use items, so it’s often a case of persistence if logic lets you down.
The only real irritation comes from how difficult it can be to aim Ray’s arm if two objects are close to each other, as the hand struggles to differentiate between the two. It’s not a problem when you’re idling about, poking and prodding at the puzzles, but it does make some of the chase sections more annoying than they have to be. Frequent checkpoints keep anger to a minimum but even so – grrrr. Needlessly frustrating.
Stick It To The Man – Review
But you’ll be quick to forgive, because Stick It To The Man works so hard to win you over. From its bizarre look to its dark humour to its relaxed pace (even with the chase sequences), it’s an easy game to fall in love with.
Stick It To The Man is a genuine delight on PSN, joining the ranks of other oddities on the service that marry quirky charms with strong gameplay such as Tokyo Jungle, Noby Noby Boy and Joe Danger.
Version Tested: PS3