GAME NAME: Stick it to the Man
DEVELOPER(S): Zoink! Games
PLATFORM(S): Wii U
GENRE(S): Action, Adventure
RELEASE DATE(S): May 1st, 2014
There was a slew of Nintendo eShop titles that were announced last year and earlier this year that all got delayed and made a huge software gap over the course of the beginning of the year. Thankfully Ripstone has already released the title Pure Chess on the Wii U and now they have teamed with Zoink! Games to release the title Stick it to the Man with some exclusive features. The game originally graced the PlayStation 3 and the PC last year but this was the first chance I got to get my paws on the title and let me tell you, I was pleasantly surprised.
The first thing I immediately noticed when booting up Stick it to the Man was the awesome cardboard/paper look and an excellent main title theme song. It already felt like a polished game just from the title screen and the rest of the game doesn’t disappoint. You play as a goofy looking character named Ray and as the story begins we find out that Ray works as a hard hat tester. After a long day at work we start learning the controls by walking and jumping back to our pad. On the way, we learn that it isn’t the best idea to fly paper airplanes in the rain as a missile is dropped from the water-logged plane.
In the first “dream” level Ray is introduced to “ted”, a pink spaghetti-looking lien brain thingamajig. The story is full of comedy gold and and the unfolding of the plot by “The Man” is great. There are wonderful gaming references, from Mario, Luigi and Mother Brain to even the likes of Silver Surfer on the NES. I really don’t want to delve into the story anymore in this review because I don’t want to spoil anything.
Stick it to the Man‘s gameplay has definite platforming elements but it also has a puzzle element integrated into it as well. You will have to use Ted to read other character’s minds. In the Wii U version, you have the option to use the gryosensors on the Wii U GamePad to “look” around the map to listen in. I though this felt tacked on and winded up turning the feature off. Other Wii U exclusive features include off screen play and also it display’s the map on the GamePad if you are playing on the TV screen. This is a great feature, as I used the map frequently to reference where I was in the level.
The controls are pretty simplistic and work well for navigating the levels. Using the right analog stick will move Ted around like a sticky hand protruding from your head. Either of the R buttons will use the hand to grab pins to pull you to platforms or rip stickers and background objects to open up buildings. To read minds you will hold either of the L buttons and then lock on to a brain with the right stick and hit either of the R buttons to start listening in.
Graphically the game is gorgeous. The cardboard, paper and sticker graphics pay homage to Paper Mario titles and in even in some cases surpass them. There is a slight filter over top of the screen that makes it look a little grainy, but this effect makes it feel more cinematic and doesn’t take away but adds to the experience. The sound is phenomenal. The soundtrack is amazing. I love the title track, absolutely love it. The in game music is great too and never feels repetitive. The voice acting is also top notch and adds for some hilarious dialogue.
Zoinks! Games and Ripstone have put together one of my favorite indie experiences of the year. I can not recommend Stick it to the Man enough. It has that extra coat of polish just like Nintendo puts on their games and holds a special place to me right next to titles such as Paper Mario and other similar games. Many games now-a-days just lack this so called “polish” but Zoinks! nails it. I really can’t wait to see what they are working on next. Stop reading this and go buy it for $10, you will not be disappointed.