Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Game Review - Stacking for PS3

About the Game
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) and Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions expect to release their second co-production in early 2011: Stacking, a third-person adventure puzzle game that makes players laugh while challenging their perception and intellect.

In Stacking, a family of Russian stacking dolls has been separated by tough economic times. The youngest doll, Charlie Blackmore, begins a heroic effort to bring his family back together. But he’s one size smaller than any other doll in the world.  Game players will help Charlie, who is all too accustomed to being overlooked and dismissed – too small to be of any real consequence – discover that his size can be his greatest strength.

Created by Double Fine project lead Lee Petty, Stacking is scheduled to be available this spring as a download on Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, and also on the PlayStation®Network for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system.

Stacking is the second downloadable game produced by THQ and the award-winning Double Fine Productions. The adventure of Stacking requires players to capture and stack dolls together, then use each doll’s unique abilities to solve the game’s challenges.  As more puzzles are solved, new dolls are acquired and the game’s visually lush, carefully constructed story unfolds. 

Unlike most adventure puzzle games, every challenge in Stacking will have multiple solutions and players will be encouraged to discover them all. They’ll also discover a wide variety of new characters and side activities, which will allow them to accumulate hundreds of in-game awards.

Stacking is distinctive in its overall cinematic look as well as its approach to puzzle solving, and we believe the game will appeal to both the casual and hardcore video game player,”
said Martin Good, Executive Vice President, THQ Kids, Family, Casual Games, and Global Online Services.  “We are pleased to expand our library of digital download offerings and do so with high-quality games from the wonderfully creative team at Double Fine Productions.”

Double Fine Productions founder and CEO Tim Schafer added, “We’re really excited to be doing another game with THQ, building on the success we had with Costume Quest, and delivering another great adventure told in an entirely new way.  What Lee has created with Stacking is something truly awesome – a game with a great story and puzzles, and a completely fresh method for interacting with them both.”

About Double Fine Productions
Double Fine Productions (www.doublefine.com) is an award-winning, independent game development studio founded in 2000 by games industry veteran Tim Schafer, creator of such gaming classics as Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, and Day of the Tentacle.  Located in San Francisco's South of Market district, Double Fine specializes in high-quality games with an emphasis on originality, story, characters, and fun. Its first release, the critically-acclaimed Psychonauts, won multiple awards, including “Best Action / Adventure Game” from OXM, and a BAFTA for its screenplay. Double Fine’s heavy metal epic Brütal Legend won “Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year” from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, and the recently released Costume Quest has been nominated as 2010’s Best Downloadable Game by the Spike TV Video Game Awards.

About THQ
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software.  The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices.  Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.  More information about THQ and its products may be found at www.thq.com.  THQ and the THQ logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc.

My Take on the GameThe visual rendering is striking for sure and easily my favorite aspect of this game. The Victorian era/ industrial age is an unconventional setting for a game of any sort.  In this case it provides a particularly interesting and effective backdrop for a game play based more on careful observation and exploration than adrenaline fueled action. Use of copious amounts texture, pattern, and shading are similar to 'Little Big Planet' which is to say quite pleasing.

The controls are simple to pick up and the fundamentals of the game are straight forward. Guide one Charlie Blackmore , a russian stacking or matryoshka doll, on his quest to free his siblings from forced labor. Along the way you must join forces with others in ways only stacking dolls can. The emphasis here is on problem solving and character utilization more than tedious 'needle in haystack' scavenger hunts.   I found this a welcome deviation from other puzzle or quest games which always seem to bog down at some point when you just can't seem to find the next clue.   It is in fact a relatively quick process to find a single solution to each puzzle/problem facing the protagonist.  Need a little help? Consult the various matryoshkas around you (they're everywhere).  Can' find your way back to a challenge? Each character has excellent 'intution' they may summon in the form of a glowing path to the nearest puzzle. Game play progresses to the conclusion of the story about as quickly as you choose it to. If on the other hand you prefer to spend a little more time exploring the surreal environment, 'Stacking' provides multiple solutions to most challenges as well as the aforementioned scavenger hunt activities.  The path and the pace are up to you to determine.
Though brief compared to many games, Stacking is satisfying and easily worth the modest price of admission ($14.99).

If you seek a family friendly game that's a little off the beaten path, with plenty of humor and eccentricity to spare, look no further.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

New to the Divadom or to Dad of Divas Reviews?
Please Subscribe to my RSS Feed! Subscribe in a reader
Questions?Drop me a line at dadofdivas@gmail.com

No comments:

Post a Comment