Once again we have Playstation Plus and the Instant Game Collection to thank for delivering us another free downloadable indie title. This May saw Stick It To The Man as the featured free game for the PS4 and it’s a gem. From start to finish this bizarre and wacky 2D puzzle platformer had me entranced.
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Developed by Ripstone Games and published by Zoink! gamers get to play as Ray who lives in a world made up of paper, stickers and cardboard. Sadly Ray has an unfortunate accident and when he wakes from the impact, he discovers that he has the ability to read people’s minds. All of this comes courtesy of a giant purple spaghetti hand sticking out of his head, and only Ray can see it. Our hapless hero is struggling to come to terms with his new found gift and his girlfriend thinks he is going insane. So off Ray goes to see a doctor to cure his ailment. However, on his tail are the mob who seem acutely aware of Ray’s predicament.
Although not a point and click game, Stick it to the man has all the hallmarks of one. Ray will have to glean the thoughts of passerby in an attempt to solve their predicament. Those playing this on the PS4 will get to hear the strange ramblings of these locals via the speaker on the Dualshock 4 controller. Once you understand their problem you need to find the appropriate sticker and effectively stick it to the man or….er….woman depending on the situation. These stickers can often be found lying around or another person might have the desired item. Ray then will have to help or forcibly ‘encourage’ that character to part with said item in order to progress. Most interestingly certain items can be acquired by scanning someone’s mind. If a person is thinking of cheese you can pluck it from their thought bubble and bring the item into the real world. This in game wall breaking leads to some incredibly creative puzzles.
To break up any chance of monotony from a barrage of puzzles, there are sections in the game that require Ray to sneak past the mob or guards. Ray is not equipped to fight them head on so must instead avoid them all together. Using his spaghetti hand, which can extend and latch on to drawing pins, you can pull yourself up to various platforms altogether. If you find there are too many sentries you can steal stickers from their minds and use them against them. A particular favourite is when a guard is thinking about catching Ray he actually produces a thought bubble with Ray’s head in it. You can snatch this sticker and pin it to another guard who will be hunted down by his colleagues (as they think it’s you), allowing safe passage.
Along with it’s inventive gameplay, Stick it to the Man is bolstered by it’s wonderful art style and macabre sense of humour. Mental health, taxidermy on dead whales and replacement robot mothers can all be found in this bizarre fantasy land making Stick it to the Man a refreshing and inventive puzzle plat-former.
Stick It To The Man is available on PS4, Wii U & Steam.