Stick It To The Man from Zoink! introduces us to the bizarre world of Ray in a blend of 2D and 3D. Stick It To The Man is a platform game with limited three dimensions and stylised 2D graphics that are very much reminiscent of the old Klasky Csupo cartoon Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.
Ray is a hard hat tester who meets with an accident on way home that leaves him with a giant jelly like alien arm poking out of his head, which no one else can see. This gives Ray the ability to move objects around, read people’s thoughts and get to higher places using pins. The player controls how Ray interacts with each level through the usual platform style controls, and with Ray’s alien arm the player can solve the various puzzles that make up each level. Puzzle solving revolves around using Ray’s alien arm to read people’s thoughts to get clues and stickers to use on other parts of the level, taking environmental stickers to also use elsewhere and ripping off building stickers to reveal clues and story characters. Occasionally there is also the often-used platform cliché of the run away from the bad guys level. Death is treated by a respawn at what is essentially a colour printer and save points are triggered by passing in front of the colour printers. Ray’s overall goal is to find out why he is being chased and what the whole jelly hand is about.
The acting is great from an indie game and coupled with a well-written script, it leaves you having a chuckle as the story progresses. There were times when you almost didn’t want to complete a puzzle because you enjoyed the dialogue but then, as an example, if you complete the General sleeping with two separate women puzzle and make him pregnant with a sticker which leads to even more hilarious dialogue.
The game’s mechanics are reasonably sound given the style of gameplay, although at times it can be a bit grinding if you keep failing to get past a set of bad guys as some portions of later levels can be difficult to spot any pattern in the enemy movements. It also worth noting that Ray’s entire way of getting through a level is done without the use of any weapon, in fact Ray does not use a weapon at all in the entire game. Kudos to Zoink! for that bit of family-friendly programming and game design.
If I had to be critical of any parts of Stick It To The Man, it would be that the map display is a useless add-on and could have been left out as the levels are not that big that you need a map to find your way around.
If you have a few dollars to spare then Stick It To The Man is worth the small price it costs and will give you great gameplay and a funny story as well. It is definitely worth having this one on your game library.