Stacking is a fresh new idea for a game that goes outside the box. It is
creative in its style and story. In this new downloadable game for Xbox
360 and PS3, Double Fine has refined themselves and produced and pretty
enjoyable game. Though it is cheap to download, it still offers hours of
fun and puzzle solving.
Stacking starts off with an interesting
intro. You meet your family, the Blackmores, a little family of Russian
Matryoshka Dolls (nesting doll), and the main character you play through
the game with. His name is Charlie Blackmore. Your father leaves for
work and never comes back, leaving your little matryoshka doll family
vulnerable. Soon your family is taken away from you, aside from your
mother, to work off your family’s debt. You are left behind because out
of all your family, you are the smallest, and seemingly the only
matryoshka doll that is so little. This allows you to be a hero because
little Charlie can fit into any other doll!
As Charlie, your goal is to find your family and get them back. However,
that is not as easy as it may sound, because your brothers and sisters
are not in the same place. You have to find them one by one, to complete
your family again. Your first task is to find one of your brothers, who
is forced to shovel coal since the workers started a protest and refused
to work anymore until they are given nutmeg on the lunch menu. Once you
get them granted their wishes, at the cost of a portion of their
paycheck, you reunite with your brother only to find you must next find
One of the neat things about this game is the stacking system. Once you
find a doll that is exactly one size bigger then little Charlie, you can
keep stacking one size up to collect multiple dolls at once! Each doll
also has a special ability you can use to progress you through the game.
Dolls with special abilities that pertain to the current task are
highlighted with blue to indicate they are important. In order to stack
inside another doll, once you have the right sized doll, you get behind
them and press ‘Y’. This will put you inside the other doll allowing you
complete control of it and its abilities. To unstack, simply press ‘B’
and you leave the largest doll you have equipped, uncovering the next
Once you have the right doll for the job,
it’s your turn to figure out exactly what to do with that doll. In order
to reach your first brother, we stacked into The Widow Chastity doll.
Her special ability is “seduce”. The animation for this ability is
funny, and its effect on the other dolls is a good indication on just
how much this game has to offer. Playing through again and finding
different ways to complete this challenge will reveal another solution
to this problem. Hopping into the Mechanic doll, you can unlatch a vent
and enter the vent, which will also reach your objective as well. Keep
this in mind as you play the game, because there is not always just one
solution to the problem! Each single doll inspires reactions in the
other dolls, giving you so many options and different ways to complete
your objectives, or even limitless ways to explore and play through the
The games graphics are crisp and clean. The camera movement and effects
are done well, blurring out and focusing at different parts of the
screen, in a fluid manner, leaving you no complaints in that area. The
Dolls are attractive and colorful, and each has their own little flare
to them, turning a simple idea into a neat world to sink into. Some of
the dolls animations are quite funny, making for some humorous game
play, as well as some humorous cut scenes.
The sounds in this game really make it
stylish. The music is mostly classical music that really portrays the
mood of the scene or area. The sound effects and background noises also
are done well, making this game very stimulating to the ears. The dialog
on the other hand is done through text as if it were an old silent film.
At first, this might seem silly, but eventually it proves to be a great
move on the creator’s part. It truly helps inspire the feel of an older
time, and a completely different era.
In all this game is fun and quirky, leaving you with hours of game play
and a bunch of laughs along the way. For the low price of this game, the
punch it packs is impressive. While the games focus seems to be more
about the story then the game play its self, the game is still very fun
to play through and figure out all of the puzzles in the game. For any
puzzler, RPGer, mystery lovers, or even the casual gamer, this game
would be a great investment.
Game hard, play happy!
United States Team Writer