Stacking

 

Data
Break Up
Game: Stacking
Genre: Adventure, Indie
Developer: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Double Fine Productions
Release Date: Mar 6, 2012
Platform: PC / Played on Windows 7
Overall rating:  10/10
Graphics: 9/10
Controls: 7/10
Level/Puzzle Design:10/10
Sound: 10/10
Story: 10/10
Replay Value: 9/10
Community: N/A

 

Review

Stacking is one of the most original games I’ve played to date, and one of my favorites. I just cannot tell you how much I love this game.

In Stacking you take the role of Charlie, the youngest in a family of Chimney Sweepers. His relatives are all taken away to work for the Baron, an Industry leader. Your task? To find and rescue your family, and while you’re at it, free the children that are being used in child labour by the Baron.

The game is just super charming: the visuals are pretty stunning, the nesting dolls are adorable, and they all have their own powers and personalities. You, being the youngest of your family (and thus smallest) will need to solve puzzles (how to get into and out of places, unlock stuff, etc) by getting into different dolls and using their powers to achieve your goal. You have to respect the sizes, so sometimes to solve a puzzle you have to get inside various different sizes of dolls.

What’s best about it, besides the originality of it, is that:

  • All the puzzles are very logical, thus making them both challenging but at the same time not impossible.
  • All puzzles have more than one way to solve it. Meaning you can go back and find all the other ways in which you could have solved the problem. in fact, you will definitely want to do this.

I found the humor utilized through it to be quite adorable and funny too.

The cutscenes are all made like little theater plays, and the music is just beautiful and very in tune with the game’s setting and style.

The only downside I could find to this game, though, is that the cutscenes are almost unskippable (you can actually double tap esc to skip them, but apparently that works only at certain points because most the time I just couldn’t skip them).

I would definitely recommend this game to everyone, regardless of age and gender.

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Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons

 

Data
Break Up
Game: Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Developer: Starbreeze Studios AB
Publisher: 505 Games
Release Date: Sep 3, 2013
Platform: PC / Played on Windows 7
Overall rating:  5/10
Graphics: 10/10
Controls: 9/10 (simple)
Level/Puzzle Design: 6/10
Sound: 8/10
Story: 3.5/10 (started great, ended awfully)
Playability/Gameplay: 1/10
Community: N/A

 

Review

This is a beautiful, yet most infuriating game.

I read reviews where people complained about the controls, but to be honest I had zero troubles with them as they’re super simple (basically just one button and one stick for each, and hardly anything else). Both with a keyboard and with a controller I was able to use both brothers without issue (even if the keyboard wasn’t particularly comfortable)… that is, until the game bugged out.

This game is beautiful in that it has pretty graphics and (for the first half) a very lovely story. The puzzles are very, very simple, the only time I ever got stuck was because, again, the game bugged out. If you’ve played Ico (PS2) you might like this one. It reminds you a bit of it, but it’s a lot simpler and has a much crappier ending.

Besides the ending not being to my taste, the game is, as I said, filled with bugs that made it impossible for me to play properly. When it wasn’t crashing with a “P13” error and needing to be re-verified for the third time in the same day, it was a checkpoint bugging out that not even a chapter restart could solve (just to count a few I had: puzzle not working, character disappearing through ground and falling to death, character disappearing, cutscene not playing and thus having to restart chapter to move on, character not jumping though the keys/buttons were pressed and falling to death, character jumping across gap… and then jumping right back and refusing to move forward except to jump forward and jump back again…. all that in less than 3hrs gameplay.)

What could improve this game: Besides a completely different ending, this game would be highly improved if they fixed the bugs, and would be even more interesting if it had an option to play real co-op with someone else (that is not on the keyboard next to you) if you wanted to. I love controlling both brothers at once, but I think it’d be slightly more challenging if you had to cooperate with another person rather than yourself. 😛 There’s not enough co-op games where you actually have to plan and co-op with someone, which is why this would be nice.

To sum it up: I recommend it for the first part of the story, and because I love these kind of games. I recommend it only if it’s on a bundle or super cheap, otherwise don’t bother because the bugs are too annoying. And I’d recommend it even more if it weren’t because of the bugs (maybe you luck out and have none, or maybe you get the curse I did and have them all.)

If you want a really really nice story tho, go play Ico.  😉