Every now and then I’ll encounter a game that completely flies under my radar due to the amount of triple-A titles that demand my attention. I was introduced to Stick it to the Man after a friend showed me his copy on PS4, and after watching a few minutes of gameplay I knew right away that this was an adventure that I needed to track down.
In most aspects, Stick it to the Man is heavily influenced by Double Fine studios, and the art, humor, and platforming style invokes Psychonauts heavily throughout. There are actually a few easter eggs sprinkled in the game that reference Double Fine (such as a stuffed doll of Double Fine’s double-headed logo), but it doesn’t feel as if this title is stealing too much from the larger company. I very much enjoyed the concept of the game, living in a sort-of shadow box world with cardboard cutouts and interactive stickers, and the level design is varied and unique. Game difficulty isn’t an issue, although I did encounter odd bugs once or twice which prevented me from making forward progress (namely, sticker mounting points would not immediately appear next to important characters or locations). Also, when several interaction points are clustered near each other, your controls can get squirrelly as the game attempts to snap to context-sensitive areas (and this happens quite frequently).
The story is nonsensical and lighthearted, which I found to be a refreshing change of pace with so many games recently sticking to dark and brooding or sardonic main characters. Ray, the protagonist, is very sweet and helpful to everyone he interacts with, including Ted, the goofy and forgetful alien taking residence in his brain. This isn’t an award-winning story, but it’s wholly entertaining for about five or six hours, though a second playthrough isn’t really needed, save for achievement cleanup.
Stick it to the Man is short and sweet, and I’m very happy that I picked up this platformer when I had the chance. Recommended for most – it’s often listed at a cheap price digitally and is worth a single playthrough.