Release Date: November 19th, 2013
Available on: Nintendo Wii U, PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita
Reviewer’s note: I played this game on a Playstation 4. There may be differences between versions.
Adventure games have seen quite a bit of a reemergence thanks to games like The Walking Dead and Heavy Rain. Stick it to The Man is another entry to this genre of games. With a quirky art style and story the game’s charm managed to win me over even when its gameplay did not.
In Stick it to The Man you play as Ray. On his way home from work Ray is struck by an object falling from the sky. Upon waking up he finds that he has a hand growing out of his head (that other people can’t see) and that he now can read the minds of others. Around the same time his girlfriend is kidnapped, and he finds himself being hunted down by a group of men in suits. It now falls to Ray to unravel the mystery and save his girlfriend. The plot is clever, hilarious, charming, and very well written. Each character, from Ray all the way down to the random NPCs you meet in the game, have a fun personality and more character than you’ll see in your normal NPCs. It made going to each new area a joy because I got to see new characters that would often have hilarious lines and thoughts for me to read.
Actually doing these things is rather simple too. Ray can’t do much on his own out side of a little jump, but that’s where the hand comes in. Using the hand coming out of his head Ray can preform various actions. Some of them just help him get around the world. He can grab pins to pull himself over to them, or sometimes pull them over to himself. More likely, though, is that you’ll be using the hand to help solve puzzles. The most commonly used feature is going to end up being Ray’s ability to read minds. At any point you can read the mind of several NPCs around the game. Often this will be to help you solve the various puzzles in the game. Usually they just require you to find the correct item so you can interact with them in some way to find another item.
Sometimes you need to sneak past enemies to get to the next point. Ray has no way to defend himself, so this one is up to your stealth skills, although sometimes you can manage to get special stickers that can either put an enemy to sleep or can confuse them to turn on each other. The stealth mechanics are relatively simple: just stay out of the field of view and you won’t be caught. Even if you do get seen, you can try to out run enemies to hide again, and the consequences for being caught are to just move back to the closest check point. I actually ended up not enjoying the stealth segments because they weren’t much fun.
My biggest problem with Stick it to The Man comes from its length (clocking in at only about 2-4 hours) and its lack of replayability. Once you’ve finished the game you’ve pretty much seen everything there is to see. It makes the asking price of $15 a little tough, so that one is going to come down to how much you can value the game’s story. I think it’s a game I would say waiting for a sale would be best. Still, Stick it to The Man’s entertaining story and hilarious sense of humor did keep me entertained for the time I was playing it and I feel like that’s what mattered the most with this game.