February 28, 2011

Playing with Dolls

Lasting First Impressions of Stacking from Double Fine Productions

Stacking-logo Playing with Dolls is fun. Well, that is, when these dolls are Russian stacking dolls with attitude! Stacking is the latest title from the great minds at Double Fine Productions and Tim Schafer, who brought us games like Brutal Legend and Psychonauts.  In this new release for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, you play as a tiny Russian Stacking Doll named Charlie Blackmore who has the ability to stack inside other dolls and become new personalities in order to solve puzzles and ultimately free his captive family.

I had been hearing plenty of talk around this game for months before it was finally released on February 8th, 2011 and I was anxious to sit down to play it.  I love puzzle games and this was promising to be a good one with a twist.

The basic premise of the game is to take control of other stacking dolls by moving behind and stacking inside them. The main character, Charlie Blackmore, is the smallest of all the dolls which allows him to stack into all different sizes of dolls, but each stack must be only one size larger.  There are many different characters in this game, each with their own special ability and it is these abilities that you must utilize in order to solve the puzzles put before you and to move the story along.

Stacking-screenshot Stacking is an ideal casual game and one made simply for having fun.  Not only are the puzzles in each stage fun and humourous to solve, but there are always 3 different ways of solving each puzzle, giving cause to return and try it again.  For the collector in all of us, each stage also has many “special” characters to find and become.  I found myself coming back to the game not to move on with the story, but to look for and collect the bonus characters and attempt to discover the additional solutions to the puzzles.

When time is short or you just want to unwind, Stacking is unequaled in its uniqueness. There is no death or ways to botch your game; it is simply an amusing adventure/puzzle game worthy of much attention.

Double Fine, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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