hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

First Look: Stacking

7:00 AM on 01.06.2011 // Chris Morris
  @Azereki

Since the release of Brutal Legend, the minds over at Double Fine have been hard at work bringing us quirky new adventures and worlds to explore. Their upcoming  XBLA/PSN title, Stacking, has got to be one of the most charming games I have seen in recent memory.

The game takes place in what was described to me as a 1930's era living diorama, populated by numerous different types of Russian stacking dolls. Each location in the world has a handcrafted feel to it, incorporating numerous miniature objects, such as pins, playing cards, golf balls, and marbles. 

Stacking has everything you would expect from a "larger" adventure game, a compelling story, detailed environments, witty dialog, and entertaining cutscenes. Everything is designed to reward the player for exploring and pushing the story along. Where Stacking really shines though, is its blend of fun puzzle solving mechanics utilizing the Russian stacking dolls and their varying abilities.


Stacking
 (XBLA, PSN)
Developer: Double Fine
Publisher: THQ
To be released: Early 2011

Upon entering the world of Stacking, we are introduced to the story and characters through a silent film style cutscene. We also meet our protagonist, Charlie Blackmore, the smallest of the Russian stacking dolls. After being separated from his family, Charlie is thrust into the world of Stacking and must set out on his quest to reunite with them.

You will start out in the Train Station, serving as both the tutorial level and a hub for moving between levels.  We are also introduced to Charlie's unique ability to hop into larger dolls. Charlie can stack up in size, taking advantage of the dolls various abilities to progress through the level. There is a sort of synergistic feel to it, as you are free to experiment with different combinations of dolls and the abilities they provide.

In order to complete any given level, you are presented with a series of challenges and a specific stacking set that you must obtain. In order to complete the challenges, you must utilize the abilities of numerous dolls wandering around the level. One doll may have a key attached to his head, allowing you to unlock an important door. Another doll may have a more "subtle" ability, allowing you to clear out an important room by passing gas into a fan. There is no inventory or micro management of any sort, dolls are the only tools you will need to solve these puzzles.

The look and feel of the game, as well as the overall level design is spectacular. Stacking is running on the Brutal Legend engine, so needless to say the game benefits greatly from leveraging this technology. The amount of sheer effort and attention to detail that has gone into bringing this miniature world to life goes a long way in completely immersing the player in the game. I was thoroughly impressed with the second level of the demo, which takes place on a cruise ship of sorts. The giant cigars used to create the smokestacks on the ship were a neat little touch, not to mention to adorable cardboard cutout animals that are used for the awesome safari style carnival.

Stacking has an enormous amount of depth, especially for a downloadable game. Double Fine has gone to great lengths to provide an experience that caters to both casual and core gamers equally. Each level contains multiple challenges, all of which can be completed multiple times and in multiple ways. Players can always return to a previously visited area to continue unlocking secrets and completing challenges. There will always be at least three challenges per level and often more than that. There are no real fail conditions to speak of, so Stacking attempts to teach players and keep things interesting and fresh by providing a ton of variety and replayability. 

As you progress through the game, all of your progress and unlocks will be tracked. You gain access to a hidden warehouse, which functions as a kind of trophy room. As you complete challenges, your friend Levi (who we meet early on) will construct murals depicting various story moments throughout the game. Each of the hundred plus unique dolls that you collect will be on display in your warehouse as well. For completionists, this should be a fun way to track your progress in Stacking.

If you are a fan of unique adventure games, or you are just looking for something new and original, Stacking is definitely worth a look. With an awesome art direction, unique puzzling solving gameplay, and an extremely high replay value, Stacking is definitely going to be one of the coolest games of early 2011.

Photo Gallery: (17 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Chris Morris,
 Follow Blog + disclosure Azereki

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

nanashi avatarnanashi
PStoid #30 records today, you still have a little time to ask questions!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I can now play the first 20 measures of Little Trinketry at full speed. It ends when you start playing chords with the right hand. Also something about carts #passdatgas [youtube]http://youtu.be/40fulS_olU8[/youtube]
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
According to fart scientists, the rate of intestinal gas escaping through the anus increases when regular sleep patterns are not observed.
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django
I farted a lot during Mad Max Fury Road. I blamed them on the engines.
Dreggsao avatarDreggsao
A fart says more than a thousand words.
Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
A fart a day keeps the doctor away.
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
Why can't we have more Lovecraftian horror games? It's such a great setting, but nobody ever uses it.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Best purchase I've made in a long time. This little remote controlled BB-8 robot by Sphero is amazing. [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/bb8%202.jpg~original[/IMG]
gajknight avatargajknight
I fart, therefore I am.
extatix avatarextatix
Working on my next collection blog and holy shit, I should sell some stuff already.
Myles Cox avatarMyles Cox
My first word was "fart".
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Philosophical question: if the only way to get Batman: Arkham Knight to run decently on my laptop is to lower all the settings and have it run windowed, am I really playing it?
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I'm farting right now.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I farted in Gamestop today and wasn't blamed!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
I have never farted. #TrueLies
From Must Git Gud avatarFrom Must Git Gud
Getting banned soon!
VIRGO avatarVIRGO
Here's to hoping Nintendo makes mobile games as compelling as Pac-Man 256...
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I hate when a new game comes out and D-toid gets flooded with stuff about a game I don't know anything about and I'm just stuck here, sitting with myself and my freeware games...
Dreggsao avatarDreggsao
It is the middle of the night and Yu-Gi-OH is on TV. Are children with insomnia so common these days?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
My hair's done did and my Teddie cosplay is officially ready for next weekend's Comic-Con! Do I impress you, Sensei? [img]http://i.imgur.com/ZNlOmMf.jpg[/img]
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -