By Curtis Altman |
Stacking invites you to visit a place that's bursting with charming characters, endearing visual details, and satisfying puzzles to solve. It's a game that appeals to the child in each of us, the part of us that finds joy in the simple act of play.
You'll want to spend some time just soaking in Stacking's elegant atmosphere, but the real fun begins when you start to play with the world. Charlie Blackmore's diminutive size is his greatest asset; as the smallest of all dolls, he can nest inside and take control of any doll that's one size larger than he is. That doll can similarly stack into a doll that's one size larger, and so on. The game calls this process stacking, and it's both fun and useful, because each doll that you stack into has an ability.
Many of these abilities are handy in solving the numerous puzzles you encounter on your quest to free your siblings. If you need to create chaos at a safari, for instance, taking control of a Kodiak bear and using its "growl" ability on the guests should certainly cause a panic.
The puzzles are logical and rewarding to work out, and you may often experience wonderful "Aha!" moments when you stack into a doll you hadn't previously occupied, see its ability, and immediately realize how to use it to your advantage. Some problems can be solved by a single doll, while others require you to combine dolls' abilities.
It's not just an adventure game with a number of well-designed puzzles to solve, though it certainly is that. It's also an enchanting and imaginative world that encourages you to remember what it was like to play around for the sheer fun of it, without being constantly focused on goals.
I never thought I would recommend a game based around a bunch of Russian stacking dolls, but here I am, doing it whole heartedly.