Stacking provides entertainment for all ages

By Elizabeth Krupka
March 6, 2011

Most people associate video games with “bang, bang, shoot-em up” scenarios. However, that is not necessarily always the case.“Stacking” is classified as an adventure/puzzle game that is not only appropriate for all ages, but also entertaining for everyone.

Ever heard of  a matryoshka doll? They are the dolls that start large, have a cut in the center and then open. There are multiple sizes, stacked in one large matryoshka doll. The game takes advantage of the clever idea of the doll and uses that as the entire point of the game.

The player begins as a the tinniest matryoshka, Charlie Blackmore. Blackmore’s siblings are missing because the game takes place during the Industrial Revolution. During this time child labor was acceptable, and the Baron (the villian in the game) is forcing Blackmore’s family to work during the revolution.

Blackmore learns quickly during the game that there is no way he will ever actually be able to free his family, so he takes it upon himself to stop the issue of child labor once and for all. The dolls talk, adding an interesting element  to the game because after a while, the user feels as though they have entered this world. The graphics are not as realistic as “Red Dead Redemption” or even “Assassians Creed.”

However, the graphics make the player feel like they are in a toy-ish world. The levels do have a very Victorian feel to them and so does the architecture of the designs and the rooms. As the player goes through the levels, they  gain larger dolls to stack with.

This is important because it changes the appearance of Blackmore which is necessary for the end, and you can be larger to complete some harder tasks. Stacking of the dolls is important in the development of the game as well to advance to different levels.

There is one level that is referred to as the “hub” level. That is the train station. There are four other levels that Blackmore travels through. Within the levels there are several puzzles that the player needs to complete in order to be able to move on.

The puzzles have varying levels.  However, as you get higher in the levels, the options to complete the level begin to get slimmer. For example, on level four a puzzle may only have two solutions as opposed to a puzzle on level one, which might have five or six options.Stacking is the sequel of a game called “Costume Quest.” Double Fine developed both games and needed “Stacking” to be a better hit than “Costume Quest.” THQ was the company that produced the game, and when the game was first released, THQ offered a free set of dolls.

The free sets and games sold out in stores within 24 hours.On, “Stacking” received an 83 out of 100.

The score of the game is usually 8.3 or higher, which is impressive for a puzzle/adventure game. Game Informer stated that the puzzles in the game are “logical, however very rewarding once they are figured out. The multiple solutions to the puzzles are enticing to players because they don’t feel locked into one answer.”For the price and entertainment of the game, “Stacking” has only been on shelves for a month and stores are having a hard time keeping it there.

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Elizabeth Krupka

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