Capsule Review: Stick it to The Man!

A playfully dark point-and-click-style adventure.

A comedic and surreal point-and-click-adventure-style game. Player character Ray mysteriously gains a spectral hand reaching out of his head which can be used to read people’s thoughts, take objects they think about, and place them in the real world to solve simple inventory puzzles. The game is also a bit of a platformer, as you navigate the levels by walking, jumping, and using the spectral hand to reach distant platforms. Occasionally there’s a stealth section in which you need to avoid patrolling goons.

None of the gameplay is especially deep or taxing. Levels are split into discrete areas and inventory doesn’t carry over, meaning the puzzle solving never requires juggling through a large number of possibilities. The platforming is simple and forgiving and while the stealth segments can be a bit tedious and frustrating they’re not that difficult to get through as you can frequently use the spectral hand to put goons to sleep.

The story and characters are charming, but ultimately not that substantial. What makes the game stand out is its setting and writing. The world is playfully dark - Ray works as a hard hat tester and things get worse from there, including interactions with a cannibal chef and a stay in an insane asylum, but the consistently amusing script (courtesy of comics writer Ryan North) keeps things more quirky than horrifying.

The draw comes from progressing through the game to see more absurd scenarios and characters, with the puzzle-solving being entertaining more for its bizarre outcomes than for the satisfaction of figuring things out.

I Stopped Playing When: I finished a playthrough.

Docprof's Rating:

Three Stars: Good. I liked the game enough to finish it (or just play it a bunch, for games that don't end). I recommend it to most genre fans.

You can get it or learn more here.