Stacking

Moby ID: 53646
Xbox 360 Specs
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Description official descriptions

Stacking is an adventure game set in the 1920's depression era, with the player taking on the role of Charlie Blackmore, a Russian Doll whose family has been kidnapped by an industrialist known only as 'Baron', who has been kidnapping people for his nefarious purposes. In order to progress through each level, Charlie must stack into additional Russian dolls in order to solve several puzzles on each level with multiple solutions. In addition to completing each of the levels, there are bonus objectives on each of them for players to solve (hi-jinks).

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Credits (PlayStation 3 version)

165 People (116 developers, 49 thanks) · View all

Project Lead
Writer
Designer
Senior Producer
Studio Creative Director
VP, Product Development
Lead Artist
Concept Art
Lead Animator
Character Artist
Animation
Doll Materials
Environment Materials
Environment Artists
UI Art and Design
Technical Art / VFX / Lighting
Lead Sound Designer
Music Director
Assistant Sound Designer
Audio Intern
Original Music Composed, Orchestrated and Produced by
Lead Programmer
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 74 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 23 ratings with 1 reviews)

A fun casual game that should appeal to all ages.

The Good
Easy learning curve; a simple well-developed concept makes for fun casual gaming

Great simple gameplay which includes not just a story but inventive & creative bonus 'puzzles' as well as a DLC (which also includes bonus puzzles)

Excellent art work; completing challenges unlocks concept drawings

Politically correct and thought-provoking without being sappy about it; addresses Victorian topics such as environmental pollution, child labour and Women's rights within what seems to be a faithful Victorian plot and melodrama

Nice level design

The Bad
Some lowbrow humour, but mostly seems to offset the high-concept execution nicely

Like many console ports, no individual saves - only 5 save slots (if any of the dialogue rolls by too quickly, the player must re-play the game in order to view/read/experience it)

Music is pleasant and atmospheric, but a little generic & perhaps not what might be expected from Peter McConnell (although the music in the 'The Lost Hobo King' DLC seems better)

Depends upon a certain knowledge of Victorian-era silent film; players unfamiliar with Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin may miss some of the stylistic film & musical references

Political 'bent' may not appeal to all political persuasions

The Bottom Line
Knowing the pedigree of Double Fine, I was expecting a relaxing point-and-click adventure but this seems to be from a new type of genre: it's a casual game along the lines of a puzzle platformer.

The game features matryoshka dolls, wooden dolls of various sizes placed one inside another. The player starts as the smallest size doll in the game, and can build into larger size dolls to acquire their abilities (i.e. 'stacking' the dolls).

There is a main story, as well as many varied extra puzzles for completionists.

These puzzles vary in difficulty from simple to complicated. There are 'Solutions' which have multiple ways to complete them. They have Hints available, which is just as well; an answer must be found for each 'Solution' in order to complete the main story. There are also 'Matched Sets' of dolls to be collected, 'Hi-Jinks' for fun, as well as full sets of 'Unique Dolls' to be discovered. All these must be completed in order to reach 100% completion (the players progress in the game [which can be non-linear] is tracked by completion percentage).

Generally there is very little time pressure, so there are no QuickTime events (QTEs) as such although some events need to happen in a given order within a limited timeframe (I won't spoil the fun by listing any of them; generally they ARE pretty fun though).

It plays best with an XBox 360 controller, but Mouse and keyboard is also an option. With an XBox controller, there are some nice force feedback (rumble) effects, but they are generally minimal and unobtrusive. The game plays nicely in Stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) as well.

It's really impressive to how something so elaborate and interesting has been created out of such simple concepts. It builds upon a very simple set of gameplay mechanics that mesh beautifully with the Victorian-style concept art, music and melodrama to create a wonderful homage to silent films. The cut scenes tell a simple but wholesome story in a style that is faithful to the artistic vision making an entertaining and compelling experience.

Using the matryoshka and in-game assets, they combine them to create 'sets' to be collected as well as fun combinations of characters to exploit in new and interesting ways. As well, each doll 'stacked' has the possibility of new or unique dialogue with any other dolls that are encountered, making even the grinding (for 100% completion) an area where new discoveries can be made.

Perhaps this is not for everyone, but probably lots of fun for older players.

Windows · by thud (97) · 2013

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Starbuck the Third.

Windows added by Sciere. Linux, Macintosh added by Iggi. Xbox Series, Xbox One added by Tim Janssen.

Additional contributors: Tythesly.

Game added December 5, 2011. Last modified May 9, 2024.