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February 9, 2011
Crude Humor, Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review: August 4, 2012
Format Reviewed: XBLA
Language / Country of Origin: English / USA
Online Capability: Downloadable content (DLC) is available for this title (The Lost Hobo King).
Equipment Needed: Xbox 360 and controller.
Maintenance Required: None required.

You know those wooden Russian dolls that you can take apart and fit into each other? It sounds kind of funny to think about a video game being based on them, but Stacking pulls it off surprisingly well. This is one game where the play is just as detailed as the gorgeous graphics.

The environment in Stacking looks like it’s straight out of Grandma’s attic. You play as little Charlie Blackmore, an impoverished youngster set out to save his siblings and is a doll that must contend with much larger dolls in order to accomplish his objectives.

Each charming world is a sandbox of sorts where you can choose to solve puzzles spread out across the stage on a whim. Each puzzle has a least three different ways to solve it, and it’s a neat and enjoyable challenge to try to figure out all of the ways to achieve the task. I hope you’re not claustrophobic, as you nearly always have to take over one or more of the other dolls’ bodies to finish a mission. Not only is each doll beautiful, they all come with a unique talent, so get ready to fart, growl, charge and punch your way to success.

A tyrant named Baron rounds up Charlie Blackmore’s family and turns them into slaves in order to pay off their debts. Economy or no economy, Charlie simply won’t stand for seeing his brothers and sisters have to resort to child labor!

Use the Xbox controller to jump into nearby dolls, use special abilities and decipher puzzles.

Cultural / Historical Value:
This game is loosely based off of the 1920’s Depression era.

Teaching / Learning Characteristics:
You can’t progress in the game until you solve a certain number of puzzles. Some of them are real head scratchers (even though, in the game, you won’t have any hands to scratch with!).

Replay Value:
Multiple solutions for each puzzle means longer gameplay and is a nice touch. There are also dolls to collect and hi-jinks to raise.

Likely Audiences:
Serious puzzle fans looking for novel charm.

Overall Score:

Other Reviews:


Award Giver Category Verdict
Spike Video Game Awards 2011Best Downloadable Game Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2011Downloadable Game of the Year Nominee

Additional Info

ESRB Description:
Crude Humor, Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco



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