Stick It To The Man

We’ve got to fight the powers that peel
Ray is made of paper. His world is cardboard. Thoughts and objects are stickers. Ray has just been infested by an alien brain parasite that enables him to read minds, then peel and reapply the images he finds. Welcome to the modern point ‘n’ click, a genre so strip-mined for ideas that its creators have had to start pointing at office stationery and saying, “Could we use that?”Lucky, then, that this example of the process works quite so well.

Dinosaur Comics’ Ryan North has written a conspiracy comedy that veers from genuinely witty to harmlessly, endearingly lame. Each chapter is a single, large area, packed with a variety of grotesque morons to attend to from the cannibal chef who needs human tears for a soup to several cloned Elvises searching for the next big thing.

The simple setup is shaken up by a massive, pink spaghetti arm that protrudes out of Ray’s head, from which he can swing between areas and reveal clues by tearing away environmental elements or reading minds.

Familiarly wacky without being illogical, and telegraphed without stepping too far into the formulaic, its puzzles essentially drop you into a Rube Goldberg machine and ask you to find the starting point. You talk to everyone you can, brain-scan anyone you can’t and finally work your way through each of the level’s characters, satisfying their needs.

Unfortunately, between all this neat execution lies Zoink’s biggest mistake trying anything more difficult. Limp platforming and too many instant-death stealth sections prolong levels seemingly for the sake of it. This should be a tidy three hours, but it gains at least a third more weight for the cross-genre ballast. At their best, however, those three hours are an off-kilter delight. Like its (possible) creation process, SITTM is best when it keeps it simple.
Stick It To The Man

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