Stick It to The Man, at its core, looks and feels like an old school LucasArts point-and-click adventure game, full of memorable characters, whimsical humor, and hard-but-not-too-hard puzzles. I love that genre, but what really drew me in here was that the script was written by Ryan North (of Dinosaur Comics and Adventure Time fame), who I am a big fan of.
The main gameplay gimmick here is that your character has a mysterious hand coming out of his head, which has the ability to penetrate the minds of NPCs. Because of this, not only can you read those characters’ minds, but you can also pull images and objects straight out of their thought bubbles to use elsewhere. This leads to fairly typical adventure gameplay, where progression is built upon taking items from one place and then using them in other places, but the gimmick is clever enough to make it feel unique.
Because Ryan North is awesome, the characters, scenarios, settings and dialogue are all charming and hilarious. If I have one complaint, however, it’s that the voice acting seems like a bit of a misstep. The voices here are all cartoonishly wacky to an almost Adult Swim degree, which in my opinion conflicts sharply with the more dry, down-to-earth humor of North’s dialogue. Ultimately, that’s a minor complaint, but it began to grate on my nerves after a while.
Another nitpick specifically involves the control scheme of the Wii U version. When playing on the TV, to switch over into “mind-reading mode,” you are supposed to tilt the gamepad in a certain way. The problem is that my natural way of holding the gamepad while playing was in that position, so I was always stuck in mind-reading mode unless I held the controller in a way that felt weird to me. Eventually, I switched over to off-TV play, and that solved the problem completely.
Besides those small complaints, I really enjoyed this game, and on January 16th, I beat it:
I’d recommend this one for any fans of the adventure genre, particularly the more humor-based LucasArts games. If you don’t have a Wii U, it’s also available on a million other platforms (and probably for cheaper too), so seek it out.