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Stick Em’ Up Review (Indie)

Game Review: Stick Em’ Up
Release: March 22, 2010
Genre: Run’N’Gun/Platformer
Developer: Whatever Games
Available Platforms: Xbox 360 Indie Games
Players: 1-4 Players (Co-op & Local Multiplayer)
MSRP: $3.00 (240 MS Points)
ESRB Rating: Not Rated Yet
Website: http://whatevergames.net/stickemup/

Sometimes stickmen are looked upon as weak and defenseless. Well you can’t say this anymore as Whatever Games have created a game which allows you to control a stickman and holster weapons, drive cars & fly helicopters, no longer rendering him defenseless. The basic premise of the game is simple; you are a stickman running through a set of levels shooting enemy stickmen, planes and UFOs.

The game has no real story to it and is very short. There is only 12 levels not including the tutorial. The tutorial teaches you the core mechanics of the game and gets you ready for the rest of the levels. The game is a 2D run’n’gun platformer. The levels are basic in design and very colorful. During levels you start at point A and make your way to point B; the end. Along your way to the end of the level you encounter enemy stickmen, planes and some kind of  UFOs. Not all levels are the same, some are survivor levels; survive for a certain amount of time. The game also has Co-op and has local mulitplayer support but I couldn’t try this out as none of my friends were willing to come round my house and play an Indie 2D platformer( prejudice if you ask me), so I can’t comment about it, although from the screenshots it looks pretty much the same as the singleplayer experience only in the deathmatch or co-op form.

The game is different from the normal games I play but I was willing to give it try and I liked it. The games level design is limited to blocks and shapes but if this was the goal the developer was aiming for it certainly achieves it. Yes the game is limited to a few colors but that’s the great thing about this game; its so simple that it just works. The controls are easy to learn and you will learn and master the controls and be shooting the enemy in no time. The game has no real checkpoints, instead you have up to 4 lives and if you lose a life, you return to the same spot you died. When you lose all your lives its game over and you start the level again. Like I said above the singleplayer only has 12 levels taking an average gamer around 2hrs+ too complete, which is very short.

I had a few problems with this game, one of them was the lack of the ability to crouch. When the enemy shoots at you, the only way to dodge the bullets or rockets is to jump and maneuver in the air. Sometimes the bullets or rockets fired where at head height and tried clicking down the left thumbstick to dodge the enemy fire only to find it didn’t work and I got owned by the enemy stickmen. Also I found that the AI is dumb, really dumb. On a survivor level I found that if the enemy landed above me on a ledge, I could control his movement. Basically if I moved left, he moved left etc. One last thing I didn’t like was the overwhelming amount of bullets/rockets fired upon me. Sometimes it seemed impossible to not fail a level because of the sheer amount of enemy fire coming your way.

Andrew’s Final Say:

This game definitely makes a change from the variety of complex and highly detailed games we have on the market today, but that change is what makes this game good. You can pick up this game and have some fun doing so. Yes the singleplayer is short but this is an Indie game, I’m sure if this was an XBLA title there would have been more singleplayer levels and Xbox Live support. The game is only $3 and for that price you can have some good times. So I would say buy this for that price but if your still hesitant go download the demo and rate it afterwards, you can watch the trailer below and see what the gameplay looks like.

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  • awesome! I totally agree about the crouch too. While playing the trial, I’d be at a hill and have rockets shot at me. I wanted to crouch behind that hill then jump out and continue jumping over rockets. Still fun though.