A dark-fantasy themed platformer, that is built around the idea that it all takes place on a single theatre stage with an ever-evolving, constantly rotating background.
The game is primarily a 2D platformer, but also involves some slight combat elements. Kutaro can jump over and on top of obstacles, collect items, and use the magic scissors on objects and enemies in the game.
Assets on the stage are fully affected by "real-world" physics systems, and quick time events are used during boss fights and other cinematic moments.
The player takes on the role of Kutaro, a boy trapped in the body of a puppet. After his abduction by the Moon Bear King (who captures the souls of children in puppets to serve as guards in his castle on the moon), Kutaro has his head ripped off and eaten. His body is cast away. Luckily, Kutaro finds a replacement head and soon after learns from a witch that a pair of enchanted scissors are the key to his freedom and return to human form. With the help of Ying-Yang, the talking, flying cat, Kutaro steals the scissors and the adventure begins.
The tone and story of the game are inspired by Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton films.
Puppeteer was announced in August at Gamescom 2012. It has been under development for the last three years at SCE JAPAN Studio. The key staff are Gavin Moore, Director (lead animator on The Getaway and Siren 2), Kazunobu Sato, Lead Planner (character designer for Siren and Siren 2), and Takashi Mizutani, Producer (lead artist for Metal Gear Solid, Sons of Liberty, The Twin Snakes and Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner).
Gavin Moore has stated in an interview that the game draws inspiration from late 80's/early 90's games Dynamite Headdy and Parodius, saying that "merge those two together and Puppeteer is what you’re going to get, I hope."