The Stacking wiki last edited by BeachThunder on 08/15/13 09:49AM View full history

Overview

Stacking is an open-world third person adventure/puzzle game that bases its mechanics around the concept of Russian Matryoshka, or nesting dolls. It is created by Lee Petty, the art director of Brütal Legend, and his team at Double Fine. It was released for the PlayStation Network on February 8, 2011 for $14.99 and a day later on Xbox Live Arcade for 1200 Microsoft points. The game was also free on the PS3 for members of the PlayStation Plus program. A PC version, available via Steam, was released on March 6, 2012.

Story

In Stacking, you play as a young chimney sweep named Charlie Blackmore, who also happens to be the world's smallest Matryoshka doll. After his father is hired by a mysterious industrial magnate known only as The Baron and subsequently disappears, Charlie's siblings are forced into hard labor to pay the family's debts. Charlie sets out on a quest to find and reunite his family and subsequently put an end to the horrible child labor laws put forth by The Baron.

Gameplay

Charlie Blackmore, the protagonist.

The core gameplay of Stacking is focused around stacking different nesting dolls around you. When you sneak up on another doll and jump inside them, you gain access to that doll's specific ability, which may have an effect like seducing guards and luring them away from their posts or dispersing crowds that impede your progress. There are many unique named dolls around, each with their own unique abilities. These are not only collectibles that tie into achievements/trophies, but crucial to completing certain puzzles.

The only rule, other than the fact that you cannot enter a doll that is facing you, is that you can only stack inside dolls that are one size larger than you. Since Charlie is the smallest Matryoshka in this universe, you start off with endless possibilities. As long as you find larger dolls, you can always keep stacking them, but you only have access to the special ability of the outermost persona.

Stacking in progress.

In contrast with older, typical puzzle-oriented adventure games, Stacking offers several different solutions to each problem you encounter, and you will be encouraged to try out various tactics as you make your way through this stacking adventure. Achievements and trophies are awarded for finding all solutions to a given puzzle.

In addition to finding all the solutions for the story progressing puzzles, there are numerous side tasks called "Hi-Jinks." Hi-Jinks usually entail using one of the dolls' unique abilities to complete a task. These tasks may include: dressing up, drawing on, or otherwise performing a myriad of actions on the other dolls in the world. Completing a Hi-Jink gives the doll you used (and all similar dolls) a special gold item. These items are only cosmetic and do not affect gameplay in any way. There are a number of unique Hi-Jinks per level and completing all of them in any given level will unlock a trophy or 10-point achievement. Furthermore each world in the game has a number of unique dolls that are not found anywhere else and the game tracks how many you've found.

Game World

There are four distinct "levels" in Stacking, The Royal Train Station,The Gilded Steamship, The Zeppelin of Consequence, and The Triple-Decker Tank Engine. Each location has its own variety of Hi-Jinks and unique dolls to collect.

The Royal Train Station

Train station platform.

The Royal Train Station acts as a hub world for the game, giving the player access to any of the other three worlds at a moments notice. The train station doesn't serve solely as a hub world though, as it offers it's own set of challenges, hi-jinks, and unique dolls that expand as the player progresses through the game and completes the other main areas. Also, there is a secret room in the Station where Charlie's hobo friend Levi will display the collectibles the player finds and maintain mementos of each area's challenges as they are completed.

The Gilded Steamship

Safari located on the Gilded Steamship.

The Gilded Steamship is a small city in itself when you're a Matryoshka doll. Two of the more unique areas are the Seaside Safari and the Museum. The ship also features many different side challenges in addition to the main challenge of getting the Great Adventurers aboard the ship to insist together that the Captain stop the ship so that Charlie can save one of his lost siblings.

The Zeppelin of Consequence

The race tracks aboard the Zeppelin of Consequence.

The Zeppelin of Consequence is the location for an important summit meeting debating whether to ban child labor or not. It is up to Charlie to save the imprisoned ambassadors locked away on the zeppelin and get them to unite and vote against child labors, so he can save yet another one of his siblings. The zeppelin itself is actually made up of two separate zeppelins connected together via a zip-line, and offers a few unique areas, such as a large ballroom and a race track.

The Triple-Decker Tank Engine

Inside one of the Triple-Decker cars.

The Triple-Decker Tank Engine is a huge coal train where The Baron is hosting a party for rich industrialists hoping to escape the recent child labor ban. Charlie must board the train, evade the guards and outsmart The Baron’s top generals in order to rescue his entire family once and for all. The most notable location inside the train is the huge concert hall, where a group of maestros play pianos of all sizes, and orphaned children serve money to guests.

DLC

The Lost Hobo King

The Lost Hobo King was released April 2011 and features a whole new location for Charlie to explore, filled with all new Hi-Jinks and unique dolls. This time, Charlie travels to the land of Camelfoot to help his friend Levi the Hobo with an important family matter. Levi's uncle is the heir in waiting to the Hobo Kingdom; however, he cannot be appointed King of the Hobos without a crown. Charlie must undertake three tasks to release the captive Hobo Blacksmiths who will then remake the lost Hobo crown.

PC System Requirements

Minimum

  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • Processor: 1.8 GHz dual core CPU
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB GeForce 8800, Radeon 3850, or Intel HD 2000 Graphics
  • DirectX®:9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 1.5 GB free HD Space
  • Sound:DirectX Compatible Sound Card

Recommended

  • OS:Windows 7
  • Processor:Intel Core 2 Duo at 2.2 GHz, or AMD Athlon 64 at 2.2 GHz
  • Memory:1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB GeForce 220, Radeon 4550, Intel HD 3000 Graphics
  • DirectX®:9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 1.5 GB free HD Space
  • Sound:DirectX Compatible Sound Card

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