Evening Reading

by Jeff Mattas, Feb 11, 2011 5:00pm PST

Not to keep endlessly jabbering about Stacking, but it's really impressed me in a lot of ways -- most of which weren't immediately obvious to me from the get-go. Having played through the main storyline once, I'm going back to find alternate puzzle solutions and collectibles -- and having a blast doing it.

It's probably one of the best new attempts to revitalize the spirit of old-school adventure games, and does so by taking traditional conventions and streamlining them for the better. Early adventure gaming often times forced the player to resort to picking up everything that wasn't nailed down (regardless of its apparent usefulness), and combine those items with each other in a way that was increasingly random, depending on how "stuck" you were on a puzzle.

Stacking doesn't eliminate this prospect altogether, but streamlines it so that you might not even recognize its old-school underpinnings. Instead of an inventory, the player uses the different dolls that he's stacked (and their abilities, sometimes even in tandem with each other) to solve the game's conundrums. There's still experimentation required in the puzzle-solving, but it feels much more elegant.

There are probably a lot of other tried-and-true gameplay conventions ripe for a face-lift. What do you think?

And here's some Friday news, in case you missed it: