Review
Stick Man Rescue

By Jorge Figueiredo - February 6th, 2012

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Years ago, I stumbled upon an internet animation series called Xiao Xiao (also known as Stick Fighter); it was a neat little animation about stick people fighting in a grand martial arts battle. While not really the same, TikGames’ Stick Man Rescue brought a smile to my lips and reminded me that a game does not need to be graphics intensive to be fun*.

Stick Man Rescue is a lot like a more puzzle-intensive version of Choplifter. Really, the premise is pretty similar: rescue stick people with a copters – yes, that’s what it boils down to. The Evil Blue Stick Minions** have kidnapped your stick men and you need to rescue them using your futuristic troop transport. Of course, if it was that simple, it wouldn’t even be worth the low, low price of four bucks; luckily for us this is not the case.

Levels become more and more complex as you progress; after a little while you will definitely be missing those first few easy levels. Eventually, the simplicity of flying through open air is replaced by the complexity of avoiding enemy weapons and crazy environmental hazards – while trying to rescue as many of your friends as you can.

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“Johnny! Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

As I indicated at the beginning of this article, the visuals are 2D and not really flashy at all. However, they are smooth (on both PSP and PS3) and I consider them to be charming. Busying up the screen might actually take away from the playability of some of the levels; keeping things simple allows the player to focus on the puzzles much more easily. Sound design is decent: catchy tunes and well-placed sound effects add up to give an entertaining experience.

Controls are tight and responsive – which is very important in this game. Sloppy controls, much like a too-busy background, would rob the player of a worthwhile experience. Sometimes it’s nice to play an action-puzzler that doesn’t make you want to hurl your controller at the screen just because the game design was crap. Stick Man Rescue is certainly high on the fun factor while remaining challenging enough to make the player think.

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The fun art style carries through to the menus as well.

Once you charge your way through Stick Man Rescue, you might find yourself involuntarily making a sad face. While there are lots of fun levels to play (30), and lots of cool enemies to try and figure out how to mitigate, finishing the game doesn’t unlock any new levels (and it’s just single-player). That’s it. You’re done.

Of course, for four bucks, what do you want? The value of this game is already much greater than that price tag. Charming visuals, good sound, tight controls and thirty levels (of increasing difficulty) make Stick Man Rescue a fun diversion that, in my opinion, is probably enjoyable by a large demographic. If you’re looking for a fun, yet challenging way to pass the time: check out this game!

* – Although, sometimes it is pretty awesome.
** – Sounds like a really bad Blue Man tribute group.

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