2D adventures have had something of a return to form in recent times and one of them I’d like to announce as amazing is Puppeteer for the PS3.
Often games have a certain mechanic that’s quite unique and that idea is ran to the ground and this game has three it uses to varying degrees of excellence. Firstly the whole game takes place on a puppet stage. As you complete a screen it shuffles beautifully into the next screen. It flows so elegantly and the depth that you get from ever moving stages is something special. You have a narrator and an audience with canned laughter and characters will fly off the stage to the screen as if the play is being produced for just you as the single viewer. The immersion is superb. The second mechanic is strangely scissors! Your character has magic scissors and as you use them in various ways, it makes combat, platforming and bosses feel fresh and new despite you still effectively button mashing and platforming.
The third option isn’t quite used to its full potential but it’s still a great extension of the game. Like other games use costumes to add new abilities, Kutaro (your character) has changeable heads. These heads can be triggered at certain points to set off head specific events. There are no special abilities however and they effectively work as lives too. A great idea, slightly underused.
Two players can play together as you also control a fairy whom can interact with the level or shine a light somewhere to help you. The second player can take that character over too which can provide some fun co-op experiences.
However the overarching triumph of Puppeteer is the way how it tells a story and sells its design. Every level is a joy to play. Every cut scene is great to watch and each bonus level a challenge to seek out. Puppeteer despite its look is far from easy. You’ll get through the game but if you want to unlock all the extra levels, heads and trophies you’ll be having to go some! Along with Rayman’s return, these have been the best 2D platformers released on disc for a long time.
~ Beautiful visual and sound design
~ Magical scissors really feel unique
~ Genuinely funny moments (so hard to do)
~ Easy to pick up, difficult to master
~ Sometimes the screen gets quite busy in dark areas (this is being really picky however)
Addictive, amazing, delightful and intuitive – Puppeteer is one of a kind and I cannot recommend it enough.