Need a break from FPS games? Hack n Slash types? Or general violence? Do you enjoy puzzles, platforming, and a mix of cute and disturbing? Then you should take a look at Puppeteer.
Quick summary: On the moon there lives the Moon Queen, who is beautiful and full of good. She rules over the moon with fairness and serenity. One day however, Bear whom the Queen had always been fond of, grew malevolent and took down the Moon Queen. In the process he stole her magick scissors Calibrus for which he kept for himself and the Dark Moon Crystal which he divided among himself and generals. Declaring himself the Moon Bear King, he steals the souls of sleeping children and puts them in the bodies of wooden puppets to do his bidding. On such a night a little boy named Kutaro is taken to the moon, though he is a different sort of puppet with a special destiny.
The first thing about this game I enjoyed as different is that each and every scene is set on a stage. It is as if you are an audience member watching a play filled with puppets and wooden cast members. Scene pieces are held up with strings or metal poles, the ‘audience’ will gasp and ah at actions in the ‘scenes’, and there are ‘scene’ changes done much like in real life plays. The narrator is done in a very Little Big Planet style (the voice is very similar too.) The art style is very childish, which fits the story and settings, but there are some dark (sometimes dirty) implications and dialog that occur as well. It gives the game a very different feel, a mixture of light while also being challenging.
As for the gameplay, most of it is platforming with a bit of puzzle in it. Though none of the gameplay was too difficult for me, there were times where I had to play over again because of a missed jump or ill-timed weapon use, so you won’t get bored with the platforming. The special thing about the protagonist is that he can wear different heads which you find throughout each level. You are only allowed three heads at a time, and they can get knocked off if you are hit (or if you fall and die). Each of these is sort of like a life or heart, and when they are all gone you ‘die’. Throughout the level you can often find heads to replace the ones you have lost. There are bonus levels or different route to take depending on which head you have. This makes for a good replay of levels because you may not have the head you need yet. There are also special moves or skills you get as you play through the game, which again allows for level replay because you can access places you haven’t been to before.
The story is engaging and often humorous, the scenes are colorful and often hide little details throughout, and the audio is enjoyable as well. Though there is one character whose voices grates on my ears after a while, her valley-girl style talking a little much for this player. Overall I give this game an 9/10. The only woes I have with it is when you play through a level over and over and still don’t get the head you need for those specials I was talking about. Freeing souls, something I didn’t delve into but you’ll find out when you play, can be a bit of a pain too-especially when the accidentally fall off screen and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it. But that’s just because I’m a bit of a perfectionist and replaying each stage (roughly 15-30 mins) can start to wear on you.
Oh, and if you have a 3D TV w/glasses, it supports it. Below I’ll post some screenshots, credit to GameSpot, for your pleasure.