The second Double Fine download-only title is what indie titles should be: stylised and fun. This time it’s based on the Russian stacking matryoshka dolls.
You play as young Charlie Blackmore, a chimney sweep and the smallest of the doll sizes. When his family get into financial hot water, Charlie gets heroic and decides to rescue them from the evil Baron, an upper class tyrant who controls the working class. Charlie must progress through a series of challenges, but you'll quickly find that he'll need to recruit other dolls if he's to succeed. To do that you creep up stealthily behind the doll you want and enter them from the rear. Yes, I did just say that. If they see you coming they won’t let you inside. Typical.
You can only go up one size at a time, so if you want to enter one of the larger women you’ll have to first find a smaller model to… this is getting awkward.
Each doll is 100% unique and gives the player different abilities enabling them to complete specific tasks, or grant access to previously hidden areas. Once a task is achieved you can move on. However, there are always three different ways to achieve each task, so the method you employ is up to you. You can even do all three if you feel like it, and the game rewards you if you do take the time to discover all the answers. It forces you to engage in some lateral thinking and to explore the characters’ abilities to see which you can use to aid you.
The optional ‘Hi-jinks’ are fun, such as farting in ten doll’s faces, or something equally as irreverent. The Double Fine humour is never far from the surface.
As with Costume Quest (2010), Stacking got DLC. Alongside bringing back Charlie, The Lost Hobo King introduced new dolls with new abilities. The gameplay is unchanged, but he's now in a town called Camelfoot. There's a demo of the main game on the stores so you can try before you buy.
Can only be bought directly from PSN, X-Box live or Steam.
3½ cheers for child labour out of 5