The idea of a puppet show platformer is already a niche one, and it came out after Beyond and The Last of Us soaked up the “PS3 send off” rays. However, it also came out during a fantastic run of platformers – including Super Luigi U on the Wii U and Rayman Legends for every platform known to man. Sadly, the latter prediction came true for the game and it didn’t sell very well. It did get a lot of critical acclaim though, and for good reason – it’s a stunning game and a great one to boot. The game combines a fairly dark plot involving a kid having his head stolen by the king with a fairly light-hearted play motif that works wonderfully.
Levels change in real-time with set pieces and lighting, and it all absorbs you into the game that much more. Part if that is just due to not game other than this really doing that. The gameplay is a mix of basic platforming and using the scissors you’re armed with to bore into enemies like the drill in Drill Dozer. The scissors are also used to cut along paths, and you can also lob bombs at enemies to eliminate them. The play setting is used for a lot more musical pieces than most gamers are used to, and it gives the whole production a cartoon-esque appeal. There’s a Disney-esque section there with a character that parodies Mickey Mouse, and given how dark some of those plots get, this storyline fits in perfectly there.
The game is a pretty easy to play on both the Dual Shock 3 and PS Move. While I haven’t played it since the game’s launch with the Move, and can’t find my PS3 camera, I remember the precision-cutting sections being much easier with the Move controls while the basic gameplay was about as easy to play with either device. If you’ve got a Move and issues with precise stick movements, the Move might be for you. If you don’t have any motor skills issues, then this game won’t pose many issues. Sadly, given that it’s heavily-musical and relies on a lot of voice overs, something is going to be lost if you have hearing problems, but the game does have subtitles. Visually, this is a feast for the eyes in so many ways. It means that if you’re like me and have vision issues, the game is still quite easy to play since you can see everything clearly. The screen is bathed in all kinds of colors, and this is one of the most beautiful platformers on the PS3.
In a way, it’s a shame the game didn’t achieve the success it deserves since it likely means we’ll never see another entry. However, thanks to it becoming a freebie, more people will be able to experience it. If you’ve never done so before and have a PS+ account, it’s definitely worth the time it takes to download the game and experience it for yourself. Anyone who loves side-scrolling platformers will enjoy it and if you’ve got a Move, it’s an even better value for your PS+ membership. Hopefully the PS4 and Vita get a version of this to call their own, because I would love to see a puppet show-themed platformer become a franchise, even if it doesn’t continue the same story. The aesthetic is fantastic and it allows for a lot of creativity with the world that you can’t normally have in a game that has to adhere to a more realistic world structure.