Stacking

I just got my hands on Stacking, a puzzle adventure game based around the use of Matryoshka dolls, created by Double Fine.

The game is quite simple to pick up.. there are five sizes of doll, with each able to stack into the next size up, and when stacked, you are able to use the ability of the largest doll.  Every doll has an ability, some which you’ll need to use to solve the puzzle at hand, and others which I think are just there for atmosphere, such as the little lady who sips tea.  There are also plenty of hints in case you get stuck, though so far it looks as though you can find out all you need to know just by talking to everyone you meet.  Each puzzle also has multiple solutions, and there are also some unique dolls to find as well.. reason to explore, which I love.

I absolutely adore the silent film effect used to tell the story too..

You play the role of Charlie, the smallest doll in the family.  Times are hard.. your family have no money, and the evil Baron comes to take all your older brothers and sisters away to work in child labour camps..

Heading out to look for your siblings, you arrive at the Train Station where your brother Albert is being forced to shovel coal.. to free him, you need to stop the strike.. and to stop the strike you need to get the members of the Train Guild out of the Royal Lounge and down onto the platform to talk to the strikers.

There’s a guard blocking the doors to the Lounge, and he tells me that I can’t go in, or the host will throw everyone out.  Well, that’s exactly what I want.. so how to get rid of the guard?

It turns out there’s a pretty doll here, The Widow Chastity, who has a rather effective ‘Seduce’ ability..

What I found funny was the reaction I got while trying this ability out on the nearby dolls..  another female let out a “Hmmph!” sound, and her top half tilted away as if in disgust! 😀

This doll isn’t just for looks though.. she is part of the first solution..

The guard is a sucker for beauty, and I draw him away from the door before unstacking with Chastity and jumping straight into the guard instead.  After having him unlock the door, I go in and march right up to the host, who is suitably unimpressed and boots everyone out.  Success!

The three members of the Train Guild are all quite happy to go and talk to the strikers now, so I stack into them all in turn.  Engineer Ulysses has the ‘Full Steam Ahead’ ability, which lets me race through the platform like a little steam train..

Another doll I found wandering around in the Train Station was the socially unacceptable Meriwether Malodor.

His ability can clear a room.. and in fact, does!  For another solution to the first puzzle, you can place Meriwether by the air vent leading to the Royal Lounge and ‘Flatulate’..

After clearing the Train Station, you can proceed to the Gilded Steam Ship, where your sister awaits rescue.

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