Lovers of Russian nesting dolls rejoice, for Double Fine has finally announced a February launch for their newest download-only title Stacking. The babushka-based puzzle game will be released on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on February 8 and 9 respectively, for an asking price of around fifteen bucks.
Brütal Legend aside, Tim Schafer knows no equal when it comes to crafting clever action adventure games – see Psychonauts, Grim Fandango and Full Throttle – and though Stacking looks to be more puzzler than pugilist, it still manages to follow a story. As Charlie Blackmore, the tiniest member of a family of matryoshkas (thankyou wikipedia) separated and forced into indentured servitude by an evil industrialist, you are tasked with reuniting your family. You can’t do that as your itty bitty self, but thankfully you can possess any doll one size larger as long as their backs are turned. Using other dolls’ special abilities, be it the security clearance of a soldier, the distracting sexiness of a prostitute, or the powerful flatulence of a plumber, you’ll be able to go places and do things that little Charlie otherwise wouldn’t, solving puzzles and saving the Blackmores from their depressingly Victorian fate.
Even if it didn’t have a story, I think Stacking‘s art design is unique enough to warrant parting with some of my precious Microsoft Points, what with its sepia toned color palette, classical music score and silent movie-styled title cards.