Sunday, August 28, 2016

Puppeteer, Whimsical And Fun

 I was perusing games on Amazon when the game Puppeteer was suggested to me. I was intrigued by the cover and looked at the game description to see what it was about. It sounded interesting and it was on sale so I purchased it. I started playing the game and I was blown away by it because it's not like any game I've played before. The whimsical aspect of it is charming and it made me think of Little Big Planet which is also a fun and whimsical game. If you're a fan of Little Big Planet like I am, you will enjoy Puppeteer.
 Puppeteer is a side scrolling platform game and you play as a boy turned into an animated puppet who loses his head named Kutaro. Kutaro gains a variety of puppet heads to replace his own throughout the game. You have three puppet heads and when you lose a head, you have thirty seconds to grab the head and put it back on or you lose it forever. Your heads are basically like lives so when you lose all three heads/lives it's game over.  
 The story takes place in a fantasy world representing Earth's moon which is inhabited by a myriad of folklore style characters and they are all puppets as well. The game is set up to look like a faux stage with red curtains and you can hear an audience reacting to the events that happen in the story along with commentary from the narrator. It adds to the charm of Puppeteer, making it feel like a complete theater experience while playing a video game.  The first half of the game is on the dark side of the moon while the second half is on the Earth side. When Kutaro's story begins, the narrator explains that the Moon Goddess was overthrown by by her servant Little Bear who then seized her black moonstone and the scissors called Calibrus and dubbed himself the Moon Bear King.

Kutaro exploring the first level of the game. 

The Moon Bear King is the main villain, but there are several villains you have to battle before you get to him; twelve of his generals based on the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Each of them has a piece of the Goddess' white moonstone which Kutaro must get from them. Kutaro does get tools that can help him and eventually he does get Calibrus which are essentially a weapon for him. There are creative ways in which they are used besides as a weapon such as jumping to cut clouds to get to a high ledge or cutting seams to move faster while battling an enemy. They are also used to free the other animated children like Kutaro by cutting the puppet strings so they can return home. 
 There are other tools that are used as well such as ninja bombs which can open pathways for you and a pirate hook which can hook items or secret doors. They are smartly and creatively used with simple puzzles in various levels of the game which makes the game play entertaining and interesting. 

Talking with Ezma Potts, one of the many characters in Puppeteer.

The environments in Puppeteer are bright, colorful, and filled with beautifully done imaginative things. They're fun to explore and you can go back and play previously beaten levels because there are so many puppet heads and bonus items to collect. A couple of levels were my favorites such as the pirate one and the Halloween one because they put a smile on my face while playing and the Halloween one gave a Nightmare Before Christmas vibe that I loved. There are a few moments of frustration here and there with a couple of the boss battles and depth perception issues in a couple of levels, but it's not a huge deal because the execution of how the game plays and how well the story flows makes Puppeteer worth playing. 

Avast! Hanging out with pirates. 

 The game is about nine or ten hours of story and if you really want to explore to get every single puppet head out there, all the trophies, and bonus stages that can add a little more extra time and keep you pretty busy. The voice acting and music for the game is superb and there are even moments of humor that will cause you to laugh. It's quite clear that the developers of Puppeteer loved this game and enjoyed designing it and their imaginations really shine throughout the entire game; making Puppeteer a wonderful gem for gamers like myself who appreciate the fun and whimsy. 
 While some of the art can be dark and spooky like the Halloween level, there's plenty of light and fun levels making the game enjoyable for people of all ages. Overall, Puppeteer is a delightfully charming game and so much fun to play. It is worth buying and playing more than once because it doesn't take itself seriously, celebrates all things whimsical and fun, and is a terrific game. 

Kutaro having fun!

*Puppeteer is playable on these platforms: Playstation 3


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