Developer: Sony Japan
The world is a stage in this visually vibrant, wholly original game that sees you play the headless puppet Kutaro, who must go through the world of Puppeteer collecting different heads in order to stay alive. It’s up to you to defeat the evil Moon Bear King, who steals the souls of sleeping children on nights with full moons. With the help of the King’s magical pair of scissors, known as the Calibrus, you cut a swathe through the darkly magical kingdom to save the day.
There is an obvious comparison to be made to Sony’s other not-to-be-taken-seriously platformer Little Big Planet, but the similarities are mostly fleeting in nature. The visual and sound design of Puppeteer is entirely unique, presented to the player like a stage play, with the fantastic story being told like an old school Disney movie; for kids and adults, both whimsical and a little bit scary.
Using the magical scissors as a means of transport sounds crazy but is in fact all too easy to get the hang of, cutting your way through the background and foreground, as well as your primary means of attacking your enemies and solving the occasional puzzles that the game presents. It’s not got much variety in the way of normal bad guys, except for the exceptional boss battles, each of which acts almost as its own mini-game.
There are plenty of different heads to be found (what an odd sentence to be writing down) throughout the game, but they don’t represent a good enough reason to return to the world of Puppeteer once the game is over. The story of the game is fantastic the first time out, with the lengthy and intricately told cut-scenes, but once completed, the unique experience of the first play through doesn’t feel like it would lend itself well to being repeated.
Presentation: 5 out of 5
Gameplay: 4 out of 5
Replay: 2 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5