RanStacking – EP1 – A Brief Training Period

YouTube Link

Hi Ninja Blues reader, I am Ranneko, you may know me from the Ninja Blues comment section, the Star Realms Diaries or even more hopefully my YouTube channel. I am really excited to have the opportunity to contribute content to this site. The plan is specifically to share the let’s plays I do here, though I will note I also do other videos that can be found over on my channel.

For me these let’s plays are an excuse to try various games in my game library and talk about them as I play. Hopefully what I share is either entertaining, useful or interesting.

I am kicking off a new series with Stacking by Double Fine, which was one of their XBLA titles that eventually made its way to PC. I bought it some time ago but never got around to trying it out. All I could remember when I started this was that it was a puzzle game that involved Matryoshka dolls, so some viewers/readers may be much more familiar with the game than I am.

I was immediately caught out by the art style, I knew it involved dolls, but I didn’t really expect it to translate into the entire world being made out of toys and other building materials that emphasize the small size of all of the characters. From playing cards and pins to the occasional incandescent bulb the world really embraces the idea that someone is playing with these toys, someone with a massive collection and a great talent for building things. I am looking forward to see more in this world as the game progresses.

3 comments

  1. A sweet start for the series Ranneko. One technical problem is that I noticed the sound dropping out for short periods occasionally throughout.

    I liked Stacking, especially the aesthetic as you mention. I don’t recall if it’s ever explicitly stated but I imagined that the whole thing was a couple of kids playing using whatever props they could find to create the world you see.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Lost Cause. I will double check the audio, but I am hoping that it is related to a copyright claim against 10 seconds of violin music in the episode. I let youtube strip it out, but wasn’t able to check the result for myself.

      Now that the processing is done, urgh I can see what you mean, some parts it just completely wiped the audio. Undid the song removal, so now any ads you see go to whichever audio company content IDs some of the backing track, and I have 0 control over what gets put up. Joy. Even better that level is a hub, so I suspect it will be an issue for the entire series. Double joy.

  2. As the first game I played in my own brief LP career, I’ve got a lot of love for Stacking. It’s just so charming, and that’s not a word you can use to describe many games.

    You technically found two of the solutions for the lounge puzzle – going in through the vent, and seducing the guard. You also briefly controlled the doll you needed for the third solution. I’m glad you found the eagle-eyed lady early too. She or someone like her are in every level, and they make life so much easier.

    Something the game doesn’t make obvious is the various side tasks that can be done in each level too – they’re found in the pause menu. I think I missed them until I’d finished the story, but I was happy for an excuse to play a bit more afterwards.

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