It is nice to see games starting to embrace humour. What would Portal, Team Fortress 2, Lego games and so many other games be like without their giggles? It is especially nice to see indie games take the charge, which is the case of Tex Stickman, a platformer/action game with a slightly retro style made in the 001 Game Creator (AKA, Engine 001).
You are Tex Stickman, a man living in Texas who has a love of guns, beer and shooting things. He is the stereotypical “hillbilly Texan”. Suddenly terrorists attack and only he can save us by means of shooting them up and leaping across “platformeresque” worlds. The game’s story is simple yet sets the tone well and gives us a reason to mow down the terrorists. The dialogue is funny and really captures Tex’s “hillbilliness”.
The presentation is pretty good for the most part. The graphics have a neat aesthetic and they look like they were made in M.S. Paint at times although they fit’s the game’s tone and style well. The music only plays at the main menu and not during gameplay which I think is a bit of a lost opportunity, but while that music can be a bit annoying, you can’t help but giggle when you first hear it. The sound effects are generic but they work. The HUD is clear and concise and display’s the game’s humour but putting “enuf” by ammo. I assume that means you have infinite ammo I guess…?
The game gives a sort of brief, unobtrusive tutorial that you can always ignore which may help ease people into the tight, responsive controls. The platforming is pretty good although it can be downright frustrating at times. There are checkpoints which ease that pain a bit although some are weirdly placed and are sometimes too far apart. The game also automatically saves at checkpoints and you have infinite lives which is handy. The shooting is good although the enemy AI can be dumb at times.
There is also a few sections in the game where you ride nukes. While the idea is unique, badass and awesome, the controls for them can feel a bit awkward, with you fighting to not blow yourself up (with the nuke). The different settings (forests, deserts, bases) as well as different types of enemies helps give more variety to the gameplay.
The game is stable and I haven’t had a crash yet although I have encountered one bug where my character disappeared while riding a nuke. The game is of fair length, but there isn’t much replay value with no hidden collectibles or anything of that sort that I noticed. That doesn’t really matter though since the game is just free, unique and simple fun. I recommend you download it.
Download Link: http://www.engine001.com/games/Tex+Stickman_1404.htm
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nathan. He prefers his last name not to be known. He’s probably a high-class superspy, but we don’t mind. For a temporary amount of time, he is the editor of Indiegraph. He’s our point man for interviews, and occasionally he takes a blowtorch to a game to see whether it measures up to his standards. He runs Gamesbydesign, an IndieGraph affliate site dedicated to game design articles.