The original version of this review can also be read at: http://www.kickedintheface.com/games/reviews/Stick_RPG-PC.htm
One uneventful afternoon you find yourself drifting off to sleep...your eyes begin to close, but sleep does not come. You find yourself in a state of mind between slumber and wakefulness, the hynogagonic state. Your sense of spacial dimensions begins to shift, and when you regain your bearings and become self aware once more you come to the dizzying realization that up and down no longer exist. There is no floor, no ceiling. There is no top, there is no bottom. you have entered the 2nd dimension. Looks like you could be stuck here for a while. May as well enjoy your new consequence free environment and all the benefits of megalomania! Acquire as much net worth as you can!
Or at least, that's what the instructions say (are "wakefulness", "spacial", and "hynogagonic" even real words?). Welcome to Stick RPG. With just a hundred bucks in your pocket, a rent-free place to stay, and a small world to explore, it's your calling as a stick figure to make as much money as you can in either 15, 40, or 100 days. There's also a game based around "unlimited" time, but since there's absolutely no way to actually beat this game and no save feature, it's kind of a waste of time to play that one.
Instead of cluttering down your character with a ton of attributes, you only get three: Charm, strength, and intelligence. There are ways to increase all three attributes from giving money to homeless people to getting into bar fights to studying at the university to drinking beer and so on. If you want to land a sweet job and make tons of money, you need to have high intelligence. If you decide you wouldn't like to work, you can just hang out at the bar all day and fight, but to be successful in that you'll need a lot of strength. If you decide that you would much rather gamble your earnings in a casino and spend all your spare time and money drinking beer and sleeping, you can find success through robbing a bank...however, you're going to have to be one charming dude to pull it off.
What's nice about building up your three attributes is the fact that not only does a lot of it cost money, but it also costs time. You only have so much time in a day to do stuff, so you have to make the most out of each and every day. Especially if you're playing the short 15 day game. You can't just hang out in the gym all day one day, then make your fortune the next by getting into a million bar fights. It's up to you to manage your time properly and find a good balance in attributes so you can make as much money as possible.
Obviously, making money and building attributes is the meat and potatoes of the game. It makes for some incredibly addictive point-based gameplay. However, there are also some major flaws to this RPG. First, it just doesn't appear to be very well thought out. There are places you can go like the bus depot and Fine Line Furnishings which are also closed and ask you to come back later. As it turns out, they're never open. It also would have been nice that when walking around town you had to worry about getting hit by cars or possibly running into somebody that might try to start some trouble. Well, there are cars, but all they want to do is drive straight off the end of the world. As a matter of fact, if you walk to the end of the world, you'll just see a car floating in mid-air. Kind of useless, really. Throw in a drug dealer that will sell you a worthless gram of coke, an answering machine with next to no purpose in the game, annoying music, and occasional glitches after a bar fight...and you can't help but think this game was nothing more than a weekend project of some college student taking a course in Flash.
If that's the case, the guy that made this did a damn fine job on the weekends making a highly addictive game. Despite the flaws, Stick RPG is a gem if you're looking to waste a couple hours (or more). The addition of an on-line "high scores" or "hall of fame" section would probably give people more incentive to keep playing, but what the hell...it's beats those worthless dating sims, right?
* Highly addictive game.
* Incredibly easy to learn.
* Interesting battle system to say the least, plus there are no random fights you have to toil through. As a matter of fact, one can still get a pretty good score in this game without getting into a single fight.
* The complete lack of objective struck me as strange at first, but it's actually kind of a refreshing idea. Instead, one is pressed for time to become as successful as possible. No fair maidens to rescue, no demons to kill, no world to save. Just go out and make the most out of what you got. Kind of like "Money" featuring Eric Stoltz, except Stick RPG has better acting and a better storyline...
* There's reason to actually put money in the bank. The more you put away, the more interest you gain. This is something more RPG's should offer.
* If you're not happy with the small amount of interest you're getting from the bank, don't choose to invest your money elsewhere...just rob the bank.
* The fact it costs nothing is a nice touch.
* The most obvious would be the graphics, however with a name like "Stick RPG", you can't hold it against the game.
* Has a very unfinished, unpolished feel.
* Some nasty bugs were left in the game like cars that drive off the end of the world and never come back and occasional crashes after a bar fight.
* Some parts of this game have absolutely NO purpose at all, like buying a gram of coke, visiting the bus depot, and visiting the furnishing store.
* No save feature. Just put in three hours playing the unlimited time version? Tough luck.
* The music is ridiculously annoying.
* They could have done a lot with the answering machine at the house, however all I've ever seen it used for was when you first start the game you have a message waiting for you from McSticks (Stick RPG's version of McDonald's).