The Clash of the Stick Titans
In a stickland far, far away; Giants made of sticks lived and waged war against each other in order to weed out the weak and gain supremacy over all. Together with the aid of the lesser, not so gigantic stick men, these titanic gladiators are ready to use anything or anyone in order to win the impending battle between rivals. Take up arms, rally your troops and join the fight in Stick Bang by Free World Group.
The Grisly Sight of a Stick War
A Ravaged land with torn bodies everywhere, this is the sight normally seen during a war. The same can be said with Stick Bang, but instead of bodies being found everywhere, bodies are being thrown everywhere. As the battles ensue, things get ugly and that is what the developers aimed for when they designed the game’s visual. Taking a page out of Worm’s graphics book, Stick Bang is pretty much the same game in terms of visual presentation, just with a fresh coat of paint poured over it. With a colorful and decently detailed two dimensional background that can be damaged and destroyed during gameplay, Stick Bang’s visuals are exactly what you would expect to see in a flash animated game. Some stages are multi-leveled, while others have obstacles that block each side’s attacks, these diversities in the designs of the stages not just add visual flare but also strategy to the Stick Bang’s gameplay.
In a game where war is the theme, animation is important since a static battlefield would just look dull and boring if nothing was moving. It is a good thing that game’s artists gave the game a decent amount of visual eye candy to not just immerse the player but also keep the game lively. Each of the weapons thrown and released by the Giant Stick Gladiators in the game move and animate differently, which is visually impressive since the game’s protagonist has a huge arsenal of weapons at his disposal. We really liked the variety and creativity the artists added in designing each weapon – from the walking stick men with a knife to the digger stick men, each has a different design and movements. While these details are hard to spot especially during gameplay - since the player is too busy attacking and dodging spells and other nasty creatures conjured by enemy arcanists, it was still good to see that the developers went the extra mile in adding such minute but well designed details – we can not wait to see what the sequel will look like.
Sadly the Stick Titans you control can not be customized visually. It would have been a great addition to the game if the option to create your very own Stick Titan was added in the game – we are hoping this will be in the sequel. Still, the controllable giants were decently designed and well animated, making the whole experience of playing as a gigantic stick warrior who flings smaller stick men at another gigantic stick warriors highly amusing.
The Anthem of War
Something had to go wrong eventually and sadly it did with Stick Bang’s music. The game only has one sound track looping over and over again and can be heard pretty much on all levels. While there are a lot of other flash games that do not have a huge variety of music, at least they had music that actually fit the game’s setting. Stick Bang’s music is too cheerful and just does not fit right with the game’s setting. It is the type of music you would expect to hear at an ice figure skating tournament – not that we watch those, rather than in a battle field where death and mayhem are the theme. We highly recommend getting the media player in your computer or mp3 device ready since we are pretty sure you will need them while playing Stick Bang. Downloading a war themed music is recommended; something like the music playing during the attack by the orcs at Helms Deep in The Lord to the Rings movie would be a great fit to the game.
While Stick Bang’s music left a huge scar on the game’s audio presentation, the game’s sound effects at least provided some needed remedy to the wound. A variety of effects can be heard from each of the game’s multiple weapons, while also a bit limited, they at least sounded clear and crisp which added to the game’s overall experience. Some weapons seem to have lost their voice during development and we are really hoping that when the sequel comes out, they will have already found the sounds that have gone missing.
Battling for Supremacy
Stick Bang’s gameplay is very similar to the classic game Worms but with some added twists. You take control of a Gigantic Stick Warrior whose weapons consists of smaller stick men. Each stick man has a certain effect or ability, such as exploding on impact or digging holes in the ground. Your main goal is to either deplete your opponent’s health bar or have them fall off the stage. While this may sound simple, the opponents are formidable and will use all the weapons in their arsenal to beat you to the punch. Other stages later in game also tilt to the enemy’s favor, providing aid and support in their struggle to beat to you - fighting two stick giants at the same time is not a fair game at all. Money is awarded after clearing a stage and can be used to purchase ammunition and upgrades for your stick men arsenal.
Knowing your weapons and what they can do is very important. Stick Bang is not a shooting game where you just shoot the enemy till they die, especially since the enemy has way better aim than you. Using each weapon strategically is the key to winning, weapons like the Digger, can dig holes that can either trap your opponent, leaving them open for attacks with heavy damaging stick men or can eliminate the enemy instantly by dropping them off the stage. Some weapons were designed to do damage while others were designed to hinder the enemy’s movement, such as the Freezoid stick men. Learning to strategize with all the different kinds of weapons provided in the game not only provides fun but increases the game’s overall replay value since the player can play through the game using different strategies each time.
Restocking and upgrading your stickmen weapons is done after each level is cleared. The Suicide Bomber is the only weapon with unlimited usage. Always restock your other weapons after every stage. Choosing which weapon to upgrade first depends entirely on the player’s gameplay preferences; if they would rather clear the stage by depleting the enemy’s health bar then focusing on upgrading the weapons that can do direct damage on the enemy is recommended. While weapons that hinder or force your opponents off the stage are also available, they require a bit more finesse and strategy compared to just blowing things up.
Stages later in the game also provide some challenges for the player to overcome. Some levels give the enemy support and aid such as a plane piloted by enemy stick men that continuously attack you until you shoot it down. Other levels even allow another enemy stick titan to teams up with your adversary. These are but some of the obstacles the player will face if they want to gain supremacy over the lands. So make sure to stock up on your stickmen weapons and upgrade them accordingly.
Once the War has ended
People who have played and enjoyed the classic Worms series will definitely love Free World Group's Stick Bang. With its familiar gameplay and additional content, the game is highly recommended to both fans and novices of the puzzle-action game genre. With a decent graphical presentation and a fun and rewarding gameplay, the only thing keeping Stick Bang down for now is the music and audio effects. Hopefully a sequel will be made in the future with a better sound track and an improved gameplay. Stick Bang has an advantage in the ongoing war, rallying a score of 88/100.