Puppeteer is a platforming game released exclusively for the PlayStation 3 in 2013. It received glowing reviews and It's really one of those hidden gems that's passed under the radar of many people—including myself. The entire game takes place in a diorama and instead of the screen scrolling to the right, as most platformers do, Puppeteer has you transition from one stage set to the next as you progress though the Acts(each Chapter has 3 Acts). The alternation of set pieces is virtually seamless. Stages change from one to the other without any hiccups or frame-rate issues, which is important for a game such as this because the entire focus is to keep you engaged in the constant dialogue and flowing story.
The games' animations have a deliberate jagged puppet movement to them, some move as if they are controlled by strings from above and others have poles attached to their limbs or torso from below; combined with the gorgeous lighting effects and handmade looking aesthetics, Puppeteer brings the look and feel of a diorama theater right to your living room. Probably the most impressive aspect of the game has to be the voice acting. The performances are truly outstanding. Every character has their own distinct, recognizable features. Whether it's the mystical floating cat that pronounces certain words with flair, such as magic(meoww-gic). Or the wisecracking, charismatic co-star Pikarana switching between helpful aid to arguing with the narrator in her valley girl voice about the plot details and sometimes breaking that fourth wall. The entire cast is witty, diverse, dramatic and joy to listen to. I personally haven't experienced anything like it in another game. Another nice touch is that the audience will cheer, laugh, and applaud depending on the occurring scene; it adds yet another element to make the game feel like a complete theatrical experience.
I know there is some criticism of the lack of gameplay and compared to traditional platformers, it is lacking somewhat. There aren't many enemies in the game and most of them you see over and over again. There is a highlight in the gameplay though and it's the colorful boss fights, there are plenty of them and they're fun—albeit typically simple. Most of the bosses amount to using the Calibrus(magical scissors you see on the cover) to cut the material on or around them, using bombs to hit their weak points, or use you shield to deflects enemy projectiles. But if you're looking for a game that's heavy on narrative and unlike anything out there; charming and entertaining until the very end; give Puppeteer a shot. I thought it was wonderful.
Finally.. to the music! Another fantastic portion of the game. There is everything from Western, Orchestral, Horror and dareI say epic underwater sing-a-longs(this isn't Kingdom Hearts II, don't worry!). The vocal songs are actually a lot of fun and well written, even the narrator gets involved. It comes very close to what you would hear in some of the top animated films over the years(with slightly more sarcasm). While there hasn't been an Official Soundtrack Released, there was a soundtrack given to those who pre-ordered the game early. Thankfully, I came across a copy but It turns out that it's missing quiet a few songs. Most noticeable are the chapter select(my favorite), sing-a-longs and boss battles. So, I'm not sure when we'll have the time but I've added those tracks to a future project.