Stick to the Plan Review: Every Dog Has His Day!

Out now on PC comes Stick to the Plan. An indie 3D puzzle game where you must lead Roberto the dog through the title's five worlds carrying sticks of various sizes. Whilst the premise might seem a little silly or light weight it makes for an innovative idea for a puzzle game. But is it any good? Find out in the review!

Stick To The Plan Review Cover

Developed and published by Dead Pixel Tales (and published in some territories by SpaceJazz) and out now on PC is Stick to the Plan. A 3D indie puzzle game where you must guide a little dog carrying a big stick through a series of complex puzzles and get to the exit. Travel across several levels through the title’s themed worlds as you help little Roberto the dog find the biggest and best sticks around. As well as help Roberto through the various misadventures he finds himself getting into.

I did a preview of this title a few weeks ago. And quite honestly that build I played was pretty close to the quality of the final release. It felt rather feature-complete despite its size. So forgive me if it sounds like I’m repeating myself here. As quite honestly not much is different. But much has been expanded upon. With even the opening worlds being given additional levels. And thankfully so. I must say that playing through Stick to the Plan has been one of the most relaxing gaming experiences I’ve had recently.

Stick to the Plan is out now on Steam and A demo is available for download on Steam and respectively.

Stick to the Plan - [Official Trailer]

Story – Dog Day Afternoon

As explained in the intro and in the preview. In Stick to the Plan you play as Roberto the dog, who one day comes across a big stick. Being the plucky little guy he is he decides to take it with him. However, due to how big the stick is he must now try and navigate his way around without bonking into things. As the game progresses Roberto soon finds himself falling from one misadventure to the next. Taking him across the title’s five worlds and finding ever bigger sticks. Or stick-like objects depending on the world’s theme. 

Stick to the Plan's story is told through cute comic book panels.

Stick to the Plan’s story is told through cute comic book panels.

Sure, it is hardly life or death world-ending stuff. But it is a cute premise which is executed flawlessly in a series of short comic book-like cutscenes which play every few levels. There is more to the story than meets the eye. And there is something deeper at play here which adds an extra level of weight to proceedings. However, I can’t go into it without going into spoilers. But needless to say, how the story evolves across its presentation to you adds a nice flavour to the whole game. It is all charming, wonderful, and pure-spirited fun. One that feels rather beautiful.

The Littlest Roberto

Stick to the Plan is presented fantastically. There is no getting away from it. Even beyond the delivery of the story, the UI and text are clean and easy to read. It also gives you everything you need to know clearly. Given how great everything looks it could have been quite easy for the developers to overcook the text itself. Creating something that looks great but is hard to read. But thankfully that is not the case here. Which makes the tutorials a breeze to get through.

Signs appear to teach you controls and tell you about obstacles.

Signs appear to teach you controls and tell you about obstacles.

As far as story and text is concerned Stick to the Plan’s devs have really nailed it all. There is not much to really criticise without getting into pointless nitpicks that really benefit no one at all. Least of all you dear reader. I will grant you that there is a part of me that wishes that the cutscenes were a tad longer. However, upon reflection doing so would mess with the flow of the gameplay too much for my liking. And what we get more than conveys everything well all the same. Brilliant work all around.

Gameplay – Stick it to ‘em!

In Stick to the Plan, your goal is to guide Roberto and his stick to the level exit. Rotating the little pup to help get through certain gaps. As well as repositioning him on the stick depending on the angle of said gaps. It is all rather simple stuff. All capped off with a very simple and easy-to-understand control system. Of course, intuitive controls only mean so much without solid puzzles to back them up. And thankfully this title has them in abundance. Each one offers a great level of challenge whilst also being accessible.

Stick to the Plan's opening levels ease you in nicely.

Stick to the Plan’s opening levels ease you in nicely.

Or more accurately, Stick to the Plan has a largely smooth difficulty curve. Some levels are rather simple and can be done in a matter of seconds. Others are far more complex and require a certain degree of trial and error before you figure it out. However, I will admit that the penultimate world is the one I found the most difficult. With level twelve being a level I had to resort to solving using notes scribbled on a screenshot. Though when I did figure it out it was an amazing “Eureka!” moment. Though when it comes to any difficulty your mileage may vary.

Sleeping Dogs

The modest difficulty coupled with the presentation makes Stick to the Plan a most relaxing game to review. Goodness, I dare say Stick to the Plan is one of the most relaxing games that I’ve ever reviewed! Again, I will admit that I got a little stressed by one series of levels. However, never to the point, it made me want to stop playing. Nor did it ever make me mad. This is one of those games where, if something isn’t working it is down to you and your skill level more so than bad design work.

Basically if you're struggling you need to

Basically if you’re struggling you need to “Get Good”

Stick to the Plan has an almost addicting quality to it, and I mean that in the best possible way. The evolution of the difficulty and the variety of the puzzles makes it a compelling videogame experience. Each of Stick to the Plan‘s five worlds is themed and has a distinct look and its own twists and tricks that need to be overcome. Many of which will be seen in other worlds. All be it with a different design to help them fit in better. I do feel that some of these new twists needed a little more time to settle in before upping the difficulty but it isn’t hard to adapt to anything new.

Dog & Bone

It took me just shy of five hours to complete Stick to the Plan for my review. Which I feel is about apt for a game like this. It doesn’t overstay its welcome. And with a decent slice of achievements to unlock for those looking for a little extra challenge. As a whole, I feel that Stick to the Plan is a sweet little game. With a decent level of challenge which, for the most part, remains manageable throughout. Again, I will admit that I feel the difficulty curve does have these sudden spikes now and again. Especially in that penultimate world. But as I said earlier how difficult or not will vary from person to person.

Getting this level right felt so awesome!

Getting this level right felt so awesome!

But those four or so hours that I spent playing Stick to the Plan for this review I have to say that it was a wonderful experience. Largely chill and relaxing. And incredibly cute and adorable. It might be too light weight for certain gamers. And for those who are on the fence, I’d highly recommend playing the demo. It contains a handful of levels from the final game to give you an idea of how it plays.

Graphics & Audio – Bork!

Stick to the Plan is a brilliantly made game. With every aspect of it feeling wonderfully realised. It sticks the landing on everything. With nothing about the title feeling lacking. The visuals, the soundtrack, the world and art design. It all is just fantastic. Giving the game the kind of wonderfully cute look that it needs. As well as adding to this relaxed and chilled feeling that permeates throughout most of the game. The soundtrack is perfect for the game. And helps to keep the mood calm even during some of the more difficult puzzle sections.

Whilst some levels can be tough. Stick To The Plan's soundtrack remains chill.

Whilst some levels can be tough. Stick To The Plan’s soundtrack remains chill.

Each of the title’s worlds has a distinct and unique design which helps to add to the sense of progression. From urban settings to forests, and even landfills, you’ll guide Roberto through each. With each world has its own musical tone. As well as aesthetics and tricks that you’ll need to overcome. I apologise for not going more in-depth with all for this dear reader. But Stick to the Plan just looks and feels so perfect for what it needs to be that it is hard to express my feelings for it. From a pure art and soundtrack point of view alone, it is one of the best games I have played this year.

Stick to the Plan was reviewed on PC.

Stick to the Plan is an incredibly fun and powerfully adorable game. With a look and feel that makes it a joy to play and a wonderful experience from start to finish. The art style is incredibly charming. It features brilliant looking worlds and levels. And a soothing soundtrack. And the puzzles are fair and aren't overly difficult. Even if some do take a lot of time to figure out. As a whole Stick to the Plan is one of my most favourite games to come out this year.
  • Great Gameplay.
  • Calm Soundtrack.
  • Great Visuals.
  • Sweet Story.
  • Difficulty can spike from time to time.
  • May lack replayabilty for some players.

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