• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Sep 10, 2013
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 75 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 75
  2. Negative: 0 out of 75
  1. Sep 19, 2013
    100
    It's one of the most original and captivating games of the year — on any platform — and for $40 you can't go wrong.
  2. Sep 6, 2013
    93
    This is your imagination come to life. In a holiday season filled with sequels, heists, and all the action games you can imagine, Puppeteer is different…and different is good.
  3. Sep 6, 2013
    91
    Puppeteer offers a great experience, full of memorable and charismatic characters and awesome graphics, but one of its best features is that it really puts you right in the spotlight of a little puppet theater, where you play the roles of the star and the entertainer at the same time. This is one of those games that we'll remember for a long time and that reminded us that innovation is still possible in video games.
  4. Visually astounding and addictive, few videogame worlds are as fleshed out as Puppeteer’s. [November 2013, p82]
  5. Oct 6, 2013
    90
    Impeccably designed and guided with a deft hand, this whimsical foray into a darkly humorous fairytale word is a joy to play and is an experience that can be shared by young and old alike.
  6. 90
    Perhaps the most surprising title I have played this year. Puppeteer combines fun platforming gameplay, a playful narrative, and excellent presentation values.
  7. Sep 23, 2013
    90
    Puppeteer is a unique game with extraordinary characters, bizarre levels and a highly dreamy atmosphere. The story's a lot of fun, the humor's enticing and the soundtrack truly wonderful. The lack of co-op features is a shame, though.
  8. Sep 15, 2013
    90
    Puppeteer is a delightful platformer whose attractive patchwork visuals and fairytale-style story are complemented by great voice acting, clever presentation, and a neat gameplay twist.
  9. Sep 13, 2013
    90
    Puppeteer grabs you from the get-go and refuses to let go, partially thanks to the charm and the graphics, but mainly due to the quality of everything. With it's fantastical graphical style, really solid (and fun) voice-acting and story, it really shines. Puppeteer is easily the most disarmingly charming game since Little Big Planet.
  10. Sep 12, 2013
    90
    The game that lucky little boy’s Dad created is dark, charming, and wildly varied, with a merge of English and Japanese imagery.
  11. Sep 10, 2013
    90
    Puppeteer is an excellent example of the 2D platform genre, but it wouldn't be nearly as memorable or enjoyable if it weren't for the way it so fully commits to its puppet show aesthetic.
  12. Sep 9, 2013
    90
    Puppeteer is an extreme accessible, brilliant and ironic platform that would seem most next-gen of the next-gen, or beautiful, if you prefer. A masterpiece of rare and exceptional beauty, suitable for young and old gamers. It does not matter how easy or difficult is: the last swan's song of the PlayStation 3 entitled Puppeteer, and does not cost too much either.
  13. 90
    A completely fresh game waits beneath the veneer of unoriginality. Players of all ages will enjoy Puppeteer.
  14. Sep 9, 2013
    90
    Kutaro's marvellous journey is packed with characters that are anything but wooden, and a narrative that's both self-aware and effortlessly charming, resulting in one of the best exclusive adventures on the PlayStation 3.
  15. Sep 9, 2013
    90
    With such a vibrant atmosphere and fundamentally fun gameplay, Puppeteer is a cut above most contemporary 2D sidescrollers.
  16. Sep 8, 2013
    90
    From its alliterative script to its dreamy visuals, the game is a wacky, whimsical homage both to classic storybook adventures and pure imagination.
  17. Sep 7, 2013
    90
    There’s so much to take in from the world of Puppeteer that the seven hours you’ll spend on the moon may not be enough. It’s not a fluffy story by any means, given the idea of a boy running around without his head, but it still manages to have a sugary exterior that will delight and entertain.
  18. Sep 6, 2013
    90
    Puppeteer is a game that most might overlook, but it's an inventive, beautiful new world with fantastical ideas.
  19. Sep 6, 2013
    90
    Amazing atmosphere and a fantastic character design make Puppeteer a marvelous 2D platformer.
  20. Sep 6, 2013
    90
    The juxtaposition of cartoonish humour with incredibly dark and macabre imagery and story direction means that even after playing for several hours you’ll still find things to surprise and shock you.
  21. Sep 6, 2013
    90
    Puppeteer is a little quirky, perhaps even a little insane in places, but unashamedly so. And you know what? It works brilliantly.
  22. Sep 6, 2013
    90
    Most of what this adventure does is refreshing and just plain charming — especially for its take-my-money-please $39.99 price. The title made me smile with its top-notch production value, radiant world, and phenomenal music.
  23. Sep 6, 2013
    90
    It’s rare that a game can succeed at offering something for all audiences, but Puppeteer manages to accomplish just that. With a charming story, innovative gameplay, and a theatrical visual style that’s impossible not to love, this platformer’s a great fit for parents, kids, and everyone in between.
  24. Sep 6, 2013
    90
    If you've ever played and enjoyed a 2D platform game, you cannot miss this one. Another title that proves that this genre, long forgotten, is back.
  25. Oct 19, 2013
    89
    An imaginative tour-de-force, Puppeteer is an original and beautiful gem. [Dec 2013, p.67]
  26. Oct 5, 2013
    89
    Puppeteer is proof that the current console generation is going out with a bang. This dark and murky fairy tale adventure is a true pearl amongst platformers. [Oct 2013]
  27. Sep 17, 2013
    88
    It’s got a delightful cheery exterior, but underneath lies a fairly dark plot that makes wonderful use of the stage play setup to create a visual style you don’t see very often.
  28. Sep 10, 2013
    88
    Puppeteer is a rare experience that shouldn't be missed. The gameplay is very varied and the changing of decor prevents boredom from setting in. No matter how young or old you are, there's something for everyone in this magical and beautifully animated world.
  29. Sep 6, 2013
    88
    An amazing adventure, bright and full of courageous concepts. A new form of "theatrical platform".
  30. Sep 6, 2013
    87
    While Puppeteer's unique construction doesn't always make for the most fluid action, it presents some new ideas across an undeniably fun and diverse journey. Creatively fashioned visuals and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor lend an impressively elaborate feel to the overall production.
  31. On paper it seems like a simple, by the numbers platformer and it is to a certain degree. But Puppeteer is much more than that. It is an interactive stage play that constantly breaks the fourth wall. [October 2013 p. 86]
  32. Oct 4, 2013
    85
    Puppeteer is loads of zany, beautifully crafted entertainment. It’s original and amazingly creative, and the ambiance and atmosphere is second-to-none.
  33. Oct 4, 2013
    85
    Although the dynamic gameplay does not meet our expectations, the game has several positive qualities, such as the final bosses, the design of scenarios and the different control routine combinations. Puppeteer is earning the hearts of both the public and the critics, and the low price leaves no room for doubt about purchasing it.
  34. Sep 12, 2013
    85
    Too easy for the average player, Puppeteer is at the same time a colorful and beautiful experience.
  35. Sep 9, 2013
    85
    Despite a few setbacks, Puppeteer features all the entertainment and creativity I've come to expect from Japan Studio. Sony has another exclusive title it can be proud of, and while Puppeteer may not take center stage in the company's holiday lineup, fans of family-friendly adventures won't want to miss it.
  36. Sep 9, 2013
    85
    Above all, Puppeteer is a game which brings something new: its outstanding art direction (as it often is with Sony Japan), its inspired universe and its very cool features. Its purpose is to be played by daddys and sons together, but Puppeteer should make indy game fans very happy as they will be hanging on till the end of Kutaro's story.
  37. Sep 6, 2013
    85
    Puppeteer is a theatrical innovative experience with the shape of a platforming game. Definitely, one of the most original titles we have played this year on PlayStation 3.
  38. Sep 6, 2013
    85
    Puppeteer does a really nice job of overwhelming us with so much well-executed eccentricity, not much else matters. And frankly, there’s nothing else like it.
  39. Sep 6, 2013
    85
    Pirates, dark castles, Tim Burton-esque scenarios, the grim reaper, a giant whale, dragons, Taiku drums... Everything on a single stage that changes every 5-10 minutes, not only in its visuals but in its goals. Now fight inside a snake, cross the deep sea, run from moonbears. Puppeteer is truly one of its kind, a unique playable extravaganza like no other, and one of the most attractive games of the year on PlayStation 3. If you miss that old feelin' only vintage 2D platforms from Genesis & Super Nes can bring, just buy this golden ticket that Japan Studio offers you.
  40. Dec 12, 2013
    80
    Puppeteer is an original platform game filled with creativity and charm. The games surprises are constant and the boss battles nothing short of brilliant. Unfortunately the controls are somewhat unresponsive and the pacing a bit uneven. But in all it’s still a more than successful and confident platform adventure. Especially in multiplayer.
  41. Oct 21, 2013
    80
    Puppeteer receives a standing ovation for its visual originality and everyone working behind the scenes should come to the front stage and certainly take a bow.
  42. Sep 26, 2013
    80
    Puzzle elements are integrated incompletely with the platforming elements, and while both have moments of retro-inspired genius neither is quite sufficient to truly stand alone.
  43. Sep 17, 2013
    80
    Puppeteer is a superb demonstration of one team’s imagination let loose on the stage.
  44. Sep 16, 2013
    80
    Puppetter is Japan Studio's response to fans who do not want to lose sight of a good classic challenge classic of platforms.
  45. Sep 11, 2013
    80
    Puppeteer may not be perfect, but it's easy to forgive any minor gameplay transgressions when you have a title as beautiful and entertaining as this. Overshadowed though it may turn out to be, Puppeteer is worthy of a standing ovation.
  46. Sep 11, 2013
    80
    Admittedly, Puppeteer does resemble a somewhat traditional platformer at its core. However, the generic mechanics are nevertheless well executed, and coupled with wildly imaginative visuals and an enveloping atmosphere this is an undeniably memorable game that never runs out of surprises.
  47. Sep 10, 2013
    80
    Incredible presentation and neat elements of improvisation makes this a must have for any theater enthusiast.
  48. 80
    The fellow at Sony have created a unique experience in Puppeteer that's deserving of a franchise label. With a little work, the heroic antics of Kutaro and his Excalibur scissors Calibrus can make this cult-following title into a sequel-worthy one.
  49. Sep 9, 2013
    80
    Another winner for JapanStudio, Puppeteer is a strong addition to Sony’s increasingly impressive stable of first-party franchises.
  50. Sep 6, 2013
    80
    Puppeteer is Sony's best pure platformer on the PS3, delivering the kind of tight mechanics and pin-point controls usually only found in games starring plumbers or apes.
  51. The world is colourful, creative and wildly diverse – you’ll side scroll your way through castle dungeons, haunted forests and pirate ships to name just three – and is brought to life with Dahl-esque wit and flair by a hilarious cast of characters.
  52. 80
    An incredible work of imagination and one of the best-looking games of the generation. The gameplay can’t quite match the magic of the presentation, but it’s not far behind.
  53. Sep 6, 2013
    80
    Although Puppeteer was obviously built with old materials and traditional mechanics, it embodies a modern, if not timeless, platformer. Thanks to the passion and the masterful craftsmanship of Gavin Moore's team, this puppet was given a soul, both flamboyant and quirky, as such a magical performance shows.
  54. Sep 5, 2013
    80
    A gorgeous-looking and entertaining platform game, with a very unique style that deserves all of your attention.
  55. Sep 30, 2013
    75
    Despite being a simplistic platformer with a few story issues, Puppeteer is downright charming, adorable and amazing to see in action. It's not your usual guns and bullets kind of game, but then again, it's a breath of fresh air in an industry that is filled to bursting with those games.
  56. Sep 17, 2013
    75
    Yes, Puppeteer looks amazing. Yes, it's something different. But no, it's not that good as expected. Therefore the game is simply too simple.
  57. Sep 10, 2013
    75
    Puppeteer is a magical experience as an interactive puppet show. The lovely, though quite sinister style is easy on the eyes and the musical setting feels refreshing. The gameplay doesn't deliver on the same surprises though.
  58. Nov 28, 2013
    70
    The sentence, "Board that means the world" takes a true meaning in the case of Puppeteer. This platformer takes place on the stage in a puppet theatre. Awesome style completes its solid gameplay that becomes stronger and stronger.
  59. Oct 16, 2013
    70
    Quite unlike anything else on PS3. [Issue#236, p.76]
  60. Sep 20, 2013
    70
    It's charming, unique in many ways and ideal for co-op play, but Puppeteer fails to take a step further and become a truly memorable platformer.
  61. Sep 19, 2013
    70
    Puppeteer is an odd game. There is no better way to put it, but it is also unique and charming in its presentation. I found the platforming and combat a bit rudimentary for my tastes, but I still couldn’t stop pressing forward to see what the next level looked like.
  62. Sep 11, 2013
    70
    Puppeteer is, at its heart, a charming adventure, though not without its issues; it may have wasted the potential required with the interchangeable head idea to become something really special, but you will no doubt find yourself joining in with the audience laughing along to the antics on show and warming to the characters, be it hero or villain.
  63. Sep 10, 2013
    70
    Where Puppeteer stumbles, the player's hands can catch its fall. As a child, you might find puppet shows at least mildly entertaining and at the very least something to zone out on before naptime. To me, the prospect of playing the puppet yourself was always more enticing. Even in Kutaro's world that rings true.
  64. Sep 9, 2013
    70
    When the offscreen narrator, voiced with arch-Britishness by Stephen Greif, welcomes you to “the magical theatre of the strange and fantastic”, his adjectives are right on all three counts. And you rarely get magic that feels quite this immaculately handcrafted.
  65. Sep 9, 2013
    70
    Bright, bold and beguiling, Puppeteer reinvigorates the humble platformer, with its unashamedly honest and engaging design. Problematic physics and sluggish story aside, we think you could do a lot worse than pay to see this show.
  66. Sep 9, 2013
    70
    Above all, I'm most charmed by how honestly Puppeteer wears its influences on its sleeve. From classic platformers like Mario to more recent excursions such as Rayman Origins, Sony Japan's sidescrolling adventure is littered with nods to the very best in platform gaming -- a genre so criminally underused these days.
  67. 70
    The game plays well, but at the same time the controls are nothing to write home about. Despite Kutaro’s tricks, the gameplay is relatively simple.
  68. Oct 8, 2013
    65
    As much as I like the idea of adventuring with a wooden boy on a magical stage, Puppeteer is one of those unfortunate projects that starts off in a great direction and then fails to flesh out and support the premise. It certainly looks great and the voicework is top-notch, but with a script, characters and gameplay as flat as the theatrical props the game emulates, its charm wears off long before the final act.
  69. Oct 23, 2013
    60
    That lack of consistency is sadly pervasive. [Issue#140, p.112]
  70. Sep 16, 2013
    60
    In terms of playability, then, The Puppeteer is a disappointment, too much in love with its own design. Had it not strangled the experience with an unbearably high number of cut-scenes, Sony might have actually had the chance to develop the core gameplay in a way to make this adventure worthwhile. It's a game with skewed priorities. It looks great, has loads of personality, but this close to Rayman Legends, which married its elements so perfectly, I cannot recommend Kutaro's tale wholeheartedly.
  71. Sep 12, 2013
    60
    Visually impressive, but this long tale has too many interruptions.
  72. Sep 11, 2013
    60
    Much like Puppeteer’s environments, there are pieces of a strange, unique game hiding here, but you’ll have to dig through an awful lot of problems to find them.
  73. Sep 6, 2013
    60
    It comes frustratingly close to delivering something special. But despite multiple gameplay avenues bursting with potential, it leaves them largely unexplored, showing more interest in wowing you with surface sizzle.
  74. Oct 16, 2013
    50
    Puppeteer’s biggest strength are its visuals, but on the other hand the game is so gloomy and disturbing that I couldn’t wait to go back to a much more pleasant (also in terms of gameplay) Rayman. [11/2013, p.85]
  75. It’s a game that tries way too hard to be funny, quirky and different, which is the surest way to end up as anything but.
User Score
8.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 194 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 34
  2. Negative: 3 out of 34
  1. Sep 12, 2013
    10
    This game is pure magic. From the characters to the set changes, the platforming to the levels, the humor to the charm, you cant disagree this game is beautiful in every way. Its more then just the graphics, which are a downright marvel. The music is a magnificent opus of cellos and violins, tubas and trumpets..... ...it makes you smile like a young child. This game has so much going for it and its been a joy to play from beginning to where I am at. Sometimes I just want a game to get lost in and have a complete joy playing from start to finish and not worry about leaderboards and difficulty levels....Puppeteer is that game. Its a masterpiece. Full Review »
  2. Sep 16, 2013
    10
    People who are rating this game in the negative scale are out of their mind.
    This game does many new things, many old things better than
    ever, without ever trying to copy something from another franchise.

    The graphics are superb, they pop right out at you looking like they really are made of wood, and are some of the most colourful in the entire generation. The music too, is awesome. It has that epic film score likeness but it's been refined into somewhat of a poppy video game style.

    The gameplay is some of the most unique yet and for a first iteration of the game it is executed wonderfully, it starts off slowly introducing jumping and ducking and rolling to get about and dodge enemies, while simultaneously introducing your secondary partner, a cat (and later a fairy) who can investigate the background and foreground for secrets that may lead to lives, power ups, secret heads or bonus stages. The main mechanic is from the scissors (calibre) that Kutaro gains in the first level, cut into enemies, cut around the level via leaves or smoke, cut into bosses, and cut along seams in a furious and fast fashion for a big thrill.

    On top of that it introduces new mechanics to the platform genre, a permanent Ninja head power that allows you to throw bombs, a bull head that allows you to smash down on obstacles and more. Once you've completed the game the first time you can go back through from the start and find secrets that lead to enemies and heads never found or fought before with your new head powers.

    The bosses as well are some of the finest I've ever seen, there are more than 13 of them, the generals as well as things called Weavers which are like mini-bosses it really feels the best of the Mega Drive-SNES era non-Nintendo platformers brought into Modern era, except being about 3 times as large with more content. The game is actually somewhat of a spiritual successor to Dynamite Headdy, especially with it's head mechanics, and puppet theatre setting, it even has a big bad bear as it's protagonist the Moon Bear King, (it was trouble-bruin or Murayama in the jp version of Dynamite Headdy.)

    All I can say is the game will blow you away, and it doesn't try to imitate Mario or Kirby or any other platformer, it fits perfectly among the others, this seems as though it will be another highly rated SCEJ game with critical acclaim that may not sell well at FIRST... but as time goes on, if people let others know how masterfully crafted it is, it might explode like Dynamite.
    Full Review »
  3. Sep 15, 2013
    9
    This game is underrated and sadly overlooked.
    It is also the most original game of this generation, other than ThatGameCompany's works.


    The visuals are outstanding, and so unique never before seen style and amazing animation. The theatre theme and overlay make it feel like you're playing something different, almost like it's not a game.
    Voice acting is superb, with Picarina being one of the most original and likable characters ever, once you get past the shock that she sounds like a sassy valley girl.
    Gameplay is also brilliant and wildly unexpected. Scizzors as a game mechanic? Crazy right? But it works so well and is so satisfying!

    BUY THIS GAME NOW WITHOUT HESITATION. Then thank me later.
    Full Review »