Play as one of four young people who have moved into the town of Trumpsville over the summer holidays and now face with dread a new year at the unfamiliar local high school, Northshore Academy.
As the new kids in the class, these four pupils start the year at the bottom of the ‘social ladder’ – a sort of in-game leaderboard which ranks pupils based on their kudos. The aim of the game is to climb the rankings by navigating the world of bullying.
Players takes turns to throw a dice and move around a board, engaging in bullying and victim microgames that have been designed in conjunction real British school children and with the advice of bullying experts.
Through a combination of narrative and play, Sticks & Stones explores the very latest thinking about bullying and the way that hierarchical social systems lead to young people assuming both ‘bully’ and ‘victim’ roles during the average school day. As with Littleloud’s previous game, Sweatshop, Sticks & Stones doesn’t seek preach or offer solutions so much as pull back the curtain on a social system, provoking reflection and, perhaps, action.
Featuring art by illustrator Leigh Pearce (leighpearce.com), music by Michael Reaney (Bow Street Runner, The Curfew, Sweatshop) and game design by Simon Parkin and Darren Garrett, Sticks and Stones aims to provide a fitting epitaph to a company whose output has spanned thirteen years.