Puppeteer has a Japanese flair to it since it’s based on bunraku, a form of Japanese puppet theater. In the game, you play as Kutaro who has been soul taken from him and put into a puppet by the Moon Bear King. The evil Moon Bear King wants to turn Kutaro and other children into his servants, but Kutaro steals his pair of giant scissors and escapes. Puppeteer takes place on a stage, but a big difference is the world moves around him and you can cut parts of the level with the Moon Bear King’s scissors.
How did Sony come up with an idea for a platformer that stars a head-changing puppet?
"The creative director Gavin [Moore] lives in Tokyo. He was concerned because he has a son that’s under ten years old and they were at home playing games and his son put down the controller and went outside to play with his friends," producer Tsubasa Inaba said to Siliconera.
"As a parent, you’re kind of happy that he did that, but at the same time from a game creator’s point of view, I do not want to be making games that my son does not want to play. He immediately noticed that kids have shorter and shorter attention spans. He wanted to make something that was always fresh and the inspiration was theater like Broadway and especially bunraku which is Japanese theater with puppets. [In bunraku] stages rotate around the cast and it’s really high tempo. That’s how they keep the storyline fresh as well. When he watched bunraku he thought this is what I need to do," Inaba continued.
While Puppeteer’s origins are in bunraku, the game’s art style gives it a Western feel. Kutaro will cut through levels with pirates and I played a mine cart stage with a dragon at the end. Puppeteer is slated September 10 in North America and it will retail considerably lower than other PS3 games at $39.99.