Developer: Media Molecule
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Platform: PlayStation 3
Arts-and-crafts time meets Super Mario Brothers
Most games are made out of action figures and explosions. LittleBigPlanet is made out of Popsicle sticks and Elmer’s glue. Taking its cues from craft fairs and the DIY maker movement, this endearing descendant of Super Mario Bros. creates a world out of knitted fabrics and rubber bands, construction paper and tape. You (and up to three friends) explore this planet via adorable, personalized sock puppets, hopping around handmade dioramas full of makeshift obstacles and cardboard-cutout dangers. This homespun look telegraphs the game’s greatest strength, a set of powerful, easy-to-use digital art tools. Like 3D Photoshop, only much more accessible, these tools arm mere mortals with the power to create their own game worlds and share them with—what will hopefully be—an active online community. LittleBigPlanet is a gift from a few very talented artists to the talent-challenged many. As a member of the latter, I give thanks.