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by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Go Play: Stagehand

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.


Sorry, I almost couldn’t drag myself away from my iPhone to write this post. Stagehand is a new game from Big Bucket’s Matt Comi and Neven Mrgan1, who previously brought you Space Age and The Incident. The latter’s hero, Frank Solway, returns in Stagehand, which Big Bucket describes as a “reverse platform.” That is, in this game, instead of controlling Frank, you control the ground he’s running on, raising and lowering the platforms as your hero continues his endless quest to collect coins, which inevitably ends with a faceplant into a wall.

You might call Stagehand an endless runner–the game it reminds me the most of is perhaps the classic Tiny Wings, in that it features a procedurally different map that changes on every playthrough.

It took me several tries before I wrapped my brain around the game’s mechanics, so if it seems tough at first, don’t give up. (Tip: remember, don’t worry about chasms which would be obstacles in other games–Frank will hurdle them on his own.) Once I got with the program, though, I found myself itching for another try every time, knowing that I could do better. As you hit certain scores, you’ll unlock additional characters to play as–and, of course, you’ll be able to compare yourself to your friends, and really, what other reason do you need?

I love many of the little cues of this game, including the haptic feedback on iPhone 7, the can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head score by Mrgan’s Panic colleague Cabel Sasser, and, of course, the ability to share a GIF of your particularly ignominious ends. Here’s just one of my many:

Stagehand Death

Stagehand is $1.99 and well worth every penny.

  1. Full disclosure: Neven, whose day job is at Panic, is a good friend. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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