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Stick Ranger

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Rating: 4.7/5 (298 votes)
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Gabriel ben JaminStick RangerDan-Ball, creators of the Powder Game sandbox games, as well as many other simple, cute Java games, are appealing to the traditional RPG fan with their recent offering Stick Ranger. If you recall Irritation Stickman, the controls are roughly the same, although the pacing is drastically different.

Create your four-character party by assigning a class to each member—there are the Boxer, the Gladiator, the Sniper, the Magician, and the Priest—and send them on their way through stages with austere backdrops, fighting stick figure monsters for gold, items, weaponry and experience, not forgetting to grab little rice balls to restore HP, of course. You may interfere as you see fit by dragging them around the screen and managing equipment. Note that to exit an area, you have to drag (or, as I like to do, fling) a stickman to (at) the exit.

The in-game option menu allows you to turn off the autopilot on any character, leaving it to stand slack-jawed as the rest of the party marches on. And you can access the World Map at any time to run away, crying, to the nearest town (although this nullifies your progress through the area you left).

The town is what you'd expect in a game of this nature: a store with stuff that's inferior to what you find in the field, an inn that heals all wounds, and… citizens? Nope, but there's a Book o' Information you must pay an exorbitant fee to read from. And leveling up is accomplished by clicking the plus sign next to one of four stats (HP, strength, dexterity and magic) you wish to upgrade. All the makings of a fun, if standard, RPG.

Analysis: Stickman Ranger is certainly physically accessible; the controls are simple, and things move slowly enough that even the most impaired of hands can operate it with minimal risk of total party kills.

Score one point for Dan-Ball there, but, to be blunt, I don't feel like it delivers on the fun. Stick Ranger feels an awful lot like an ant farm with the trappings of an RPG. Sure, you get to do all the RPG work, but you barely figure into the combat—maybe you drag a guy over to food or smack them into some gold, but it's mostly their game. It's hard to feel involved in a game that runs on autopilot, especially one so abstract.

The stripped-down look of Dan-Ball games usually lends to their simple charm, especially in the more toy-like games, Powder Game being a perfect example. It also works well in silly, action-oriented games, where you hardly even notice your character. But it unfortunately alienates the player in an RPG, a type of game in which your rapport with the characters is vital.

Still, as you invest more time in it, the item system is detailed, the combat is more or less balanced, and the world map is quite large. These are merits not to be overlooked.

Whether you like Stickman Ranger depends on what you're looking for. If you like RPG item management, or exploration, but you can take or leave the hack'n'slash action, Stickman Ranger will suit you fine. If you really need to feel involved with your characters, you will find it less than satisfying.

FunnyManFunnyman - Most RPGs work by meticulously balancing the three S's: Story, Skill, and Statistics. The Story involves you emotionally, mastering the required Skill keeps you busy, and the Statistics give you a sense of accomplishment as they grow. If any of the three fail, it can be fatal to the game.

Stick Ranger takes this finely-tuned technique and throws it out the window. This is a game about Statistics, with only the thinnest veneer of Story and Skill. The game becomes an upwards spiral, with nothing to distract you from the sense of accomplishment when you gain a level or pick up a new item. Like mySQLgame, Stick Ranger strips the genre down to its bare essentials, and it works. If you're looking for a game that pulls at your heartstrings, this isn't it. But if level grinding is one of your guilty pleasures, give it a try.

Play Stick Ranger


Haha! ftp! epic game, really interesting, love dan-ball's work


I'd like this game more...if it didn't keep stealing all the Friday updates from Powder Game. Plus, like the review says, it gets old fast.


I remember when this game was in the 0.1 version :D It wasn't great then either.

This article, as the case is with powder game and earth editor, will be way out of date in a few weeks time. Ha55i, unfortunately in some cases, will continuously update his games from week to week. And unfortunately for me, when he updated to 3.0, I lost all my data :( But I didn't like the game anyway. The only real action you get is during boss fights or when you have to pull a guy out when he is running low on health.

I really didn't feel like restarting the game after the data wipe because I felt that a similar wipe would not be too far off, I didn't like the game in general, and as Funnyman said: "Stick Ranger takes this [refering to the 'three s's] finely-tuned technique and throws it out the window."

overall, I would give this game a 1 out of 10, but seeing as I can't, I'll go with 1/5.
There is no story, no depth, very very little action, and the stats become a tedious part once you get into the mid-double digits...

Personally, I'd prefer Ha55i spending his time working on the powder game because the updates he does for that (once every month or two recently compared to stick ranger's 3-4 a month) are generally worth while and provide a brand new element of play (pun intended, lol)

The ganondorf champion February 23, 2009 9:26 PM

Finaly. You won't belive how many times I requested this game. Just so everyone knows, this game is updated weekly, except for the forth Friday. Any one who is at the offical dan ball forums knows who I am. It was through jayisgames I first found dan ball, when thunder was just added inpowder. Anyway I just got to the forest for the second time. If any one needs any help on stars items and other stuff ask me.


I personally don't really like this game. It definitely has improved since version .1 though. It's just not my cup of tea.

And I agree with Fuzzyevil. It needs to stop stealing all the updates away from Powder Game.


I heart this game so much. I'm already having Ginormo Sword flashbacks. The greatest thing about this game, if you have ADD, you can set it on a level, go browse around, check back in a couple minutes to see how things are going.

Plus, I love how the boxer does a kung fu stance at the end of every battle.


A note for OS X. I couldn't get it to run in Firefox until I ran software update and installed the Java update.
I still can't get it to run in Safari.



"their recent offering Stick Ranger."

Recent? It's been available and in development for at least six months... if not a year. Either the review is dated, or it is a ploy of the powers that be to try not to look as if they have been wasting months of time playing this game, instead of posting a review.

[Edit: 6 months ago is "recent". Besides, we've known about the game since then, but have been waiting to feature a proper review until a time when the game had been fleshed out a bit more than the skeleton of a game it was when first released back in July '08. -Jay]


it's awesome!

But game lack of option with AI of stickmen.

It would be much better, if I can set option like:
-When your hp is below 50% Reatret and take a potion
-When someone die, reatreat.

ganondorf champion not logged February 24, 2009 3:12 PM

It is not stealing updates from powder., but is stealing from other games.The reason sr is updated 3 times as much as sr id that it has 3 times as much coders. HASSI DOES NOT UPDATE THE GAMES. He only makes the games and owns the site. If you have promblems with retreating, press space, turn the on off, and drag your stickmen back.
I wonder what this weeks pg update will be?


This is pretty nifty, though I don't understand the saving. It sounds like it autosaves, what is that "get and set" stuff? I made an account and it says I'm logged in.
Also in my first game I had a priest but I put a lot of points into magic and nothing else because I had no idea what a priest did. Now I know.
I also thought a gladiator was better than a boxer because the sword is long, but the gladiator's AI seems stupider, as it seems to walk right into enemies before it starts swinging its long sword, whereas a boxer will approach an enemy at the right distance and stay there.


Whoa, I was supposed to be working on stuff, but then I just sat here, totally enthralled, playing this game. I-I just sank three hours into it. Where did my time go??

JohnnyCaps February 24, 2009 6:52 PM

I really dig this game. I'm an old RPG soul. Does anyone know if there's a way to heal your characters without going to that ridiculously expensive in (one gold for every hit point) or by eating the rice balls? I thought that's what a priest would do, but it turns out that he's not a healer but more of a ranged attacker. On a similar note, does anyone know if it's the Priest's MAG or STR stat that affects his attacking power? I've been upgrading MAG, but I could be going about it wrongly.

If I could go back and start over I'd pick the bowman over the priests. A physical ranged attacker would probably be invaluable in some of the later missions with the flying enemies. Not to mention I keep finding an overwhelming horde or bows that I can't use!

the ganondorf champion February 24, 2009 8:38 PM

Inn....expensive? You must be doing really bad for you to find the inn expensive.
For get set: press get to get a code. The code represents a save file. Put in a code and press set to load the saved game reqresented by the code.

deflective February 24, 2009 9:10 PM

best as i can tell, the only effect of a priest's magic stat is attack range. the aura seems to be purely an effect of level.

anyone experiment with this a bit?


As far as I can tell, the priest gets 1% attack aura for each point of strength and .2 defense aura for each point of dexterity. As noted magic increases his range, which isn't really worth it.


Just noticed this: I think range for priests means both attack range and aura range.


my game sometimes doesn't save, "get" sometimes doesn't work, and that makes me very sad, especially when I have no clue how to fix it.

I've never actually seen my priest attack, but I'm sure that his attack is negligible and he's some walking buffer. I'm trying boxer-mage-sniper-sniper and it was working pretty well until my game started refusing to save.

zbeeblebrox February 24, 2009 11:45 PM

I love watchin those guys just stumble toward enemies and attack. It's adorable! In fact, gameplay in general ends up being completely different when you put the actual actions in the hands of the AI. I found myself feeling more parental and protective than I would playing a normal RPG.

I just wish the weapon selection and growth wasn't so conservative. I don't like RPGs where you have to constantly go back to earlier levels over and over in order to get yourself strong enough to move on. Especially when those levels offer almost nothing in the way of enthralling replay value. That sort of thing is boring enough when it's YOU doing the killing.

After two days of playing it, think the concept alone is worth the effort. I love the direction and I love the look and style. But it's not there. It's nowhere near there, actually, and I don't think it's gonna get there any time soon.

JohnnyCaps February 25, 2009 2:06 AM

Way cool, ganondorf. Yeah, the inn's expensive. I prefer to build my characters normally, so codes won't fly with me.


It seems that most of the time ranged attacks from say, a sniper with triple shot (as opposed to triple arrow) will trump any other kind of attack. In fact, four snipers with triple shot bows can pretty much complete the game without much challenge.

I think the melee classes could do with a bit more defense rather than increased HP. Most of the later enemies just slaughter them due to the amount or lethality of the projectiles they use.


Man even though this game looks like not so much, it's pretty much sucked up my last 24 hours. When I wasn't at work or sleeping I was nudging my little party through it's adventures. The game's pace is perfect for doing other things like eating or checking email. I guess I am an example of someone who is easily lured by level grinding.


About the game itself, I can express my opinion in 3 letters (and sound like a noobkid :) LOL!

Its definitely original, something I never have seen before! So far I like playing it, because I like new things.


I like this game a lot. Haven't gotten to all the levels yet (Forest 2 is ticking me off), but finished most of them. Took about 4 hours.

Stuff I've noticed:

Inn pricing = $1 for every hitpoint you need. Expensive, but not bad.

Revival pricing = %10 of your current funds.

Combo items stick to weaponry, and can't be taken off once used.

The very first level gives LOTS of combo items. Once you get powerful, just let your guys run through it a few times.

Here's a code for most of the game completed and some strong characters, if you want to play it a bit:


To use the code, you have to register and log in to the site, then load the game and you'll see the Get/Set buttons. Put the code in and hit Set.


Also, the priest has a few different functions. Any people of yours within his "aura" gets an attack and defense boost. Small, but worth it. His attack style is at a distance and very slow, but effective once he gets up there. Once he gets one of the magic staffs, he'll sit at a distance just waving and enemies within range get hit. Magic increases his range, so it's worth pumping his magic up there too, as he outranges anybody once you get it high enough.


Code for completed game, all levels available:



I love this game. It does has some stragety, like for example, my gladiator (in my case) has the most health and thus, is my tank. (For all of you non-game savvy players out there, that means he has either enough health or defence to take the shots from enemies). I have a gladiator, a sniper, a magician, and a priest. I never waste my time with a boxer.



Here's a complete game with a full monster book and all the bonus cards.

My end loadout:

Gladiator w/flame sword + vampire and critical cards
Sniper with octoarrow and silver medal/pierce cards (may go back and get an alternate version with explosion/onigiri)
Mage with volcano + gold medal/garnet, freeze + gold medal/diamond, and blizzard + gold medal/aquamarine
Priest with ice staff + bronze medal/aquamarine

The forest is actually disproportionately easy since ranged characters can plink at the mushrooms forever and can't get hurt.


I played this game a bit before priests and auto-move, and a lot recently. These are the tidbits of strategy I think are worth sharing.

The inn is only expensive for the first half (selling a few drops for 93$ each covers a lot of hp) and it's always a better deal than resurrecting from the menu.
Your stickman has to have one limb touch the ground on the right side of the 'next' sign to advance. It's a small thing but you will be doing it a lot so you may as well do it right, right? :)
Your melee men don't do damage while you are holding them, but otherwise while they are touching the ground it's on! Grab your gladiator and chuck him into a line of weak enemies for laughs.
It's really easy to raise the min damage of the gladiator until it's equal to the max if you like guaranteed damage.
Blizzard doesn't 'fire' a 'projectile', it just appears. If you can't seem to aim around a wall switch to blizzard. Thunder is almost as handy since it fires from a point in the air above your mage.
Items from the store only have one compo slot. It took me forever to notice :(
The books have the drops listed for all the enemies in each area.
The boxer only thinks he is standing close enough, nudge him a little closer.
Boxing gloves all have nearly the same atk. My boxer has mach punch with a yellow crystal and all his points in strength. His damage is like a geyser spewing from the enemies.

Anything else I say would just be repeating info from here: http://danball.wikia.com/wiki/Dan-Ball_Wiki

Tugboat March 6, 2009 4:23 AM

Ermmm... why did a gun just drop??

AT 4-8
AGI 5-10
TYPE physical
AT 0-0
$$ 5

Anyone else get one?

Tugboat March 6, 2009 4:30 AM

Ah, it dropped because I wasn't paying attention to the fact that a new "gunner" class was added to 3.4


Some notes and thoughts on the "Gunner" class.

The only stat that seems to affect the Gunner is DEX which reduces AGI. I assume this relates to the speed at which the Gunner pulls the trigger.

The Gunner starts with a "gun" (AT 2-6) and on the first stage there is a chance for a monster to drop a "handgun" (AT 8-12), but the "handgun" seems to either have limited bullets or it jams. The Gunner will stand there pretending to shoot, but doing absolutely nothing. The "gun" appears to have infinite bullets.

The Gunner has the shortest range of any of the ranged characters.

Gunner range = 60
Priest range = 70
Magician range = 90
Sniper range = 90 (or 120 with Triple Shot)

The Gunner also gets less hit points per Dex point than the Sniper.

Over all impression...

I'm not too impressed. As far as ranged fighters go, I'd rather have an Sniper or a Magician. My favorite party is still 4 Sniper with Triple Shot bows.


The guns don't quite jam Vince

Watch your cash as he shoots - the two new guns i've gotten each take $5 to shoot!

As well as this re his stats:

Str increases the damage you do by a very slight amount if you get a lot of it.

I'd urge everyone who likes the game to read the wiki, the game is more complex than 4 little stickmen seem to deserve:)


Small update on gunner stats.

A point in magic seems to reduce the shooting cost by $1. I currently have 3 Magic on my gunner and $5 bullets cost $2and $15 dollar shots are costing $12.

My gunner is doing silly good damage at the moment when i can put him in action properly.

TheDartMonkey May 4, 2009 6:33 PM

Actually, for each MAG point you have, the price of the bullet goes down 1. The minimum amount for a bullet is 1.

PwnMePlz May 9, 2009 1:49 PM

yes, well. Who beat seaside 2 and who got to the village? Anyone know what the books do?


books tell you the drops and ?health? of the enemies there so they are ussually a waste

adam Gunderloy May 30, 2009 6:14 PM

what's a good group? i want to know


dude the "rice balls" are really origiris. lol also, im such a pro on stick ranger. my boxer has 25 mag, 14 dex,2 str and rest health. 14 dex makes it agi 5-10 and my boxer is holding a spark glove. also, i beaten all the stages so far(sorta easy for meh). once, my gunner team has 4 free lazer guns, 4 free grenades and 4 free rifles(the only ones from the shop is 4 bazzokas).
gunners stats are: str: more dm dex:minus agi mag: makes gunners shoot cost less money

priests stats are: str:more dm for whole team dex:defence for whole team mag: range only to priest

magicians stats are: str: range dex: minus agi mag: dm increases

snipers stats are: str more range dex:increases dm mag: need some to use some arrows

boxers stats are: str:increases dm dex: minus agi mag: need some for most boxing gloves

gladiators stats are: str and dex: increases dm mag: need some for most swords(7/9 swords need some mag) omg my comment is so long...........

adam Gunderloy June 2, 2009 1:07 PM

isn't anyone gonna answer?


adam, an easy strategy in SR is to use one character as bait, leaving three ranged characters to attack from afar. I find that this works best with one Boxer (great AGI when you DO need to attack, so equip an ONIGIRI's Card) and three Snipers (with Triple Shot and maybe Catapult's Card).


Love it.

adam Gunderloy June 13, 2009 5:52 PM

thanks you duh.

adam Gunderloy June 14, 2009 8:46 AM

but what stones should i give to who? so far the compos i have are 2 blacks, and a red crystal thing. and is poison arrow better than triple shot?


ok...anyone else notice that the Vampire card doesn't seem to be working right?

is says it heals 3% of LP per hit.... i have 300+ hp on my boxer, and he's only getting +1 hp per hit....

3% or 300 = 9....what's the deal???

Danasanr June 23, 2009 11:05 PM

new thing added, if you have your code, you have to logged into your account to use it, so all the codes wont work.

Destroy Create July 24, 2009 2:54 AM

This game is a more relaxed casual game that you grind to unwind. It's good for that purpose. There is enough material to amuse for a while. This game isn't a replacement for a commercial MMORPG such as WoW.


All you have to do is get to the signs saying next and beat the boss up


First of all, andrew, you get 3% of the damage you inflict on the enemy.

And about the gunner part.

Its fun cause he gets so much cool stuff (although each shot is eating away your hard-earned cash), he gets awesome stuff like grenade launchers and laserguns and bazookas.

And the village.

Just finish the forest and go through the 3 tunnels. Beware cause you can' see in the tunnels and they're kinda strong. But when you get there you get a nice compo shop, which is totally awesome.

Mr Jones March 31, 2010 4:36 PM

In addition to what john said:
For the Gladiator, STR increases the maximum damage, and DEX increases minimum damage.

For all character types: STR, DEX, and MAG also increases your LP (life points) by 2 as well.


It seems this review no longer applies at the current state, heh. It's grown far more complex now.

Imf3nd3r July 7, 2010 12:23 PM

Milk the first lvl. Its the best for exp intill u get to lvl like 6 or 7 maybe even 8. But also 4 snipers with 3 shot is the best team concidering the Far range, the great str if u upgrade the DEX .

Anonymous July 15, 2010 2:53 PM

ummm in desert the arrows do the worm

bryceness August 6, 2010 3:17 PM

Someone explain the stats of the whipper?


Does anyone know what the invalids do? 50% ice invalid, etc?


Invalids make the enemies' attacks invalid some of the time.


i play for all the new weaponry they put in every month or so. I keep coming back to this game for that reason. It is a constantly evolving game in terms items, weapons , stages.

Tomato10 June 7, 2011 9:00 PM

This never seems to get old with the constant updating

some guy June 25, 2011 4:17 PM

make a devil part wipper with tail part gladiator with trident and part magician


The game has finally reaches the near complete status, with final boss and whatnot.


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