Stone? Stone?!? Let me start by saying I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this game. We were lucky enough to receive a copy and it was available for review, so I jumped on it. Hopefully I can give you a good idea about what you’re going to deal with here.
Stone comes from Convict Games, which has been established in 2017 by the co-founders and siblings Gregory Louden and Sarah Louden, and it’s their only game released thus far, which is available on PC/Mac, through Steam, and iOS, through pre-order on the Apple iTunes app store.
That being said, it turned out to be kind of perfect for me. You see, I dig weird-trippy things, and to this extent Stone (also stylized as “STONE”) doesn’t disappoint. From the parallels with the Max Payne series (flower shirt, alcoholism and relationship issues, etc.) to the strange way in which the story unravels, this game is a trip.
Is it perfect? No, not by a long shot. But what is? The game has issues with clipping on the models and a few pretty curious glitches; but is it fun? Yes. While I am not a point-and-click adventure kind of guy, I still really enjoy some of the tongue-in-cheek humor and aesthetics of the game. A few times I was reminded of mistakes I made back when I was playing Monkey Island and King’s Quest games, it takes a certain kind of humor to take me back that far. So, here is the big question…
Is it worth the money?
I suppose that really depends on what kind of gamer you are. There are elements in Stone that are unique to most adventure games. Topics dealing with real life. There is LGBTQ+ content (non-sexual), slang from Australia and the UK, as well as a whole lot of “Did I just drop some acid?” moments. So, if that is the kind of game you might be into, then yeah a couple of bucks it totally worth it. The Steam version is going to cost you about 10 USD and the iOS game port will be available for 3.99 USD.
So how about the good, the bad, and the yeeeesh!?
This is where things get a little tricky. On one hand, I really struggle with the big bright white-on-pink splash screen, and the whole “PART>ACT>CHAPTER” system could be truncated down to just chapters but I got past all of this pretty quickly as I started to try and find everything I could interact with. Perhaps this is more of a personal opinion but I thought it’s worth to mention it.
There is surprisingly little to interact with but some of the interactions are pretty amazing.
I actually watched all of Night of the Living Dead in the original black and white on a screen in a theater. That contained the entire movie, as far as I could tell. But I need to admit, I fell asleep 30 min before the ending because if I watch a movie I fall asleep. There were several other movies available to watch, even one that meshes with the main story nicely. There are some very humorous interactions depending on the choices you make in the dialog and just what you click on.
They’re not that great but it is kind of a style thing so I don’t begrudge them going with it.
They used a diverse if not very bright palette of colors and built the models with perspective in mind, which is something I always appreciate. The style is something in between watercolor and pencil work, I kinda dig it.
Check into the soundtrack
Story and style
While the story of Stone is rather an odd one from the get-go, it grows on you fast and you find yourself wanting to make more and more progress quickly to find the next twist in the plot or little piece of backstory. It does the old detective noir genre justice in a lot of surprising ways. Ever seen fear and loathing in Las Vegas? Yeah sometimes you get that kind of feel, other times it feels like a hard line gumshoe flick from back in the day, complete with the option to almost always have a smoke in your mouth.
Once you get a feel for how you wanna play Stone you start to really slide into the story. My only complaint really is it felt like an aspect of noir was missing. That being the “everyone and everything but the dame in the red dress is shit.” Feel you get from things like old Dick Tracy comics. Hey, what can I say I liked Watchmen and Shutter Island more than many mainstream flicks.
I truly enjoy a good “Swan Song” and Stone offers just that, a deep dark tunnel of emotion to dive into and whats play out before your eyes. I don’t want to spoil anything but the game left me feeling like what would you get after you play a sad song of a blues guitar, that is to say really satisfying but maybe a little lost and empty, then again I’m just that kind of guy, I dig that sort of thing.
So that’s it, folks, all in all, I would say it’s a pretty cool game with a lot of potential. If you like point-and-click adventures or trippy noir type stories this is the game for you. Now if you’ll please excuse me I gotta see a guy about a thing.
YouTube: STONE – 15 Minute Tour. What the *&%@ is it? Out Now.
Photo credit: All material shown is owned by Convict Games.
Editorial notice: We have received a press key for testing the game on PC thoroughly before preparing this review. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. Without additional cost to you, we might earn a commission, if you decide to purchase something.