About This GameG’day, I’m Stone. Here’s our Steam page. Play this feature length interactive story ( don’t expect shooting or winning or losing ) and see what happened. Yeah it was rough, but a good life lesson. Enjoy, and remember don’t do this at home ya bunch of crazy animals.
By the way this story really isn’t going to be for everyone. So enter at your own risk, mate.
Plus this was created by a global team including the narrative designer of QUANTUM BREAK and VFX artist from GRAVITY, PROMETHEUS & more.
You’re in good hands, mate.
P.s FLAMING FEATURE LIST BELOW. PLAY MY STORY TODAY!
P.P.s I’m @StoneKoalaPI and follow @ConvictGames those mammals were crazy to tell my story!
• 3rd person so you can rotate a drone cam around me and move me like Voodoo
• Deep, reference heavy interactive story never told, mate.
• Drinking, dancing and smoking for your pleasure. I recommend a Negroni.
• Map based free roam so you can explore the world at your own pace. Here’s some tips:
• Echo for great techno, Smoky Possum for some liquid gold and my flat. It’s comfy mates.
• A cast of my mates. Like Les, weirdo and kanye lover and my gorgeous chookie Alex.
• BTW if you see Cockie, tell her I’m sorry again. If you see Devil, run, run, run!
• Amazing licensed tracks from sick up and coming indie musicians at the Record Shop.
• Like Ryan Little, Luchii, Ilkka S, Warchief, James Tottakai & More
• Seriously the music is great. There’s hip hop, trap, stoner rock and heavy techno!
• Also THERE”S CLASSIC MOVIES!!! Yeah you can watch film classics like
• Sentimental Bloke, Night of the Living Dead & Story of the Kelly Gang ( CONVICT REPRESENT )
• Hang out with me.
• It’ll be bonza and hell, I think you’ll be a better person from it too.
- Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
- OS: Windows 7 64 bit (requires 64 bit OS)
- Processor: Dual Core Processor, 2.5 GHz or higher
- Memory: 6 GB RAM
- Graphics: DX11 compatible video card
- Storage: 6 GB available space
- Additional Notes: Requires a 64-bit processor and operating system
If you like walking simulators;
If you are willing to pay the asking price for an experience roughly two hours long (not counting the included jukebox, movies, and replay value of choosing different responses — I went the nice route but I bet the jerk responses are pretty amusing);
If you don’t mind a story that’s slowly, and a bit oddly, paced.
Since I meet those criteria, I enjoyed it.
In the stash of stoner-detective-noirs such as The Long Goodbye, Inherent Vice, The Big Lebowski and Scooby Doo, the imitation gumshoe that is STONE gets lost in the haze.
STONE is an indie narrative game that puts you behind the fuzzy ears of Stone, an alcoholic detective koala on the case of a mysterious kidnapping, complete with bounty hunters, sassy bartenders, and run-ins with the law. Thematically it claims to be a stoner hip-hop noir, but I found it lacking in noir, and more sober than Joe Friday on a Sunday. Outside of the soundtrack, I’m not sure what STONE’s hip-hop credentials are aside from the main character’s key-chain which lazily reads "I Heart Rap". Mechanically it appears on the surface to be a third-person adventure game, but in reality the game elements consist of nothing more than navigating the main character around very, very tiny environments to talk to a very tiny amount of side characters in order to advance the equally tiny story.
To be blunt, STONE is not a game in the traditional sense, or perhaps in any sense. There are no choices or decisions to be made, there are no puzzles to solve, or environments to explore, or tasks to complete, or challenges to overcome, nothing changes as dialogue choices have zero consequence. STONE gives you the illusion of limited interaction but bogarts control of the linear story for itself. Making sub-par use of the Unreal Engine, the exposition unfolds with all the elegance of a drunken koala playing Second Life.
Gameplay consists of controlling Stone as he follows the "objective" prompts at the top of the screen which literally tell you what to do, the typical pattern being: talk to person X; they say to talk to person Y; who in turn says to go to another location on the map and talk to person Z. This repeats over and over again for five acts and an epilogue.
The main character, Stone, is bafflingly unappealing…everybody seems to know him, and many characters in the game are devoted to him, despite their stated misgivings, but I’m at a loss as to why. Perhaps the other characters have reasons to like him, but we, as the audience, are never shown anything likable, charming or unique about Stone. He is nothing more than a passive device upon which the story can act. As a detective, he’s dumb as a rock; not funny-dumb, in a Lebowski way, but like a slow-witted uncle.
The writing and dialogue are painfully pedestrian. STONE can barely muster the few sentences necessary to move the plot from one lifeless scene to the next. The story itself has potential, but the telling of that story is so oafishly handled that any good will gets tossed aside, just like the carpet of empty beer cans lining Stone’s apartment. And the characters are so one-dimensional that any life the story did have gets sucked out by the insipid dialogue and hammy delivery; I’ve seen breakfast cereal mascots with a more developed personality than anyone in this game.
As both an indictment of this fact, and a contrast to the other characters, the most interesting personality in the entire game is Nigel, a talking toaster that appears during one of Stone’s "dream sequences." Next time I’m stuck investigating a mysterious disappearance I’d much rather be a talking toaster than an inebriated marsupial.
Humor is subjective, but STONE is utterly devoid of any intentional comedy. I’m not sure exactly what my expressions were while playing STONE, but I guarantee they didn’t contain any smiles. Bewilderment, perhaps; boredom definitely, and no shortage of quizzical eyebrows. The most amusing parts of the game, for me, were all the Aussie slang liberally strewn about, a fact which is bolstered by the inclusion of an actual Australian slang glossary so you can follow along with the merriment.
Outside of enduring dull dialogue, there is almost nothing else to do in STONE. I say almost nothing, because for whatever half-baked reason, the developers have included six old black and white movies that you can actually watch in their entirety within the game, either on Stone’s TV in his perpetually trashed apartment, or at a poorly rendered movie theater in town. The public domain films include such classics as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Night of the Living Dead, and are all reduced to a resolution that makes the worst YouTube clip look like IMAX. The big question, though, is why were these full films included in the first place? How stoned do you have to be to want to watch Night of the Living Dead in 320×240 framed by the giant head of a pickled koala?
The graphics are competent, but feel incomplete. The character designs are nice, and the animations (what few cycles there are) are fine…but the environments are dead, empty, lifeless, uninspired and tiny. I’m not even sure what the point of making this game in 3D was; you can walk around the bar, or club or bowling green, but why? The game doesn’t give you any opportunities to explore for the sake of uncovering additional world-building and is satisfied merely to offer you a static set that acts as a container for the one or two characters that you’re supposed to talk to. This false sense of interaction is really just an another way to pad the game’s paltry content by filling up time making you traverse barren locations. The game’s only concession on variety is to occasionally change the color of the lights in the club scene. The rest of the world is a vacuous shell mistaking pragmatic utility for personality. In fact, the best graphics in the entire game appear as an optional gallery showing the game’s concept art as a slideshow; to be honest, I wish the whole game was done in that 2D style, as they demonstrate magnitudes more appeal than the final product’s anemic visuals.
It does get brownie points for its cultural references, including not one, but two Jodorowsky nods, and a few other pop culture nuggets. The music isn’t bad, and there are some tracks that stand out. I do appreciate that the story goes in an unexpected and personal direction by the end. I applaud that the developers clearly had the best of intentions and were trying to make something beyond the rote narrative adventure game, even if they didn’t entirely (or even partially) succeed. STONE may be a failure, but I do sense enough of a creative spark from Convict Games that I would be curious to see what else they come out with.
I have no hate for this game; I’ve played and reviewed titles that have left me seething in anger and deserve their low scores. I genuinely feel bad for being so harsh on STONE, because I harbor no animosity towards it, and I recognize that the developers had good intentions. The simple truth, though, is that I just cannot recommend the final product to anyone for any reason under any circumstance. Even if you received this title for free, I still don’t recommend devoting 90 minutes of your life to it. There is just nothing here. It feels like an abandoned Early Access title, or someone’s thesis project for a game-development class; but a fulfilling stand-alone gaming experience it is not. I sincerely anticipate greater things from the developers in the future, but for now, STONE is a game better left unturned.
Full review + screenshots here .
+Virtual copies of classic movies
-Unnecessary title screens
-Overly long epilogue
-Mystery for mystery’s sake
Joel Coen about The Big Lebowski
a) What’s it all about?
The protagonist Stone is a koala. He loves hip-hop. He’s also a Private Investigator who’s pretty bad at his job. A job he doesn’t seem to care about much anyway as he spends his days getting stoned or getting in all sorts of trouble due to his drinking problem. One morning however things go downhill fast. His chookie Alex has gone missing, even kidnapped it seems. That’s at least what Stone is made to think when he gets a mysterious call. So, despite his lazy nature Stone is forced to get himself together, were it for him to see Alex ever again.
First things first, he needs to retrace what happened the night before. As Stone deduces from his trashed apartment, whoever took Alex must have done it violently. So he sets out and revisits all the bars and clubs he is a regular of. On his journey, Stone gets help from his buddy Les (a wombat and big Kanye West fan), the tough police chief Devil (a Tasmanian Devil who went to police school with Stone), and others.
b) The influences
Stone’s storyline is mainly inspired by The Big Lebowski and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. Developer Convict Games’ writers try so hard to imitate, that they completely fail to present anything worth a mention outside this review. The one thing they manage to do right however is the overarching plot-structure.
The Dude in The Big Lebowski, very much like Stone in this game, is a very chill dude that gets pulled into something he cannot possibly comprehend due to a major misunderstanding. With a little help from his friends however he manages to live through it all just to get some non-sensical and entirely anti-climactic closure in the end. And much like Doc Sportello in P.T.Anderson’s Inherent Vice there’s also lots of trouble as Stone forgets things on the regular due to his abusing various substances. Just like in those two movies, the audience never feels like they see the whole picture, like they would ever be able to.
c) The fall
Stone claims to be ‘reference-heavy’. Those references however are limited to either names-dropping (e.g. El Topo or The Holy Mountain) or simple imitation (Stone’s buddy Les is dressed like The Big Lebowski’s Walter Sobchak/ Stone himself is dressed like Inherent Vice’s Doc Sportello). Character Stereotypes/ Connections are also ‘referenced’ as in the tough Devil (see Doc Sportello’s counterpart Christian „Bigfoot“ Bjornsen ) trying to recruit his nemesis Stone despite their different approach to investigations.
Forget the influences however and all there is left is an overly convoluted mess of a story with characters as cleverly written as any given bad reality show. The player can never really get a grasp on how and why Stone got his job. He never seems to be able to figure out things on his own. Each and every piece of new information he finds out through speaking with someone else. The exact same 4 characters during the course of the entire game.
Stone’s plot is split into 5 chapters, each consisting of 5-6 distinct scenes and an overly long epilogue spanning across the same number of screens. Each and every scene comes with it’s own title- card that explicitly tells you what to expect. Each scene lasts about ca. 2-3 minutes. Playing through it all is excruciatingly boring as it doesn’t consist of anything else except talking to the same characters in the same locations again and again. Important information is also repeatedly repeated, just in case the player has forgotten.
Something unexpected happens at the end of every chapter. All conceived as cliffhangers but none of them really work out that way. Once the credits roll, none of the twists actually hold up. They’re just overblown pieces of exposition and misinformation that don’t make any sense.
There is a total of 4 environments, each containing a number of interactions that can be counted on one hand. In an overview of Oldtown’s map, the player is also offered the choice where to go to next in a failed attempt to establish an open-world of sorts. He can choose to either follow where the story leads him, go back to his apartment or go to the cinema to watch an old movie.
Stone doesn’t have any puzzles. It’s a game entirely built around dialoguing. In those, you’re always offered a ‘soft touch’ and a ‘tough guy’ approach. This choice is entirely decorative as you always get the same responses. This also implicates decisions that might influence the story in some way. That’s also wrong. There’s only one ending.
Convict Games used Unreal Engine 4 for creating Stone. That doesn’t come to full fruition however as all of Stone’s models and textures are low-polygon and low-definition. Only some real-world art that pops up in one of the locations seems to have high-resolution. Besides, all the movies available in the in-game cinema are terribly grainy and stretched out awkwardly in a wrong format to fit the screen.
Stone contains such a massive set list of licensed songs that there’s at least one song included in each scene. Ranging from stoner rock to hip hop to house, there’s a little bit of something for each taste.
None of the characters is voiced particularly well (except Stone). They are all stand-out examples for certain accents (mainly aussie) but fail to convey any kind of emotion. The worst examples are Devil, who sounds like a shy school girl instead of a tough detective, and Alex, whose voice resembles a robot’s.
As mentioned before, there’s a title-card preceding all scenes. This takes the player out of any immersion they could have found themselves in. At the end of each chapter there is also a title- card saying ‘End of Chapter X’ with yet another licensed song playing in the background. That is supposed to fit the mood but rarely, if ever, does so.
This product was reviewed with a key provided by the developer for free.
It happens to every single one of us – you know that time when you wake up with a pounding head that was self-inflicted by rather strong beverages from the previous night – the feeling of having a few lead balls bouncing all around inside your skull when you move around. The worst is when people start talking to you . . . then you have the amazing combination of bouncing balls and echoing voices within your cranial cavity! Not a pleasant feeling, to say the least. This is exactly what happens to a Koala detective named STONE, but on top of that, he receives a phone call from an unknown number telling him that his partner, Alex, has been kidnapped!
Stone is an adventure game with a degree of choice matters, developed and published by Convict Games, where you play a koala private investigator who is looking for clues as to what happened to his partner before his alleged kidnapping.
The game consists of 6 chapters, including an epilogue. As Stone wakes up, pretty much half stoned, he finds out from an unknown caller that his boyfriend, Alex (or Chookie) has been kidnapped. The first act is pretty much following the story and identifying which objects or characters to interact with within each scene. You can’t miss them, as a pink ball will be obvious over each of the characters and items. As you move through the game, you will speak with other characters within the five available locations on the main map. Stone will be able to choose to be smooth or tough in the way he communicates with other characters, which add a bit a replay-ability in this game.
The story itself is a bit out there, to be honest, and probably not for everyone. However, the dialogue is quite good, and they have managed to not only make the characters Australian native animals, but also to capture some Australian slang, which is always really fun to hear. It will take you between 2 to 3 hours to complete your first playthrough, and you might want to give the game another go to see how the story will shape up by choosing different ways of communicating with the other characters when prompted. Stone will recall some of the good times he had with Alex, which is primarily watching movies. You’ll be able to watch these movies throughout the gameplay, or you can go to the Orion cinema and watch them when you want to. The length of these movies varies between 7 to 95 minutes and they are pretty interesting. You can always terminate the session by pressing the key E.
The graphics are very well done, the soundtrack is great, and the story is interesting, to say the least. I must say that I was expecting a bit more of interaction than what the game offers, but it is what it is.
+Fun dialogues with Aussie slang
+6 movies to enjoy at the Orion Cinema
-A bit short
-No trading cards as yet.
Help the private investigator Koala, named Stone, to find the mystery around the disappearance of his love, Alex!
Key provided by developer/publisher for review purposes. Any opinions expressed are entirely my own!
While the gameplay was a little too connect-the-dots for my tastes, I thoroughly enjoyed the originality and heart that I found in STONE. Its unique offering was made all the stronger by the rare choice of starring a gay male main character and focusing on his relationship with another male character. The characters were varied, interesting, and overall if the above interests you, then I’d recommend this to anyone looking for a heartfelt story with a splash of comedy thrown in, and especially if you’re craving something a little different.
NOTE TO DEV: I am unable to add this game to my curated list as it isn’t in the results that are shown when I search STONE. This is largely a Steam issue, as it seems the "Create a New Review" search for curators is only able to return a maximum of 10 results. There are a LOT of games with the word STONE in them, so even trying to narrow it down via quotations (i.e. "STONE") doesn’t help. I’m sorry this quirk is affecting you, as I imagine it is thwarting other curators as well.
UPDATE: I was able to find and add the game by searching for its unique store ID (the string of numbers in its url). Hope this helps others.
Stone is a solid, short interactive story with some memorable characters and settings. You can choose between two responses in certain conversations, which seems like it adds some replayability (I’ve only played through the game once, so I’m not completely sure). The visuals are stimulating and I absolutely loved the character designs! Also, the soundtrack is one of the best I’ve ever heard in a video game. The selection of hip hop, electronic, and rock is incredible and I’ve got plenty of new bands to listen to.
I hope STONE does well, because I would love to see what Convict Games does next!
It’s chock full of Australian wit and colloquialisms that make it both representative of what the country is able to produce in terms of art and a hilarious drumming of the country’s own issues, while remaining accessible. It’s also a game that never over stays its welcome nor does it have the obscene density of a Thomas Pynchon novel, which makes it a great introduction to the genre of stoner noir.
STONE is a comedic interactive story about a homosexual yobbo koala who’s artist boy friend has been kidnapped.
It has fantastic art work and some really good music in the game, some of it is pop songs that I assume they have liscenced to use. The story is very funny and the characters are all well made. It’s great to hear Auzzies talking normally in a game for once. It’s none of that color stuff, this game is all colour, hell even the poms are represented.
Unfortunatly the game lacks real gameplay and is mostly interactive story and is quite linear in the first few acts, more choices open up after that. The great art, story, and comedy more than make up for this though and you will still walk away happy with the experience so it’s no wucken furries.
Take a look at my video to see what you think -remember though it’s an interactive story so it’s all spoilers!-
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