Stonefly | PS4 Review
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Stonefly is developed by Flight School Studio and published by MWM Interactive and is an adventure-platform game, available now on Windows PC, PlayStation, XBox, and Nintendo Switch. For the purpose of my review I was playing the PlayStation 4 version with a review key that was very kindly supplied to us by Warning Up.
The whole world of Stonefly and the story that the game follows is really charming and I found it quite endearing. You take on the role of female protagonist, Annika, who is a young inventor given the task of going into town and gathering resources. Annika in her infinite wisdom, however, decides to go off the beaten track in her father's mech suit and explore the wilderness and gather the resources on her own rather than purchasing them from the vendors in town. After she returns home, she forgets to lock up the garage where the mech is kept and it gets stolen during the night. This leads Annika on a quest travelling through the treetops and across treacherous lands to try and track down the thief.
Early on in the game you’ll spend the bulk of your time traversing the treetops to gather resources, which will allow Annika to upgrade and power up her mech suit. There’s a decent variety of upgrades available that will allow you to adapt the suit to your own playstyle. I found the combat mechanics and general movement in the game quite strange and it took me some time to adapt to it, however once I did I found the game quite intuitive and fairly enjoyable.
There is a variety of enemies to fight ranging from tiny (and seemingly harmless) bugs to scarily large mutated looking creatures. As mentioned earlier, I struggled initially with the mechanics however I did similarly find myself getting to grips with the combat before long; mostly thanks to the variety of attacks that were in my move set.
Where Stonefly really shone the brightest for me was in the visuals and the soundscape. It all felt so tranquil and peaceful that even just flying around and navigating the expansive areas was enjoyable enough for me. This is absolutely not a bad thing because the vast majority of Stonefly revolves around exploration and Flight School Studio really nailed this for me. I thoroughly enjoyed scaling the giant trees and hearing the sound of the whirling wind around me which really made me feel like I was truly getting lost amongst nature. As a child I really loved movies like A Bugs Life and this gave me some serious nostalgia with an artistic and beautifully stylised twist.
Despite the initial challenges, Stonefly was a pleasure to play; however I really grew to appreciate the artistic work and the simplicity of the story. Sometimes it feels like there is a massive amount of pressure to create something totally new and unique in terms of the story, whereas Stonefly instead created a really simple but moving story with some endearing gameplay and charming environments.
Lj’s Rating: 3.5 mutated bugs out of 5.
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Many thanks to Warning Up for the Review Key.