STONE, the stoner noir adventure game, originally launched on the App Store earlier this year as a premium app. Now, however, the team at Convict Games has opted to release a free-to-play preview of STONE’s earlier sections to give new players a taste of the experience.
If you’re yet to give it a go, STONE sees you taking on the role of a pot-smoking koala bear detective who, after an especially rough night of partying, struggles to remember the events of the previous evening which led to his partner Alex’s disappearance.
Cue a weird and wild ride across a world of sleazy bars, clubs, theatres, and anhomomorphic animals. Thankfully, for me at least, STONE strips away the often annoyingly esoteric, pace-killing puzzles seen in many classics of the genre for a more straightforward type of adventure game experience.
You’ll explore some striking, often grimy locales, chat with an eccentric cast of oddballs, and decide whether to take a “Hard-Ass” or “Soft Touch” approach to interrogations. When you’re not on the case, you can relax by having a few drinks, making beats, having a smoke, and even checking out a few classic films on the in-game TVs.
Another selling point is that it’s a very Australian game, fit with Aussie slang and a comedic tone that feels distinct and different. Harry reviewed the game when it first launched on iOS, praising it for being its own thoughtful and funny thing, before awarding it a silver rating.
Interestingly, Convict Games is a team composed of artists, developers, and coders who have experience working on games like Control and Quantum Break. Their expertise also extends to the world of cinema, with some of the team having worked on Prometheus and Sucker Punch.
STONE: Episode 1 is now available as a free preview over on the App Store. If you enjoy the demo, you can then upgrade to the full game for $3.99.