Ever wonder what it would be like to be an anthropomorphized, weed smoking, hip hop loving, gay koala detective? If the answer is “yes” (what strains are you smoking???) then “Stone” from Convict Games is the perfect game for you! Touted as a “Hip Hop Stoner Noir” with regards to genre, Stone is an interactive storytelling video game whose protagonist just so happens to be a gay koala detective that loves smoking herb and listening to hip hop music. Needless to say, this interesting new game definitely checks a lot of boxes and doesn’t shy away at all when it comes to subculture representation.
The game begins when the titular character wakes up in his empty apartment to a mysterious phone call from an unknown party letting him know that his life as he knows it is now over and that he’s never going to see his lover, Alex, ever again. This sets off Stone on his journey to find those responsible and hopefully get Alex back unharmed. Despite its VERY unique premise, this amusing title follows the usual format for these types of storytelling games where the player travels around given areas all the while searching for clues and chatting up non-player-characters (NPC’s) for inside info in order to further advance the story and get them that much closer to their end goal of locating their lost Alex.
One of the game’s main selling points is its particular sense of humor which has been described as very wordplay and reference focused by play-testers. This will undoubtedly appeal to many folks out there (weed enthusiasts or not) who enjoy topical and referential humor as well a good variety of puns. While many of the game’s jokes are pretty straightforward and easy to pick up on, some of its references rely on the player being somewhat familiar with the works of counter-culture and drug-culture icons like Hunter S. Thompson or cult films like The Big Lebowski in order to get the most fun out of their gaming experience. It’s also helpful to know or research a little Aussie slang when it comes to being able to fully understanding some of the game’s many puns.
Stone is the brainchild of Convict Games’ founder, Greg Louden, an Australian animator with an impressive resume that includes both video games such as 2016’s “Quantum Break” and major Hollywood films like the “Alien” franchise’s 2012 science fiction film “Prometheus.” Louden says of Stone: “I wanted to make Stone a different type of story from what you usually see in games…For me, a cool story lets you experience, lets you see other cultures. I think it’s more traditional in other mediums to see other cultures represented, but I wanted to do that in a game. I want to see more international stories.” Stone is slated to be released this upcoming Fall for both PC and MacOS.
Do you enjoy storytelling games along these lines? Would you be interested in playing Stone once it is officially released this Fall?