Review – STONE

STONE (the game) is a “hip-hop stoner noir” third person interactive narrative, which takes players on an approximately 2-hour adventure to find his missing lover, Alex or as Stone (the protagonist) playfully calls his partner, Chookie.


New kids on the block Convict Games have just released their 2018 PC and Mac title on Xbox One. Convict Games was founded by Gregory Louden and his sister Sarah and they have formed an impressive collection of global artists, developers and coders who previously worked on Control, Quantum Break, Gravity, Prometheus, WWZ (movie) and more, with their HQ in Melbourne. And to quote Greg, “We made STONE to change the type of stories and protagonists played in games.”


Stone is portrayed as a cuddly koala but is actually a foul-mouthed, heavy drinking, down-on-his luck private investigator. The game begins with Stone waking hungover, not knowing much of the night before and it is not long before he receives an unknown phone call with a brief message “Your life, as you know it, ends now. You’re never going to see Alex again!“ Following this unexpected introduction, Stone spends the majority of the game travelling to different parts of Oldtown, speaking too and interviewing the town’s member to find out what has happened to Alex.


When interviewing town members, who fantastically come in the forms of other native Australian animals, you have the options to use either the ‘Soft Touch’ or ‘Hard Ass’ approach. Using these different approaches will provide different reactions from the supporting cast but overall it does not alter the major outcome of the story. These interactions and the creation of relationships with these captivating characters push the player through the story. As interesting as the characters are, it is the story that is the star of the show.


Convict Games have had a lot of influences, as Greg shared the following with us at Xbox Gamer Dad.

“For STONE, we’ve been tapping into the influential works of counterculture icons including Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson and Thomas Pynchon, classic stoner noir films such as The Big Lebowski and Inherent Vice, and other narrative-driven games including Firewatch and Grim Fandango. So it’s an interactive story, not a traditional puzzle driven adventure game.”


As the story moves through its five acts and epilogue, it does take a few twists and turns. Throughout the middle acts, there is a detour with a side story that interrupts the main story and introduces more curious characters. While enjoyable, I was not overly satisfied with the outcome and had a number of questions after its conclusion. When the story gets back on track, Stone moves forward until its finale. STONE may not have the expected ending but once the epilogue concluded, it left the right taste in my mouth.

Throughout the story, Stone will venture all over Oldtown and into a number of locations including the local bar, nightclub and ‘bowlo’. The player can also visit the local cinema and watch vintage feature films in their full length. From Australia’s first blockbuster ‘The Story of the Kelly Gang’ to George A Romero’s classic, ‘The Night of the Living Dead’. Stone can also visit the record store where the player can listen to any of the games impressive soundtrack featuring local artists such as Luchii and Grand Oyster Palace.


Another thing I loved about STONE is the constant use of Australian slang and not just the slang well known around the world but words that will have our international friends scratching their heads. I laughed more than I should have when Stone says he is not into “Doof” (techno music). The good thing is the game includes a glossary for newcomers to our beloved language.

Even though that graphics are bright, Stone looks cuddly and the story has heart, but this is not a game for children to be around. Stone curses like a sailor and drinks like a fish. So this is one not to play when the children are around.

STONE is not your typical game and it will not be for everyone. Gameplay-wise it offers not much more than being a walking sim with a few fetch quests and choices on how to interact with the supporting cast. But this is no wucking forries as Stone would put it, as you do not play STONE for its these things.  You play STONE for the immersive story, colourful cast of characters, energetic sound track and the lessons the story teachers you.

Final Verdict

+ The story

+ Stone and the support characters

+ Amazing soundtrack

+ Local games made local

– The length

– Side story seems tacked on

– Not much gameplay wise

Score: 7/10

Pottsy for One More Game

*Please note that this review code was provided for review purposes. All thoughts on this title is that of the reviewer and the OMG team.

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