Published on: 12/06/2021
Little Bugs and Big Adventures In Stonefly
Stonefly was released on June 1st for Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC. It is an adventure/RPG mech game. You play as Annika Stonefly, an optimistic and naive inventor who’s left home in a search for her father’s stolen mech. Along the way, she’ll be upgrading her own mech (or “rig” as they’re called here). You’ll do this through gathering resources across various regions encountering both friend and foe in her path. She also joins the Acorn Corps and discovers who she truly is in this tranquil coming-of-age epic.
How to Control a Bug Mech
The top-down gameplay provides a unique fighting experience. It might feel odd at first but is easy to adjust to early on. On console, the controller buttons will allow you to attack and jump while you move with your left joystick. The triggers control some additional wind-based movements and attacks. Your bug mech will be fighting various bugs that each have unique characteristics and abilities that you will need to adapt to handling. Different bug types will put to the test your mech fighting abilities.
Flip them over and push them off the branches you battle on to secure your materials and recharge your health by walking on the ground. Just be careful because your movement on the ground is considerably slow compared to that of your enemies. To fight some of the baddies like Popcorn Fleas, you’ll have to counter some of the moves that you yourself use. If you’re not careful, these bugs will use wind to blow you off the map as they fly to avoid your attacks. It is a bit frustrating when a leaf or branch obscures your camera and you can’t rotate the angle. But this issue is not very frequent.
Stonefly’s excellent music score ties in beautifully with the action and art style. All of the engagement sound effects and wind movements are interconnected to the music. Every time you hit or flip over an enemy bug, the woodblock thonk it makes almost feels like a purposeful note added to the music. As if it were an improvised drum beat that fits in well. It’s simplicity and soft tones pair well with the easy on the eyes nature aesthetic with simple floral backdrops. For $20, the roughly eight hours of gameplay is well worth it.
The gameplay is simple enough to pick up quickly, but is strategic enough to be more engaging. This is especially the case when you are trying to fight a small horde of insects at one time. The game can be a bit repetitive in your hunt for materials and fighting. The art, music, story and ability to make a lot of cool upgrades to your unique-looking mech more than make up for it.
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Written by Trevor Forrest.