Stonefly is a bug mech battler
Entertainment

Stonefly is a bug mech battler

We could have made them look like anything, but we made them look like bugs

Making an exciting videogame trailer is easy, right? Just have a striking, original, and cohesive art style, combine it with an unusual concept and world, ground it with a set of compelling combat systems, and set the tone with a score that’s mysterious and energising in equal measure.

No no, wait. What I mean is, Stonefly just makes it look easy. This is a game about piloting a mech the size of a bug, flying among tree branches and boggy marshes to fight other bugs, and it’s instantly one of my most anticipated games.

Here’s the one-minute long introductory trailer, which I think is pitch perfect.

I love the art style, which is 3D but with hand-drawn textures. It’s got an unusual palette, which makes it look like (almost) nothing else. I love the character designs too, like the three onlookers who appear 18 seconds in.

The developers explained more of how the game plays in this slightly longer video:

Which only convinces me more. I like mechs, and one of the reasons why is that their parts can be replaced. I also agree with Hayao Miyazaki that mech engineers > mech pilots, so I’m glad the protagonist here is an inventor who can upgrade her own machine.

Plus, the combat itself looks neat, with a mixture of different enemy behaviours that you need to manipulate and dodge, before flipping them on their backs and shoving them off branches or the backs of larger creatures.

The only reason I say it looks like “almost” nothing else, is that Stonefly looks a bit like Creature In The Well, the last action game from the same developer. It was a pinball-inspired action game in which your protagonist was a walking paddle, and interesting enough that I’m thrilled the same team are making a second game.

Stonefly is aiming to release this summer, and there are more screenshots and details at its official site.

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