Preview: Stonerid

Ruthlessly Tricky

Stonerid is a platformer, yep. And I know you’ve seen platformers that are stylish, and you’ve played platformers that are difficult. Stonerid looks to kick the difficulty up a notch, and aims to provide the player with a pretty but tough experience. You know, I think I like that. Sometimes you just need a game to push your buttons a little bit!

Playing as a stone golem (and a demon; more on that in a minute), you embark on a journey to uncover what is happening to the Great Tree at the top of the Atronast Mountain. As you progress through the story, you collect toxins left throughout the forest and attempt to stay alive for as long as you can. As I alluded to earlier, Stonerid is intentionally difficult and you’ll find yourself respawning at the blue glowing checkpoints fairly often. It even makes a point of giving you a bonus reward at the end of the level if you manage to get through it without dying once, which for me was more of a taunt than anything else because with the exception of the tutorial, I didn’t fair so well!

Stonerid - So Hard
This cliff might not look like much, but it took me 20 tries to get to this ledge.

The primary mechanic at work is that at the press of a button, you switch dimensions and shapeshift from stone form into demon form, or vice versa. In stone form, you are very heavy and can crush enemies, but in demon form you can jump higher and run faster. What is interesting about this mechanic is that the physical landscapes change when you switch forms. That sounds like a fun mechanic, and it is, but the result of switching dimensions often leads to your demise. The developers have done a good job to trick you into changing dimensions at the most inopportune times. For instance, sometimes you’ll be faced with a wall or obstacle that you simply know you must change forms to overcome, but when you switch the ground beneath you sudden disappears and you fall into oblivion. Very tricky. Very tricky indeed.

Stonerid - No Kidding
No kidding!

The environments are pretty and a lot of care went into crafting the puzzles, but my first impressions of the controls were that the characters feel a tad weightless. Further, there isn’t much of a visual contrast between the different dimensions, which could really spruce up the already pretty visual design. While previewing the game, I only made it a few levels in but I certainly enjoyed the ruthless puzzles that the developers at Enitvare have devised.


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