Top Critic Average
STAY is a really fun and immersive indie game about trust, bonding, depression, and anxiety. If you’re like me, as soon as you hit ‘connect’ on the main menu, you won’t want to leave Quinn alone for a second without you there to watch over him. However, if you do leave the game via any means other than ‘rest mode’, try not to stay away too long or Quinn may get a little upset. The majority of the game revolves around visual novel style gameplay with a hint of Telltale in the conclusion screens, with the rest of the gameplay consisting of rather tricky puzzles to complete. These puzzles aren’t the usual mindlessly easy ones either, some of them will really make you think in order to work out the solutions.
By creating a timer feature that tracks how much time we're away from Quinn, Stay extends its memorable experience beyond our gaming monitor and asks us how long we're willing to stay away when it has negative consequences. With great narrative and relatable content, the title falters in creating far too complex puzzles that transform the game from Stay into Stuck. However, Quinn's story (and our story) create solid and thoughtful gameplay that keeps us coming back for more. If one can overlook the puzzling mishaps, Stay is a title that reaches out to all of us and creates a worthwhile experience.
Despite some frustrating and obtuse puzzles that hinder rather than enrich the narrative, STAY is a simple tale told with style and delivers an important lesson that we could all learn from.
If you’re looking for something that has a clever base premise and some pretty engaging dialogue to work through Stay is a fresh experience. If, however, you’re not much of a fan of philosophical discussion and exploring someone’s regrets it may end up instead feeling tedious. While Stay is hardly perfect it seems well-suited to playing on the Switch and dares to be different among much more familiar and safe titles in the eShop.
Stay is certainly a different type of experience, what with its in-game timer and how it affects the wellbeing of Quinn. Taking a break from the game for an extended period of time could prove to be fatal for him, so you'll always need to make sure you check in on him every now and then. Other than the lack of a hint system, I definitely recommend you check this one out!
Stay's compelling lead character and gripping dialogue ensures you'll want to see Quinn's journey through to the end. It's just a shame it spends a bit too much time testing your patience with irksome puzzles and some needless waffling.
STAY has an interesting storyline that is very relatable and can teach individuals about emotional intelligence, human psychology and mental health. The puzzles are quite frustrating at times but this can be simply overlooked once completed and you continue with the original storyline.
STAY is a very unusual experience. Its unique approach to tracking time and using it as an influential factor on a character's well-being makes it the kind of game you really need to try, but it's one that comes with enough caveats that might make it less appealing to certain Switch owners. However, with some well-written dialogue, a mysterious house that keeps getting stranger and all manner of narrative paths, items, rooms and endings to unlock, there's plenty here to warrant repeated plays. Just don't nod off while you're playing, or wander out of the house. Poor old Quinn...
With a great focus on the relationship between someone who can help and someone who needs help, STAY has more rights than wrongs, showing responsibly a very sensitive topic. Although the final result is positive, STAY certainly is not a game for anyone, but it should be at least tested by everyone, especially for addressing such a current theme of our society.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
The most interesting segments get interrupted with puzzles that mostly feel like a way of extending the play time. I also ran into a few performance issues like puzzles becoming unresponsive which required a reboot and a chapter restart. I think the developer is on the right track but for this particular game some more polish and better or more relevant puzzles would have gone a long way at creating a more entertaining experience.
STAY starts as an nail-biting adventure that's hard to let go of - literally and figuratively. Soon enough, however, it will become an exercise in frustration, partly because of the slow pace of it all, but mainly due to some bad design choices, with the aggravatingly cryptic, and speed-bumpy puzzles taking the biscuit.
It's just a shame that my enthusiasm and interest was eventually fully deflated by obtuse puzzles that offer no guidance and ultimately feel superfluous to the game. Get rid of them altogether and you've got a gripping interactive story that's dying to be told. But with the puzzles as they are, STAY is reduced to feeling more like a badly-designed old-school adventure game.
Stay has so much promise, and initially gripped me in a very personal way. As the story goes on though, ridiculous puzzles and multiple restarts will frustrate you, souring the overall experience.
For its escape-room premise, Stay's narrative is surprisingly large in scope, and despite all its shortfalls the eerie atmosphere does linger with you as you play. It's hard to deny that there are some incredible ideas at play here – and even if the execution is lacking in parts, the game's sense of mystery kept drawing me in long after the puzzles and thriller plotline stopped being interesting.
Quinn is the one who explores the game, each nook and cranny and the one who is a threat from a ticking clock. For the most part you are just a passenger in his story, it’s a great concept but a few creases need ironing out to make STAY an truly unmissable game.
STAY can't be faulted for its aspirations and the attempt to make a believable character in Quinn, to create an individual that the player will want to help. However, the result is a near endless stream of lacklustre dialogue that made it incredibly difficult to stay to the end.