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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.
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.
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 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...
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.
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.
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
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.
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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!