Stela is a beautiful platformer, but not much else
Stela is similarly brief but also a fleeting experience that doesn’t make much of an impact while you’re playing or linger once you complete it mostly due to its hollow world.
Stela clearly wants to be as unnerving and fascinating as its contemporaries but the end product is merely an empty imitation. There is no element of surprise or wonder here, nothing to make players consider the game at a deeper level. Instead, it acts as a good reminder of the far superior titles that came before it.
Overall, Stela is a beautifully well-made game, with the score and the background creating a wonderfully immersive atmosphere. Its mysterious setup creates curiosity that would have been lost with a comprehensive storyline, allowing for an unique sensation despite its fairly common game style. While the puzzles aren't overly tough, keeping yourself levelheaded enough in real life to keep going was more than enough challenge for me, making Stela as interesting and fun as it is beautiful and immersive.
Stela is a very pleasant experience from the first moment. Beatiful visuals and soundtrack for a platformer adventure maybe too short, flat and excessively simple in terms of difficulty.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
It took me the best part of a month to come back to Stela in order to finish this review. I’m glad I did, as it still had some astonishing sights left to show me. But it was a close call.
Stela is a nice looking, but completely soulless game that tries to grab a piece of fame from popular developments, but is not able to offer anything new. This is the case when the graphics and music do not draw out a weak story against the background of too simple puzzles. However, we never had any illusions about this game.
Review in Russian | Read full review
Stela is a nice break from the hectic shooters and other competitive style games. It opts for impeccable sounds and visual design in order to convey emotion throughout the three-hour playtime. But, don't let the overall length steer you away from something that's more akin to a short story than a full, AAA produced title. It's a worthy experience from start to finish, providing the right escape for those without a lot of free time on their hands.
Stela hopes you’ll look at it with the same reverence everyone had for Inside. The problem is that Stela needs to do a lot more than just copying Playdead’s formula.
Stela is a platform-puzzler that's quite clearly been made in Inside's (and indeed Limbo’s) image. It's a serviceable approximation of Playdead's work, with a beautifully strange world and even a couple of neat ideas of its own. But it fails to immerse you in its world in quite the same way courtesy of some unfortunate flat spots.
Stela is an ok game, a snack while you're waiting for more consistent meals.If you're a fan of the platforming & puzzle combo, you should give it a try.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
Stela is a beautiful atmospheric puzzle-platformer; however, it seems to emphasize style over substance. The musical score, however, is phenomenal, making almost mundane actions feel grandiose or anxiety-inducing. The first playthrough only takes a couple of hours, and once you know what to expect, you'll be able to run through the game in under 90 minutes.
You won’t be disappointed in any way shape or form with this as a complete product.
As a fan of cinematic platformers, I rather enjoyed playing Stela from start to finish. Be that as it may, it didn't take me long at all, hence one of my leading (but not my only) concerns. At under three hours, and with little replay value to speak of, $19.99 is a lot to launch for on the Nintendo Switch. On sale, this would be one to consider for sure, depending on how burnt out you might be on the subgenre.
When it all clicks together, Stela makes for some beautiful platformer moments. When it doesn't, it's frustrating and obtuse.
Stela feels like a golem, crafted from the bones and sinew of better titles. Sometimes, this can be a successful experiment: Darksiders, for example, may not contain a single unique gameplay concept but manages to forge its own path through its worldbuilding, characters, and art direction. Stela accomplishes no such feat, and so I spent most of my playtime wishing I was playing its inspirations instead.
If you're into games for the experience more than the narrative, Stela might work for you. A few of the puzzles took more brute force than smarts to solve, but nothing was impossibly difficult. The idea of plane-jumping is good, except for when you can't tell if the feature is active. The graphics look beautiful, but the early levels suffer from too many dark colors muddying the waters. It's too bad that the set pieces lack anything special to connect them together. Overall, while Stela may not be top-tier material, it is solid enough to warrant a look.
Stela is good but unspectacular.
Stela will be a familiar experience for those who've played Limbo and Inside. That doesn't mean it lacks its own merits, though it does try to imitate those Playdead classics a bit too much.
When it comes to indie horror games, very few illustrate a living nightmare as well as Stela does.