You may have missed the release of Stone, a "stoner noir" adventure game starring a cast of anthropomorphized animals, but indie studio Convict Games is hoping to draw your attention to the game this week while they pledge a portion of their income to the World Wildlife Fund's Australian chapter in the hopes of rescuing more koalas at risk of displacement or worse amid the ongoing bushfires ravaging parts of the outback.
"At Convict Games we will be donating 50% of net income from STONE until January 3 to help save koalas from the Australian bushfires to WWF AU," said the company. "Our Aussie stoner noir, STONE features Aussie nature as a metaphor, but to also highlight Australia's amazing nature. We're devastated so much is under threat and damaged today through climate change, and we want to give back with fellow gamers. Please join us and help save koalas."
Stone follows a "lovable" koala private investigator who must piece together his fragmented memory from the night before while also searching for his missing friend, an exotic bird who loves raves and creating art. Convict Games promises a branching story with "no frustratingly flow-killing esoteric puzzles" in their adventure game. Side activities in the game include dancing, drinking, smoking, and watching old movies, which are included at length in the game due to their status as public domain.
Both Stone and the studio as a whole were self-funded by the game's writer and director Gregory Louden, after all publishers pitched on the idea declined to get involved. Louden now resides in Finland and his team consists of creators from both the video game and film industries. Previous works from the remote collaborators include games like Control and Quantum Break in addition to movies like Prometheus and World War Z.
Stone fell exactly in the middle of OpenCritic's 100-point scale with a 50 average from nine reviewers when it launched in September of 2018. It's on PC and iOS for now, with an Xbox port planned for a later date.