Game Info: (Box Display)
- System: PC, Xbox One
- Publisher: PQube Limited
- Developer: Appnormals Team
- Release Date: Mar 30, 2018
- Rating: NR
- Genre: Adventure
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://www.stay.appnormals.com/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
STAY is a pretty easy game to play and manipulate. Players assume the role of a random person talking to a recently kidnapped man named Quinn. Using a computer, Quinn talks to you and asks your advice for various situations going on both physically and mentally. It is here where players input choices that lead Quinn to respond in numerous ways. This is also where STAY shows signs of being quite an interesting adventure title to say the least.
Unlike many narrative titles—and we mean that when we say it—STAY uses a slew of systems that the player will come to understand as time goes on. Quinn is an emotionally driven man and actions will drive his reactions and choices. On the left of the screen, you will see a slew of various systems. One of these is a status screen and the other is Quinn’s face via a webcam. Choices matter in STAY by affecting not only the multiple ending paths—many of which are dead ends—but also how Quinn responds. Choose harsh comments or rude remarks and Quinn will forgo trusting you and might even be hostile which in turn will make him not want to trust you. However, be kind and helpful to Quinn and you will see him react by taking your advice without hesitation and even reveal his dark past with you. We don’t know how every choice will affect STAY’s multiple endings—which apparently there will be seven scattered across 24 chapters—but we do know that half the fun of STAY is seeing what works and what doesn’t. This is also easily accomplished by having a system that, upon a dead end path appearing, players can simply rewind time via a chapter select input.
There are also plenty of puzzles to be solved in STAY. The puzzles we had in the preview weren’t too difficult ranging from rearranging books to form a pattern and fixing a fluorescent bulb but they did add some depth to STAY. We can only hope that later puzzles will be even more complex but even with the simple ones available, STAY was still a lot of fun. Maybe we will see some truly tough puzzles in the final build of STAY. We can only hope as we here at Honey’s Anime always love getting our minds active with tough puzzles…as long as they aren’t extremely tough or unexplainable.
Graphically, STAY isn’t anything too impressive but it works for what it is. The simple designs remind us here at Honey’s Anime HQ of older point and click titles but with a bit more detail. Though the strength of STAY comes in not the art but the ambiance and sound. The typing noises of Quinn responding to you and the eerie music make every moment in STAY stand out. Even some of the death scenes—which we only saw a handful of—have impact with explosive noises or creepy tones. Needless to say, STAY’s recommendation of playing alone with the lights out and wearing headphones is something you definitely do.
Now we don’t have many complaints with STAY, but we do have one issue and that’s in the form of the status screen. As we mentioned earlier, we are quite aware that Quinn’s emotional mindset is what affects his reactions and you can see this with a detailed status screen but a lot of these elements seem a bit hard to understand. Will having Quinn’s various stats like Sanguine and Phlegmatic—don’t feel bad if you need to look up some of these words—higher mean something near the end or how much do they affect Quinn’s mood. We don’t quite know to be honest but maybe the point of these status elements is to just be more precise with Quinn and make STAY seem a bit more complex.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Engrossing story and narrative
- Unique choices with tons of branching consequences
- Simple but fun puzzles
- Ambiance will keep you glued to your chair, especially with headphones on
- Multiple endings leave us craving for what can happen next
- Some mechanics aren’t fully explained well
- Subject material might be disturbing to some