Coming off the success of 2019s pinball hack-and-slash hybrid Creature in the Well, today Flight School Studio has announced their upcoming game Stonefly. This new title puts players in mechanized rigs as they explore a world of bugs and tree traversal. Flight School Studio invited TechRaptor to check out the first look at Stonefly, showing off gameplay including world exploration, combat, and more.
The game revolves around Annika Stonefly, a young inventor working with her father in a town called Woodruf. The adventure Annika takes in Stonefly takes her out of her books and into the world to find out where she belongs in it. It's in using her inventor mind that this exploration into the world will also fuel Annika's creative drive. The adventure begins with Annika's quest to recover her father's lost Rig, a mechanized suit that allows for easier traversal of the world. In finding this family heirloom Annika hopes to repair her relationship with her father. Flight School Studio described the game as a "medium" sized game, with the campaign expected to take around 10 hours.
In Stonefly, players will set out on various exploration and resource-gathering missions. Across the campaign, you'll be exploring glowy nightlight briars, high treetop canopies, boggy marshes, and other forest settings. None of the levels in Stonefly are set up with clear paths for you to navigate; the world is a microscopic look at these different types of environments instead. There is a compass-like feature that will point players in the direction of their objective but stays out of the way to allow the art style and world to show off.
There are three different types of missions that will be included in the game. Patrol missions are open-ended, resource-gathering locations. On the mission select screen, you'll be able to see which of the resources is available in the region, and these will also be where you gather tracking data for larger bugs. Story missions guide the plot forward and have a set goal for the players to reach. The last type of mission will unlock after you've collected enough tracking data and is an Alpha Aphid level. The Alpha Aphid stages are high-risk, high-reward missions, even coming with a time limit. Here, rare resources will be much more abundant but will take place on the back of a giant bug. These giant bugs, after burrowing up from the earth, have plenty of rare resources on their back but also attract a lot of attention from other bugs that would prefer to keep all of these resources to themselves.
When you step out from the campsite you'll be getting in a Rig of your own. The Rigs have some interesting mechanics to them. Instead of walking, you'll spend most of the time gliding/flying in them, while quickly bouncing to prolong your time in the air. The Rigs move faster and handle easier while in the air, so it's how you'll spend the majority of your time while exploring. Your rig is also equipped with small explosives that you're able to drop on enemies or deposits that contain the kinds of resources you're searching for. The downside of finding these resources though is that there's normally fierce competition coming from the local bugs, and they'll try to keep you from gathering them.
Each of the Rigs has a "push" ability for handling these kinds of encounters. Instead of having players come in and stomp or crush these bugs, Stonefly takes a non-violent approach. You'll simply shoo your attackers off the edge where they'll harmlessly fall. Self-described as a "king of the hill" style combat, it's all about getting the enemy off the platform, instead of actually causing harm. Little aphid-looking enemies can be pushed with ease, but as Annika comes up against beetles and other creatures, the player will need to use the small explosives to get bugs into a stunned state.
Modeled after the different types of bugs Annika sees out in the world these Rigs can be upgraded as you play. Between missions, and even during, Annika can use the campsites as safe areas to spend resources to upgrade her Rig and purchase items. Examples given of upgrades include pushing strength, jump ability, and resource-gathering speed. These upgrades aren't just new features though; as Annika explores you'll also be able to create new hull pieces, allowing you to stylize the look of your Rig, each cosmetic piece borrowing aspects from different bug designs.
There's no current release date for Stonefly but it's going to be coming out in Summer 2021. Stonefly will be releasing on the PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via Steam. For the Nintendo Switch release, fans can expect graphics on parity to the PC and console release due to the way that Flight School Studio designed the game's art style.