Gliding airily between giant leaves and branches, catching an errant gust of wind to carry you across a chasm, and befriending gigantic grasshoppers are not the sort of experiences we ever get to enjoy, but in Stonefly this is just another Tuesday. Piloting a bulky but nimble mech of insect-like design, you navigate the fantastic setting of a gigantic forested world, as a normal-sized human in a very abnormal setting. The world around you is lush and beautiful, teeming with life and equal parts serene and threatening. There is a real sense of wonder as you make your way through the forest and discover new biomes, new creatures, new villages, and lost artifacts; these are the moments when Stonefly really sings. Once you start to dig into the combat and other game play systems, the game is noticeably less satisfying.
Many games claim to bring new, innovative mechanics to their chosen genre, but most of the time it simply amounts to minor deviations from the well-trodden path. Creature in the Well seeks to push things further than these typically “safe” experiments, mashing up two distinct genres in a way that feels much more unique. The experience can be rocky at times, but the further in you get, the concept hits significantly more often than it misses. Combined with some truly great art, good music, and a mysterious & engaging story, Creature in the Well will take you on what is a mostly fun ride.