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Beneath the Stones

by Kieran Green profile


Web Site

(based on 5 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

Clumsy tourist Judy O’Brian has found herself in a hidden chamber beneath the famous Sky Stones — help her escape!

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: April 5, 2022
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Twine
IFID: Unknown
TUID: a3ymdagkddw8yqx0


Entrant, Main Festival - Spring Thing 2022


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Number of Reviews: 3
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A woman falls into a strange complex under standing stones, April 28, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is a mid-length Twine game where you play as a visitor to some standing stones who is sucked into the ground and deposited in a strange room.

Gameplay is mostly based on exploration, inventory and examination. There is a bizarre, alien world to explore.

Overall, the concept was interesting, but I had friction in random places. There was a ton of profanity for no real reason (the game starts with a few screens of just the F-word over and over again), each page had an animation before the next page which was cool at first but slowly wore out its welcome, and a lot of choices were hard to strategize with (like choosing left or right in a featureless corridor, or only having one option)).

I definitely felt some atmosphere from the writing, and that was to me the biggest success in this story. It gave me Brian David Gilbert vibes so I start listening to some of his songs while playing.

Cave story, June 7, 2022
by Mike Russo (Los Angeles)
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2022

I’m less than ten games into Spring Thing, and somehow I’ve already hit two whose opening screen is just repeated f-bombs (the other was Light in the Forest) – man, the 2022 zeitgeist is pretty grim. Here, the profanity reflects the dire situation the protagonist has found herself in, as she’s fallen into some caves below a tourist site in the wilderness, and after an ill-timed bout of unconsciousness, she realizes she’s alone and trapped. Fortunately, there’s some strange machinery that might hold out the promise of escape…

If you were to picture a game in your head based on that description, I’m guessing that you’d come up with a parser game, because this is a classic setup. But no – it’s Twine (complete with overuse of various blurring and moving text effects, alas)! There are some reasonably fun puzzles here, and the mystery of what’s going on in the caverns is intriguing enough, but for me the novelty of navigating such a hoary scenario in a choice-based game was the most interesting element of Beneath the Stones. Now that the parser/choice wars that roiled the IF community a decade ago are firmly in the rear-view mirror, it seems to me that both the audience and authors are increasingly ignoring the stereotypes of what kinds of games belong on each side of the theoretical divide. And while there is some narrative here – the main character has a name, and a little bit of dialogue with her boyfriend in the immediate aftermath of the fall – the game really is about a lonely explorer poking at stuff in the dark.

So how well does the said poking work? I’d say reasonably so. The nice thing about this being a choice-based game is that there’s no fumbling with darkness puzzles or navigating a dreary maze: everyplace you can go and all the options are clearly laid out, and it’s easy to toggle from one sub-area to another. There’s also an inventory system that works quite well and even allows you to use one item on a second, albeit only in specific, scripted instances.

On a more equivocal note, since the puzzles mostly just involve manipulating stuff you find in the environment that only have one effect, the game is pretty easy to solve since you’ll typically be able to progress by just clicking through all of your options even if you don’t understand what you’re doing. I’d actually rate this a positive, partially because I found the environment a little confusing. The game’s chatty style meant that I was sometimes unsure about what I was seeing, and how the area I was in related to the place I’d just been. Descriptions are also a bit loose sometimes, meaning that for example I wasn’t always clear on whether something described as “gunk” was the same as the previously-mentioned “goo” – in a parser game, it’d be easy to disambiguate, but of course that option wasn’t available here. Further adding to my discombobulation, I ran into a bug that had me see a passage comparing what I was seeing to a podium that it implied I’d already encountered well before I’d actually come across the thing.

While I think Beneath the Stones could have benefitted from another testing pass (there are some typos, too) these are still minor complaints, though. Even if I wasn’t always sure about what I was doing or why it was working, it was fun to work through the puzzles and escape the caverns. The game does also succeed in setting a creepy mood at times, especially when I went back to find a bad ending that sent a little shiver down my spine. Would I have liked this better as a parser game? Probably, but I suspect that just reflects my pre-existing experience, and the fact that a Twine author can create a gameplay experience like this and make it accessible to folks who don’t play parser games is pretty cool in my book.

Removing the cave' stones., April 15, 2022


I continue playing now as I have some spare time.
This is a cool game with the premise that you have to leave from an underground localization. There are a lot of imaginative sequences that does the game very inmersive. The visual effects works fine and leads to the player has some feraness feelings.

As the game claims this is a short gameplay, easy, polished and inmersive “dig in the cave” title.


This is version 4 of this page, edited by Kieran Green on 9 April 2022 at 1:47pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item