Stela SkyBox Labs

Stela, a cinematic platformer from Halo Infinite co-developer SkyBox Labs, is targeting a release on PC in Q1 2020.

Stela centers on a young woman exploring a dying civilization. The player will guide her as she tries to discover what happened to her world. During the young heroine’s lonely journey, she will encounter dangerous creatures, evil spirits, and will have to solve colossal puzzles to survive. Watch the trailer below for an idea of what you might encounter.

Suitably scary monsters

Some of the locations players will be exploring include underground labyrinths, the cavernous lair of an ancient monster, and an abandoned monastery whose inhabitants once tried to save the world. The screenshots and trailer convey an immense sense of scale and a forlorn, desolate atmosphere. And those tall monsters are creepy. Stela is evocative of Limbo and Inside, so fans of those games should keep their eyes out.

And, wow, the haunting chords of the soundtrack certainly are captivating. Stela’s soundtrack is being produced by “A Shell in the Pit,” composers of the excellent Rogue Legacy soundtrack. I always thought that the Rogue Legacy soundtrack might be what happened if you had Matt Uelmen score Stardew Valley. So, if nothing else, we will be getting some great music.

Stela game

A story without words

Puzzle games like Stela live and die on how well they construct a mystery, and I have to say that after watching the trailer and reading about the game, my interest has been piqued. Maintaining that mystery through gameplay is another story, but SkyBox Labs has a plan for that. Stela, which contains no dialogue, will feature a heavy emphasis on environmental storytelling. That’s not particularly rare for a puzzle game, but SkyBox Labs wants to take it up a notch.

“For Stela, we really wanted to blend together a touching story with outstanding music and beautiful landscapes to make an experience that is grand in scale yet still personally intimate,” said Shyang Kong, co-founder of SkyBox Labs.

Stela is currently available on Xbox One for $19.99. The Steam page currently has no listed price.

Check out the Stela website for more information.

Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons spends way too much time writing elaborate backstories for his Stellaris civilizations, which no one ever sees. He used to be good at Rainbow Six: Siege, but like an aging boxer, he just can't keep up with the youngsters anymore.

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