Stonewall Penitentiary has certainly done its time. Originally announced way back in 2005, then under the title Awaken, the game was locked away for a very long time before being revisited by indie developer Chris Brendel and Unimatrix Productions. Now the game is finally nearing completion, and a demo has been released for an early glimpse of the first-person prison thriller.
Players control William Thane, a down-on-his luck middle-aged man whose luck has just gotten a whole lot worse. The last thing you remember is being at home, but upon waking you find yourself in a dank cell, stripped naked with your hands tied, feeling drugged with no clue how you got there. You quickly discover that you, "along with several others, are trapped in an abandoned prison, held captive by a sociopath obsessed with justice." If you're to escape, you must expolore Stonewall and "uncover its dark secrets" while making important choices, interacting with a variety of fully-voiced characters and solving "a multitude of challenging puzzles" along the way to one of three different endings in a ten-plus hour story.
Although part of Unimatrix's Storycentric Worlds universe, unlike Brendel's recent text-based remakes Stonewall Penitentiary blends "all the standard adventure game mechanics – exploration, player inventory, puzzle solving, and character interaction – and presents it in a unique format reminiscent of visual novels." These elements are all on display in the playable PC demo that is available now for download.
While there is no firm release date for the finished version of Stonewall Penitentiary just yet, it is currently on track for launch sometime before the end of the year for PC, iOS and Android devices.