SW Games Rec: The Stanley Parable

This is a story..

The Stanley Parable (2013 remake version)

    • Genre: Interactive fiction, 1st person
    • Release Date: October 17, 2013 (remake by Galactic Cafe)
    • Development: Davey Wreden, Galactic Cafe
    • Platform: Windows PC, MAC OS, Steam
    • Official Site: www.thestanleyparable.com 
    • Notes:  The original release date was July 27, 2011 by original creator Davey Wreden , an earlier version of the game with some changes in visuals and gameplay.

Synopsis:

“The Stanley Parable is a first person exploration game. You will play as Stanley, and you will not play as Stanley. You will follow a story, you will not follow a story. You will have a choice, you will have no choice. The game will end, the game will never end.”.

Personal Recommendation (based on Steam Version on Windows):

2015-08-16_00002

This is a story….

The Stanley Parable is a game of narratives, not so much the challenge of gameplay. The demands are little, other than seeing a story to its end. However, finding the right path that suits you (or Stanley, or the narrator, or an audience perhaps) is really where the fun sets in.

The brilliant starts begins with the mundane, familiar setting.  We have something familiar to the working white-collar 1st world worker; living death for some, a satisfying simple life to others. Suddenly, people are gone and that puzzle which begins the mystery. The first idea is to unlock the mystery, and find the bigger picture of it all. A voice guides you to its logical or illogical conclusion. The choice along the way varies..

For full enjoyment, play The Stanley Parable for repetitive times till the game feels like that classic Groundhog Day movie. Because you as the player, deal with decisions led by your narrator on suggested processes. To go through with them, you must choose and challenge your surroundings. Often, that will mean whether or not to listen to the narrator. I suggest rebellion.

So that is the joy of The Stanley Parable, which leads into the aesthetic look and feel of the game. There is emptiness, perhaps an unease on the loneliness of it all. The narrator provides a little company, with wit at times. An almost bonding happens, which for the sake of the stories saves Stanley from suffering of an existential nightmare. Some endings there is a sense of company..which may not be better. For the best ending, Stanley should be truly happy and free..which can be questioned by the player.

2015-08-05_00001

The layout is genius, where at first may seem to have little purpose but to provide environment. There is some wicked humor and jabs at the everyday mundane life of the cubicle worker. Prepare for the sound of constant locked doors and beeps that do nothing, should you decide to freely explore the game looking for..something else.

The controls are fairly simple. You have full mobility with no forced direction. You can touch things and duck (which for some reason, I have yet to find a reason to).

To my knowledge there are eighteen endings to this game, as I have yet only found six. To progress and find them all, is perhaps the true ending for me to complete the game 100%. This becomes an experiment in thinking. The game gets into my head, and I must get into the head of the developers. Resist conformity, linear traps, and good endings to dig deeper into the weirdness of the game. There is a fantastic joy in repetitive exploration, to look for those missing variables, and unlock something new and perhaps grand.

2015-08-08_00002

The art is also playful, ranging from almost minimalist to complex and complicated. The numbers on the door, the wall art, the colors of things and surfaces…everything has a narrative purpose. Also playful is your scale and dimensions, where the game can start small in your cubic prison to the opposite in dimensions. The question becomes on just how big a picture did you get, and who must you go against to get that.

The Stanley Parable is clever and wonderful. Stanley would play it, and so should you.

– Orion T

About Orion T (173 Articles)
Writer, picture taker, local traveler. Also, a reader, player, and viewer of creative work, especially in the realms of science fiction and fantasy. Follow my personal adventures at travelingorion.com. You may also follow me at my other site focused on the creative science fiction and fantasy arts in all forms at strangerworld.com.

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