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The Stanley Parable

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,254
18
81
So I noticed this game on steam today and bought it on a whim. I ended up spending most of today playing it, and it turned out to be one of the most fascinating gaming experiences I can remember. I loved how simple the game itself was, yet how it seemed at times to be sending a very complex message about gaming and life in general. This game is the very definition of "self aware". That the game knows its a game is part of the gaming in this game. The narration is definitely some of the best I've ever heard as well. I found myself thinking of portal quite often as I played. It really is similar in both style and in the way it relates to the gameplay, although I don't think I would consider TSP a puzzle game at all.

I gather that its based on an older HL2 mod, so I imagine that some of those who didnt see it pop up on steam a few days ago may be familiar with it from that. In any case, I highly recommend it if you want something distinctly different from regular gaming fare. My main complaint would be that its very short. I probably played it for around 4-5 hours and saw 90% of the possible endings, although that entire playtime was filled with what felt like one amazing revelation, laugh, or interesting part after the next with little downtime in between.

Has anyone else played this game? Any thoughts on it?

Edit: link to the game page for the curious.

http://www.stanleyparable.com
 
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SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,254
18
81
i wouldn't really consider it a game, more of a interactive storytelling "thingie". half hour playthrough and constant voiceover ... not really my thing.

full walkthrough, all endings (31 mintes)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gblvOhnv2k0
Yeah I saw that. That's the original version. The one I played is an updated "HD" version with more endings and better graphics. There is one ending that requires you to do something stupid and repetitive for 4 hours to see it, so I doubt you'll see a walkthrough like that for it. At least not a complete one, anyway. Apparently the narration is done by the same guy though.
 

polypterus

Golden Member
Jan 14, 2001
1,766
1
76
I played it for a couple of hours and pretty much agree with your comments. I did feel like it was trying a little too hard to make its point though, but the writing and narration are second only to Portal in terms of creative wit. I know this is the "full" version of what was once just an HL2 mod, but it still feels like just a demo (like Portal did). I'd love to see them really create a big universe for this game to exist in that would really bend your mind.

For $12 though, it's definitely worth it if you like Portal or dry humor.
 

Stringjam

Golden Member
Jun 30, 2011
1,871
33
91
I pretty much agree with your sentiments.

I loved the game, and I wish there were a lot more games like it. No, it obviously isn't for everybody. It's pretty obvious going into it exactly what this game is about and how it works, so I'm not sure why people would buy it if they don't like that vibe (and then post a negative review).

FWIW, I also loved Dear Esther, which is more of an environmental walk-through than a "game," but I don't care. It was a meaningful experience, which is what I always look for (but rarely find) in a game.
 

sweenish

Diamond Member
May 21, 2013
3,656
60
91
Played demo, was not super impressed.

It just wasn't that funny for me.
 

SlitheryDee

Lifer
Feb 2, 2005
17,254
18
81
Played demo, was not super impressed.

It just wasn't that funny for me.
I can totally see how TSP could be polarizing. If the humor doesn't work for you at all it would be pretty hard to get into this game.

Personally, I enjoyed it even when it wasn't making me laugh though. The best part was trying to do everything I possibly could to see just how many scenarios the designers had planned for. I thought it was hilarious how the game lead you into the mindset of trying to do something "game breaking" like trying to get off the map or cheating, only to hit you with some dialog as if to say "yep, we thought of that too" when you thought you had done it. It really plays into the overarching theme of freedom and decision making in games, which kept me playing just to hear more tidbits to tie in with my own past gaming experiences.
 
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mindcycle

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2008
1,902
0
76
I read a review of this one last week on IGN and was planning on grabbing it. Thanks for you mini-review here, makes me want to try it out even more. I'm a big fan of the original Portal, and also Dear Esther, so i'm sure i'll like this game.
 

Stringjam

Golden Member
Jun 30, 2011
1,871
33
91
I don't really think the game is supposed to be "funny," per se, but rather witty / quirky, which I think it accomplishes quite well.
 

PrincessFrosty

Platinum Member
Feb 13, 2008
2,301
68
91
www.frostyhacks.blogspot.com
I played the demo a few days ago after a friend recommended it, I was impressed with the "meta" feel to the game, it really messes with your perceptions as a gamer as the narrator speaks to you in an almost surreal way.

I played the full game just now, it's definitely and without a doubt one of the most unique game experiences I've ever had, I think if I was to describe my experience it would spoil it, but I will say this, the game will constantly surprise you, every time you think you know what's happening or you've worked the game out, something different will happen, it's very clever.

My main complaint is that the asking price is too much, while the game has lots of depth and many endings to explore I feel the asking price is somewhat too high, like many other indy games it's truly brilliant and unique but best wait for a sale, I fully expect this to eventually be in the humble bundle like so many other really decent Indy games I've played.

Also, I'd like to add there was some seriously cool/funny game crossovers and if the developers of those games were "in" on this, I'd like to say BRAVO and thank you so much letting this developer use your content in their game, as a gamer who had played these games prior it was truly a great experience to see this and it surely wasn't possible without your cooperation, sincerely - thank you.
 

Dankk

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2008
5,556
24
81
Played demo, was not super impressed.

It just wasn't that funny for me.
I think they made some poor choices with the demo IMO. Doesn't do a good enough job of displaying what the actual game is about, which is much more fun.
 

WiseUp216

Platinum Member
Mar 12, 2012
2,251
50
101
Cool game. Lots of subtle and not-so-subtle differences between play-throughs.
 
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