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Part-Time Gamer: ‘The Stanley Parable’

The Stanley Parable, by Galactic Café, is one of the most unusual games I have ever played. On the one hand, it is a surreal indictment of the office drone environment. On the other hand, it is a funny and effective parody of the notion of choice in games.

The game begins when Stanley realizes that he is alone in his office. As he wanders the abandoned building, he is accompanied by a cheerful narrator. Several small choices appear on Stanley’s path to answers, and each of these choices can dramatically alter the experience.

The narrator, played by Kevan Brighting, guides you through the myriad of choices. The choices are simple enough. You approach a pair of doors, and the narrator tells you which one Stanley goes through. Then, you get to decide whether to obediently follow the narrator or strike off in a new direction. The idea that the player can ignore the game story is interesting, but the narrator’s reaction to your choices is often hilarious.

You will want to go back and replay the game again and again, so you can see the outcome of all these choices. It’s a good thing that most of your playthroughs will take you less than ten minutes. Somewhere along the way, you will realize that The Stanley Parable has exposed the lie of video game choice. You can stray from the path, but the result of your “choice” is nearly impossible to predict, and you can’t do anything that the designers didn’t plan for.

While the parody is on point, the game is fun. The twists and turns are always surprising and can completely redefine the game. I want to talk about some of the different endings. Some of them are deeply affecting, while others are just silly. As a whole, the game is a breath of fresh air that you might not know you are missing. 

For a taste of the oddness that is The Stanley Parable, you should get the demo. It is most definitely worth your time. This is a special experience, and you should try it.

Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor


Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python


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