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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1533 Ratings

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  1. Oct 18, 2013
    I'm very disappointed, how did this score so highly?? According to Steam it kept me interested for 67minutes, until I realised I had in fact played through almost every ending available and there was literally nothing left to do. I feel completely ripped off as there is ZERO re-playability. You choose a path and listen to the narrator for 5-10 minutes...
  2. Oct 18, 2013
    Not a particularly brilliant game. Some jokes were amusing, but quickly became old and boring with each "replay". Easy to get all endings within a few hours, and game quickly becomes pointless and worthless thereafter. Definitely not worth its overinflated reviews or price. Wait for a sale.
  3. Mar 12, 2014
    I really really really tried to like this game, but sadly I couldnt
    Basically a walking simulator,
    with a story that literally makes almost no sense
    zero replayability after all the endings
    no clue how it got so many good scores other than making fake accounts, fooling the masses and paying companies to give good reviews on the game
    waste of money, don't buy it.
  4. Oct 18, 2013
    The game confuses mind numbingly annoying for wit. I don't understand the humor or appeal of this game, or even the fact of how this "game" is even a game. It also baffles me how this game can have such a high score. 91 really? I counted at least half a dozen games it outscored that deserved better than it.
  5. Oct 20, 2013
    Everybody who play games and think about them at least a little knows that the player is more or less directed by game developers. Analogy with real life does not make this obvious topic interesting, and creating whole "game" based on this idea is a little insulting to gamers intellect. Stanley Parabel tries to communicate this painfully obvious message in very boring manner. This pseudo-intellectual "game" is IMHO waste of money and I would say it wouldn't even worth your time if it was free. Expand
  6. Oct 19, 2013
    This game dont deserve to be selled. Is a bad bad remade mod, with and ultra lineal finals.
    Play the mod instead to pay for this... Played all the finals and the game is ultra boring. A waste of money.
  7. Oct 21, 2013
    This is unfortunately a bad videogame, with very little gameplay and level design that consists of a couple of corridors, a few big rooms and some random references to other videogames. Its "oh-so-clever" commentary on choice is something I've discussed before with friends within about 5 minutes while sipping on some coffee, for free, without having to waste 15$ and 2 hours of my life playing something boring to reach the same conclusion. If this was free, I'd be kinder to it as an invitation to a discussion using the gaming medium as language, but it is not worth paying for. Expand
  8. Oct 18, 2013
    All these 10 reviews must be written by kids who have never read sci-fi or seen any good movies. This game I bite my tongue as I refer to this time-sink as a game is so overhyped. There is some humor in it, but nothing funny enough to pass the "I blew some air out of my nose" level. I've unlocked 9 out of 10 achievements and found most of the endings and find the whole experience to be largely unmemorable. I feel no desire to launch the game again to explore any further. Expand
  9. Oct 20, 2013
    I really don't get this game. It was quite entertaining when I first played it, but it got boring very soon. It's just missing the core element games must have FUN. I don't care if there's interesting story, or good voice acting of narrator as long this game is no fun. Replaying same bits over and over just to find different solution is annoying and boring. So, don't believe them critics, who see masterpiece in this beautifully crafted but utterly boring creation. Expand
  10. Oct 20, 2013
    The pretense is strong in this one.

    A User Score of 8.2 and a Metascore of 92 are too high for this game. Very overrated. It's interesting... not necessarily good, but definitely interesting.
  11. Oct 22, 2013
    This is an interactive branching "story" written by an infantile person. It's a parody that breaks the fourth wall and basically says "You want to do this or that? But you can't, you are in a game! Take this random nonsense instead!" Apparently the critics think this is very deep and smart for some reason. It staggers the mind how this atrocity can have such a high score. Maybe the professional reviewers were afraid to give it a low score, because they didn't want to have fingers pointed at them and people saying "Ha, ha, they didn't get it". Or maybe the professional reviewers have no experience with good books, because breaking the 4th wall is nothing new, and random infantile events and parody in a story is something kids aged 8 are able to do. I regret the time wasted on this, I felt the need to take a bath after touching this pile of dirt. Expand
  12. Oct 21, 2013
    Whenever I complete a game, I ask myself "would I have been content watching someone else play this game?" The Stanley Parable is one of those few games along side with Gone Home, Dear Esther, and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs that I have answered "Yes" to that question. In the barest form, the Stanley Parable is a walking simulator with an interactive choice driven audio book attached to it. Whenever I started watching YouTube videos on the first Batman Arkham game to decide if I wanted to buy it or not, I had to desire to play the game. I wanted to overcome the challenges myself and after getting 100% on Asylum and City, I can say that I achieved that. I beat the Joker, Penguin, Bane, Thug #427, and the Riddler. I stopped Hugo Strange! I overcame those challenges not someone else. I had to deal with the consequences of failing a particular section. The Stanley Parable presents no challenges, no reason to play the game after you have experienced every ending, and no way to fail the game besides not at least getting one ending. The only reason I can see why you would want to play the game versus watching someone else play is the inquisitive thought you will have when the person takes one choice over the other. You will ask yourself what would happen. However, I did not feel any sort of accomplishment playing this game. I felt the same hollow feeling when I played Dear Esther, Gone Home, and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs as I asked the game as if It would talk back "is this it? Is this all you have to offer?". I felt like I had wasted money, that I had fallen into the trap of my friends proclaiming the game's greatness and brilliance, that I had given into the hype of the game. Expand
  13. Oct 19, 2013
    Well I'm sorry but this isn't a game. You basically run around trying to find the story of the game with a narrator helping you do so. The point of it is to show you the limitations of gaming, maybe even of your life but in all honesty, ppl who think about "life" or "games" know that already and don't need this software.

    So, if you want a real game a piece of entertainment then avoid
    this title but if you want to experience what game design is all about then feel free to buy this and run around in circles for an hour. Expand
  14. Oct 20, 2013
    In not trolling and ive never given 1 out of 10 to any game in my life. Im serious at how much a waste of money this game is. Game incorrect- interactive narrative. Therefore it shouldn't even be in this section. The gameplay is 3 thing walk, click maybe 5 buttons, listen to the narrator and endings. No matter which way you go that's all you get. Gameplay 1 out of 10. Sound 2-3 tracks of music and then rest is the narrators rants reused sound effects 2 out of 10. Graphics are terrible texture are blank and bad 1 out of 10.
    Story their is no story, its just like listening to a man ranting about life and everything about gameplay. Honestly its boring beyond its meaning 1 out of 10. This comes to an average of 1/10 If you include the time played and complete an average ending is 15mins. Replay ability you wish it wasn't. Buy heavy rain thats how you make a interactive narrative into a game. Demo was better than the game.
  15. Oct 18, 2013
    pretty poor game really. i know i only spent £8 on it but in 16 and i could have spent it on vanity items for a game i dont even play and still have more use than this game. from the way everyone was hiding its story i thought the game would have been more in depth and longer. i played 84 mins most of which was trying to understand what i had spent my money on. i dont like to criticize indie games and i try to appreciate them for what they are. but i just cant appreciate some thing that i could put together in a weekend. Expand
  16. Oct 23, 2013
    This is a smartass non-game that might as well be constantly asking you "Am I blowing your mind? IS YOUR MIND BLOWN?". It isn't. I've played Gravity Bone and Thirty Flights of Loving. I've played Kentucky Route Zero. I've played Gone Home. I've played The Wolf Among Us. I'm used to this stuff. I imagine that The Stanley Parable might have been groundbreaking when it first came out, but in 2013, being a narrative-driven "interactive experience" just isn't very impressive, and the title doesn't really have anything else to offer. I think it very much has the same problem as Spec Ops: The Line: if you make a bad meta-game (or meta-non-game, I guess) to prove a good point, the player is still stuck playing (or not playing) a bad game (or non-game). It does, however, look pretty good and even maxed out runs at 200+ fps on my sh*tty old PC, so at least technically it's good. In the end, The Stanley Parable exists not to entertain you but to make you think, so if you want to save some money and time, you can watch a let's play and get straight to the thinking part without having to wander around a mostly non-interactive office for an hour or two. Expand
  17. Oct 24, 2013
    Now that the corporate game producers have mastered the art of marketing to ignorant tasteless masses, indie developers are starting to catch on. Wreden's inability to craft a branching yet cohesive story is called upon ironically when the game is less interactive and more linear than titles from the early 90s, and excused by apologist fans as being intentional. Essentially what the Stanley Parable is is a software allegory for the hot new annoyance in the video game industry: that a game can be almost entirely empty, uninteractive, $5 or more per hour of gameplay (as high or higher than the favored "movie ticket" that fanboys usually mention), and can, in fact, be nothing more than a map pack for a first person shooter that would have been a free download back in the Quake days, and yet make at least hundreds of thousands of dollars. The "game" earns one point for the delivery of the narrator, who sounds like the male voice from Xtranormal, which almost makes me laugh. Collapse
  18. Oct 30, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I gave this game a zero to help bring the score down (really deserves a 7 imho) Listen carefully fellow gamers when all these other reviewers tell you its 2-3 hours long at best. What breaks the game for me is there is nothing in the game to actually figure out. Each ending is discovered by exploration only, never by interacting with the world and solving any kind of puzzle or dilemma. REALLY was enjoying the game until the point I was "stuck" couldn't figure out what to do next to advance the story. Went online for a hint only to discover Id already discovered about 90% of the game and there wasn't anything more to the game. Bottom line is I too fell ripped off for listening to all the high reviews that just said AWESOME trust me buy it! Its a $2-3 experience. I bought Bioshock Infinite on Steam recently for $13..bought this for $15. Lesson learned about wise allocation of limiting gaming funds. Expand
  19. Oct 22, 2013
    An absolutely piece of game. It claims to be a parable, and while it is insultingly stupid there's no profound lesson here for you to learn. Other than a series of arbitrary choices. Ultimately you'll only enjoy this if you want to play a comedy game with dull oh-so-witty humour from the British narrator. Don't play this. Also it pisses me off that this doesn't get the same "Is it really a GAME?" criticism that Gone Home did when this is much worse and insultingly shallow. Expand
  20. Oct 21, 2013
    Not a perfect game. This site deserves to at least be broken or realize that it is broken. Rant rant rant rant ran....................................
  21. Dec 3, 2013
    I picked this up on Steam cheap after reading rave reviews about the game and despite this being half price; it is not worth the money. This is an extremely overrated title that shouldn't warrant any cost. The concept is quirky and the narrative amusing but it feels as if these are factored in to cover up the sheer linearity of the game. You basically play an office worker called Stanley and the voice-over story depicts his life and job. You can either follow the story how it is told or go your own way which impacts the person telling the story. This can be humorous but it's hardly up there with Steven Merchant from Portal 2. You can complete the game in many different ways and even in under 5 minutes. There is bascially nothing to this 'game' apart from the narrative and a few corridors. There is no depth or ingenious moments that really stand out like we have seen in many other budget games or mods.

    The Stanley Parable has joined the growing list of indie/arcade titles that cost money and are give huge plaudits from the media but are actually poor attempts at conveying a game. Developers should be judged on their product solely and not taking into account factors surrounding development or the budget it cost to make the game. This is a poor, pricey and tedious attempt of a mod and the fact the game has a price-tag is shocking. The narrative saves it in some way but if you want to experience this title; just watch a few YouTube videos of the game in action.
  22. Oct 24, 2013
    My 14 y/o son downloaded this game for me and asked me to play it because he loved it. I played the demo for about 30 minutes and I couldn't stand it. Sorry...not my style for a game. I must be an old fart.
  23. Oct 30, 2013
    This game is too damn short. If it weren't just 10 minutes of gameplay I would have given this a good review, but no. This game has some definite good moments but they don't raise the bar.
  24. Oct 22, 2013
    First off. This is not a game, it is a walking simulator that contains very little actual gameplay and is focused on story and narrative which is delivered by your standard British holier than thou voice which very quickly becomes annoying. The message that the game is trying to convey is admittedly interesting but nowhere near the thought provoking masterpiece that reviewers would have you believe. Overall it has its merits and if you enjoy games such as gone home or dear esther it could be worth a purchase but as of now asking $15 for this is simply insulting. Highly recommend either getting it in a steam sale or the inevitable indie bundle that will contain it Expand
  25. Nov 6, 2013
    I do not understand the appeal behind this game. It's not a good game in any logical sense. It's very dull and lacks many features a game should have, not to mention the narrator's annoying voice.
  26. Nov 7, 2013
    0 because this is not a game. Sorry, but why would anyone buy this? I refuse to accept this as the future of gaming, because games should be games. Skyrim is a game, Democracy 3 is a game, Minesweeper is a game, this is not. It would be ok if it's 1 or 2$ but 15? Seriously? For this? It's fun for 10 minutes, after that it's annoying as hell.
  27. Mar 18, 2014
    This game is so friggin overrated. Indie **** hyped by wannabe hipster gamers who find it cool to like "off-beaten" games. This game tries to use humor and witty narrative to appear cool, mocking modern gaming practices,storytelling,mechanics,scripting etc etc. Guess what, we DONT NEED A REMINDER. We have been gaming for decades,and we don't NEED a satire to remind what we are experiencing all these years.
    Its a friggin walking simulator. And thats it.
    There are 18 possible endings, but they are pretty similar apart from 4-5 of them. Wont spoil it for you guys. My first 2-3 runs were entertaining, the narrator did a great job with the voice overs. But after 1 hour of playing.... the game became a chore. Its extremely repetitive, hearing the same long ass dialogus over and over JUST TO DISCOVER the alternate endings.
    Apart from like 5 endings, the remaining 13 endings are bland and repetitive. in fact they shouldn't even be counted as proper endings.
    i'm giving it a ZERO not to offset the biased overall score, bt because this game ACTUALLY deserves a ZERO for charging me $15 for 0.99cent gameplay
  28. Dec 12, 2013
    Not worth paying for. This is a fun diversion for an hour. Good voice acting. That's it. I feel duped for having paid for it based on the positive reviews and nondescript game description. If I could complain and return it I would.

    You could watch a video on youtube covering the complete game play in about 30 minutes and save yourself the cash for an actual game.

    How this got
    rated so well I'll never know. Maybe I'm just still bitter about having spent money on it. Expand
  29. Jan 18, 2014
    Overhyped "work of art".
    Have you seen the painting of a pipe by Rene Magritte, where on top of the pipe it is written "This is not a pipe" ?
    Well, Stanley's Parable does the same thing to a game. It combines absurd logic and writing, with mockery, self-depreciation, and an overuse of repetition.

    Ok... but the problem is that it's just simply not fun to play. You are just walking in a
    big museum of absurd comedy. At times, it can be brilliant and make you laugh, but also repetitive, annoying, and not really revolutionary. Since there is no real gameplay involved, you might as well save yourself the 10 bucks and just watch someone play it on youtube. Because for only 2 hours of content, the price of the game is even more absurd than it's art. Expand
  30. Jan 5, 2014
    How this pile of rubbish rates an 8 is beyond me. Apparently the game is about freedom and choice. I found myself frequently wandering an utterly linear path, unable it interact with anything in particular listening to the (well spoken) narrator droning on about how I was wandering down a path. The truth is, there are very few choices to make in this "software" (I refuse to call it a game). Lacklustre graphics (even for the source engine) reduce this to a full on 0 for me. A total waste of money and time.. Expand
  31. Oct 24, 2013
    Now that the corporate game producers have mastered the art of marketing to ignorant tasteless masses, indie developers are starting to catch on. Wreden's inability to craft a branching yet cohesive story is called upon ironically when the game is less interactive and more linear than titles from the early 90s, and excused by apologist fans as being intentional. Essentially what the Stanley Parable is is a software allegory for the hot new annoyance in the video game industry: that a game can be almost entirely empty, uninteractive, $5 or more per hour of gameplay (as high or higher than the favored "movie ticket" that fanboys usually mention), and can, in fact, be nothing more than a map pack for a first person shooter that would have been a free download back in the Quake days, and yet make at least hundreds of thousands of dollars. The "game" earns one point for the delivery of the narrator, who sounds like the male voice from Xtranormal, which almost makes me laugh. Collapse

Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Mar 11, 2014
    The Stanley Parable is many things. It's an interactive comedy, an existential riddle and an experiment in storytelling. Most importantly, it's pretty good. [Nov 2013]
  2. Jan 23, 2014
    It's one of those games that tries and succeeds in making a bold statement. Be prepared for something really special.
  3. Dec 25, 2013
    Step away from this review and play it now. Or don't. Whatever you do is already ordained. OR IS IT?! [Jan 2014, p.83]