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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1493 Ratings

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  1. Sep 21, 2014
    I'm not usually a big fan of the genre known as "walking simulators" but The Stanley Parable, despite it's short length, has won me over thanks to its hilarious Douglas Adams style of writing with several laugh-out-loud moments. The game also plays a bit like a first person version of a visual novel, which means multiple endings aplenty.
  2. Sep 18, 2014
    Warning: it's not a game. It's not even a story.
    You wander around what is intended to be a humorously narrated but bland world with occasional decision points which at best result in .. more wandering around with no payoff.
    No game mechanic, no skill, no test, no interest and ultimately no satisfaction. I was ultimately left feeling cheated out of a game as I waited for something which
    never happened.
    Very disappointed.
  3. Sep 12, 2014
    Very good, interesting, intelligent and intriguing game, It's very different than many action-oriented games, but that doesn't mean it's boring, quite the opposite, it's very different and that is good.
  4. Sep 3, 2014
    Idea is original, game is interesting, but paying 15 bucks for a "1 Hour to Complete" game is bad. Moreover, that 1 hour was actually boring. Most of that 1 hour passes by listening the narrator. Even 5 $ seems a lot for this game.
  5. Aug 31, 2014
    I'm not sure why this game ever got such good reviews really. It's mostly a passive experience, listening to some guy droning on and on forever as you just walk about. It has very simplistic graphics, built on the old Half Life source engine. It's been cut down though, so you can't jump, open doors, or do anything much, apart from interact with about 1 item in every 10 rooms. I was bored of wandering around the same office after about 20 minutes - there's really only a handful of rooms, and most are totally non-interactive. I don't think the author should be encouraged to make anything else like this, it's just terrible.

    I don't recommend it to anyone, unless they have trouble sleeping, and want to nod off with this droning in their ears!
  6. Aug 22, 2014
    Not a terrible game, just quite frankly... boring. If you want a game that gives you a good feeling each time you accomplish a task, defeat a difficult enemy, or solve a challenging puzzle, look elsewhere. This is more of an interactive comedy movie, albeit a comedy movie where the the comedy is thin and where the movie has no plot.

    The entertainment value of the game relies solely on
    its ability to generate humour through a cheery-voiced Brit making observations about Stanley's directions and though I had a few chuckles at the beginning, it got tedious fairly quickly. In fact, I imagine the people who were mostly amused were the developer's themselves.

    The overriding feeling of pointlessness becomes evident the moment you realise there's no actual story; just a series of introductions and endings. If the humour was clever and witty, I could appreciate it. More often though, I'm sitting waiting for the narrator to hurry up and finish his next rant or remark so we can move on, despite knowing full well the game isn't go to go anywhere.

    In the end, I came to realise that the game had never really left where it started, only it's the player sitting there pushing the buttons as the computer spits out orders. It's just a pity I coudn't find the 'refund' button anywhere..
  7. Jul 22, 2014
    A very entertaining and funny indie game. I can't really say much about it without spoiling it for those who haven't played it yet. If you are curious pick it up and experience it yourself, i highly recommend it.
  8. Jul 22, 2014
    A walking simulator to the core, this game utterly lacks ANY player interaction whatsoever, being an on-rails experience where you just move from point A to point B as soon as the game's narrator allows you to after a random rant. The scenery is incredibly bland and really shows the game's roots as a mod. While it's an interesting experience for the way it mocks videogames as a medium, it's not something that deserved the money i spent on it. Its theme is not even original, having been tackled years prior by MGS2. Expand
  9. Jul 19, 2014
    "This is the story about a man named Stanley" - The Strange Narrator
    The first words I hear when I play this amazing first person narrative game. It is one of the best narrative games I have played in a while. With confusing endings to really crazy achievements. This game is really satisfying in what it does. I highly recommend getting this game while you can.
  10. Jul 17, 2014
    I'm giving this a 10 because it's one of the games that makes me happy to be a PC gamer. Because it's built so powerfully around humour, your experience may vary considerably from mine. It's not like Portal 2, where if Wheatley and GlaDOS's script left you cold (you monster) then at least you had the excellent puzzle action. This game is for anyone who loved Portal 2's writing, for fans of Douglas Adams, for fans of British TV comedy. It's going to occupy you for a limited amount of time - maybe 3 hours or so, possibly more if you go through the Wikia to find all the secrets - so you'll have to decide if you think that's worth it. I and many thousands of others did, and we regret nothing. Expand
  11. Jun 29, 2014
    I bought this game on a sale and I thank god for that, for if I didn't, I would feel ripped off badly.
    Some people call "Artsy Games" games that have little to no gameplay and focuses on story alone. The Stanley Parable doesn't have a gameplay nor a story. So what is it? Just a walking simulation about breaking the 4th wall. It's not a game, it's basically a lecture.
    I played for about 1
    hour and I had laughs here and there but that's it. There's no nothing more to the game, which boggles my mind seeing so much good reviews, I don't even know if I played the same game as those.
    And don't get me wrong, I love "Artsy games", like To The Moon, but I wouldn't call The Stanley Parable "Art" whatsoever.
  12. Jun 28, 2014
    When I first read about all these reviews, I was pretty excited to try the game out. I was hyped for the so-called message that this game was said to give out and "inspire you to think". Not to mention how a lot of people were saying that the humor is great, some stating that it is on par with Portal 1 and 2.

    The game felt really interesting during it's first hour, but it really didn't
    spark that much thought in me. The game that makes you "think about life" and "philosophy of video games" didn't spark anything inside my mind. Maybe I'm just not that philosophical or I missed something. After the first hour, it started to feel like the game is just repeating it's message and it starts to get rather annoying, even with it's different outcomes. In the end, I was just trying to look at all the nooks and crannies, and I hoped I would get some mindblowingly thought-provoking ending (if there even is an end), but I was hugely disappointed not to find one.

    The voice acting and narration is good, but the humor? There were a few moments which gave me a chuckle or two, but I just didn't find it nearly as funny as Portal games.

    Overall, you shouldn't play this game for it's gameplay. You should check out some of the trailers and see if you find the games humor and message to your liking, then by all means buy it. I honestly think the game is tad overrated, but it isn't bad at all.
  13. Jun 26, 2014
    The Stanley Parable is a very strange but very interesting game. It is very short - about 2-3 hours in terms of total content - but the game can be "beaten" within ten minutes. The important thing to recognize is that "beating" the game isn't the point - the game has north of a dozen endings, and rather than diverging only at the end, the entire GAME changes between them.

    The thing to
    recognize about this game is that it is a humor-based game which is also a meta-commentary on other video games, choice in video games (or the illusion thereof), and many other things. Ironically, it has more actual choice than almost any other video game has.

    Explaining why the game is great pretty much is a huge spoiler for the game; if you watch the trailers for the game and think they're intriguing, then you're going to enjoy the game. If you don't think the trailers are interesting, then the game will annoy you. And because the trailers are legitimately entertaining in their own right, you aren't wasting your time by watching them.

    A word of warning though - the game IS quite short. It has about 2-3 hours worth of content, which is right for what the game is, but you should be aware of that when you buy it. While it is a high quality piece of entertainment, I would say that most people will sit down and go through all the content in a single evening and then likely never touch the game again. So, be aware of that when you buy it, and consider its price accordingly. Still, it is a great game for what it is, though goodness knows what one really calls a game like this - there aren't really any other games which are quite like it.
  14. Jun 25, 2014
    Bought game on sale for ~$8. Thought I was getting a bargain. Was expecting hours of gameplay, dozens of endings and a well thought out ending to tie the game together.....if you have similar expectations, I want to warn you in advance.
    The game can be played through most endings (without being too pedantic) in an hour or so. There are no puzzles to solve here. The game is very linear in
    that there aren't really that many endings and 99% of objects aren't interactable.
    Only time I smiled was when I wondered if it was possible to fall onto something and found out I could, and the narrator reacted to my action. But that one moment was pretty much the only good moment in the game. I thought the game would be clever and make me think. I think what the game tries to do is criticise the linearity of certain games. But I am a GTA / Just Cause fan, where the worlds are 100x more open world than the Stanley Parable, so from my point of view it didnt really make me think.
    This game is marketed as a mystery. What is the Stanley Parable you might ask? It is a mystery people are buying into..thats pretty much it
  15. Jun 18, 2014
    Aw man. Don't read about it, don't do anything more. The less you know, the better! I'll just say this: keep an open mind, and enjoy what might be on of the most important games in terms of storytelling!
  16. Jun 9, 2014
    I was a bit disappointed for one reason ; The length of the game. I bought this game 15$ on steam and finished all the endings in 2 hours. If you can get it on sale for 3$ than it worth it!

    On the other hand, it is a totally original game that makes you a part of an unfinished story! You work out with the narrator to find your way to the end! I hope there will be some DLC's to extend
    the playtime because this game could be gold! Expand
  17. Jun 1, 2014
    This game is very mental. Whatever you do, like walking, choices, do what the narrator calls or do, everything was well thought out to confuse the player.
  18. May 29, 2014
    You guys think that you are really intelligent or happy? Oh, really? Okay then, play this game and after we gonna talk.
    This isn't a game at all. Because games allowed us to play the game. But now, things changed my friends. This is something new. This is a philosophy, this is a psychology, this is a funny joke, this is our job... Actually this is our life. This is one of the best thing
    i've ever witnessed in my entire life.
    So my advice; don't play this game if you don't love to talk with your friends meaninglessly about 2 hours.
  19. May 24, 2014
    Best described as a choose your own adventure book in digital form. The narration was humorous, but even witty and thought provoking dialogue gets old at some point. So do the repetitive environments and pathways with hit or miss outcomes.
  20. May 20, 2014
    Clearly we have all been coned by the developer in of The Stanley Parable and as usual by the so called expert reviewers and of course the 1000+ fake positive reviews. This game is joke! It is mind numbingly repetitive and utterly pointless. And if the point is that they are trying to make some artsy fartsy philosophical revelation they utterly fail. This game ruined my weekend! I haven't bought a Computer game in a couple of years and after this I doubt if I will again for a long time. Don't get sucked in by the demo either. You feel like the demo is leading you somewhere! Challenging you to solve some subtle and challenging puzzle but there is nothing; And you feel drawn in, you need to get the full game to go on to solve the mystery but the game ends in nothing too! That's what this game is nothing. Dull and boring beyond belief. Zero out of 10 Don't buy it! Expand
  21. May 17, 2014
    You probably already roughly know what the Stanley Parable is about. You play a character called Stanley and a narrator more or less says what Stanley will do next, what he feels, thinks, etc. You sometimes have the choice to follow that or do something entirely different altogether...and as a very, very faint spoiler, the whole thing loops.

    The fun mostly comes from exploring the tree
    of choices, playing around with the absurd situation and listening to the excellent narration.
    Now, all games with choice trees have the problem that you have to consult a chart at some point to make sure you haven't missed anything. And while exploring that tree is fun, it isn't particularly large. You can be done with the game before the three hour mark.
    Also, while there is a certain ending that is supposed to be the end (you also get an achievement for it), it feels extremely bleak, unrewarding. Not cathartic so to say.

    In the end the biggest problem with The Stanley Parable is the surprising lack of content. What is there is absolutely great, but it doesn't feel enough.
  22. May 2, 2014
    I bought this game on sale (3$). I'm very glad to have tried it. It's not much fun but it makes you thinking about what a video game is. I can describe it with just a word: mind-blowing.
  23. May 1, 2014
    If there ever was a game that deserved LESS to be said about it, this is it. You really need to dive in head first and try it. Completely original and entertaining. Especially if you've ever worked in an office.
  24. Apr 20, 2014
    To sum it up in a few words, it is confusingly smart. Yeah, I said that. With the huge paradox that is this game, the many alternate paths you can take and all the different endings you can find, this game has a pretty decent replay value. The narrator is pretty funny as well. Maybe you already know what the game is about. Maybe you don't. In either case, I'm not telling because it's quite interesting to find out for yourself... but with all these good things, there is a downside... It's repetitive. And I don't think you'll be playing this for more than 2 hours. 6/10 Expand
  25. Apr 16, 2014
    First of all this is not a game, so I shouldn't even be trying to review it in this section. What is it? It's a kind of a pedantic, arrogant, self-inflated bag of air done by would-be artists. It's provokes the same revulsion in my stomach that modern art which consists in a stroke of black paint on white canvas. It shouldn't be sold. As a free product I would review it negatively because I know that ignorant hipsters love to highlight the marvelous qualities that this vacuum does not contain. But, as it does not contain anything (quite the same as the modern art painting) you can put there whatever a tortuous mind of a pseudo-intellectual wants to. Expand
  26. Apr 14, 2014
    i was expecting for more endings... but anyways, i had to try all 18 and it was soo much fun!! just try, keep on trying til you know you completed all of the endings. an original game which guarantee you some fun! 9/10 :)
  27. Apr 13, 2014
    A unique game that every intelligent gamer should play.
    Unique and intelligent humour in every turn, voice acting so good I doubt an another game even comes close to the emotional undertones of the narrator.
  28. Apr 7, 2014
    A witty and self-referential game about games. What impresses me the most is that each time I return to this game I have encountered something new and found myself ginning and laughing both at the game and myself.
    For those who have grown up gaming, this is a must-have title that should afford some light relief around a form of entertainment that is often taken all-too seriously.
  29. Apr 3, 2014
    Stanley Parable was a mod to Garry´s Mod, the mod was getting so popular, that it got its own game. And it was worth the money. Stanley Parable is not a normal game like another First Person game, it has its own shelf, its own category, the best way to say it short, its a fantastic special game. The game has really many different endings, and feels like, you´re in a commentary, or even a book written on the choices you choose. The game is not the best graphics game that you´re gonna see, but its really easy to run, and you´re not gonna think about the graphics, but about the story you´re making. The game isn´t an action game, its a relaxing game, you can sit when you´re bored. You can´t really tell anything about the story, or the game itself, without its a spoiler. The game has a really, really good telling, even when im played the game, and i made sometimes the sad endings or something, i felt like, i was touched.
    Final word: Buy the game if you like relaxing Indie Games, and you love where you interact to the choices, and even make your own story.
  30. Apr 2, 2014
    I've always been of the opinion that if a game doesn't contain or focus very heavily on gameplay and mechanics, it's not a game. But the Stanley Parable is something which, ironically, EVERY gamer should at least consider, even though it's a very controversial one. No, you're not going to get some super-amazing all-in-one experience. Nor are you going to get the longest or most exciting "game". Nor is there any notion of GAMEPLAY. However, this piece of art illustrates the problem of having no gameplay altogether. It's weird and wonderful. It's repetitive yet different every time. It's easy to understand yet infinitely complex. The game can be interpretted in so many ways, and there is so much to discover behind its seemingly shallow exterior, I can't recommend it enough if you're looking for something that will entertain you in ways you couldn't have imagined. What is perhaps most commendable about The Stanley Parable isn't the whole "game within a game within a game" concept, but its presentation. The slick narration combined with sharp graphics and incredible attention to detail as well as a whole host of secrets, twists, pathways and endings to discover make it feel longer than it actually is. You might get bored of it after a few hours, but those first few crucial moments are something that can't be experienced anywhere else. It's a rich experience but one that isn't so muddled that it's difficult to make progress. Exploration of what seems to be an extremely linear game is very rewarding because the narrator speaks to you personally. The comedy value as well as the unique concept make The Stanley Parable a stand-out piece of entertainment that can't be expressed through any other medium. Expand
  31. Apr 2, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. is the game worth it's $15 price tag?
    i can't make that judgement, buy it and see if the game provides a $15 experience.
    or wait until the steam summer sales come along and see if you cant get it at a discount price.
  32. Mar 30, 2014
    This is not a game it is an experience you control stanley thats the only thing i'm going to say of story there are so many secrets and endings and the demo it has a own story just play it and experience it for yourself
  33. Mar 30, 2014
    This is of course not a game, yet it's fun for a while (maybe 1-2 hours, until you've seen a dozen of the endings). The narrator is good but the text he reads is not always really funny. Somehow, such humor (about office workers) works better in Dilbert comics - there I laugh quite frequently. There the complex, intellectual-style language feels somehow appropriate, but here - not really. I still have to say that this game surely has many small great details. E.g. the whole Power Point slides sequence in the meeting room is just amazing. And the whiteboards. And the rooms where they tell which pieces of the game looked how before the release. But certainly this game isn't worth its price or any price at all, or maybe something like $1. Since it isn't a game at all, it shouldn't have been created or sold as a game - instead it could be a cartoon or maybe a movie.
    I still give it a rather high score (4) and not 1 or 0 because it does give some fun, even if it's not a lasting one. This product still offers a bit of gameplay - and strangely this kind of gameplay reminds me a typical RPG where you would explore every branch of dialogs with NPCs. Here you explore corridors and doors instead.
    The closest game to this one that comes to mind is Antichamber. However, Antichamber is way way better, there you have diverse puzzles, each with an unexpected solution. Here it's just talking and talking, like in a book/radio/TV show. This game doesn't really feel as if it were made for players and to entertain players but instead to entertain the developers - much like 2010's "Rubber" movie was fun to the director but boring to the audience.
    This app certainly is a fresh innovative attempt, but it's not really a successful attempt. Frankly, I'm not sure that the whole idea for such a game could have resulted into anything playable. Strange that they actually decided to spend effort into developing this stuff.
  34. Mar 30, 2014
    It´s hard to say something about this awesome game, not spoilering something.

    But when a game completely convinces you without having graphics like Skyrim or action as in CoD/Battlefield or whatever, there is something making it really special. I can´t really tell what this is, but Stanley Parable has it :D
  35. Mar 26, 2014
    It is a very good and well thought through game.
    However, it does lack a bit in content, which gets very noticeable after playing it for about 20h.
    In total, it is very amusing.
  36. Mar 25, 2014
    Real nice game,have to say most unique game i have played to date,its mysterious,hilarious and totally worth the time,only thing i would have liked though was if there were more levels
  37. Mar 25, 2014
    "Stanley Parable isn't a game for everyone. A lot of people missed the aim of the is inadvertently funny, crazy and confusing...It is short...that the proposition of this game. If you expect something different...don't buy it. For those who likes mindless killing everything that moves, this is not the game...but if you're looking for an unique experience, this is the game for you."

    This review hit EXACTLY, what this game is supposed to be.
  38. Mar 23, 2014
    Original crap is still the crap. No game world, no game-play, no story, nothing... The whole application is not a game but a lie, and it does even try to hide it.
    Unfortunately (for our civilization) most people are willing to be deceived...
  39. Mar 22, 2014
    I just created an account because I think this sure it is the right definition is more an April fool than a game. Forget all the positives reviews here. Young people think they discovered the true by trying to play this but in fact it is just what most of us already know and don't want to ear again and think again. Get the cash, do your best and pay your bill. We bought games to relax and forget about the job not to remain us how our life can suck or how to see the life in a way that is total negativity. It is a good way to become tired of everything and start to forget how life can be great Just compare us to the rest of the planet. People are so whimsical and selfish ..please don't feed the moron's brain with that kind of stuff. LoL
    In short ... Download the demo.. play it.. If you can't catch the joke you not gonna like the game and even if you catch it and find it funny you're not gonna have a game if you buy the full release just the repetition of what you have found in the demo. Don't worth a penny to me since you gonna waste your precious time and money at thinking how your life can suck without doing anything constructive. It is a game killer. If you want to stop playing games ..good for you
  40. Mar 20, 2014
    Played it for an hour or so got bored and quit. Very boring game with an annoying narrator. I have no idea what is supposed to be so interesting about this game. Complete waste of my time.
  41. 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
  42. Mar 14, 2014
    This game is definitely over-hyped and undeserving of its numerous 10/10 scores. This is an indie game with more of a message than a deep story. This game has more wit and charm than substance, and I've noticed how it and others like it often get overrated by critics.

    That being said, it is a very fun and funny game. I really enjoyed seeing all the content that it had to offer, even if
    I had to look up how to do a lot of it. I won't go into its plot or even the game mechanics, since that might be a slight spoiler.

    I will say that if you like Portal or similar type games (and have an open mind about what games should be), you will like this. I don't mean that Portal didn't have substance, because it did.

    Also, $15 bucks is a bit much for a MAX 2-3 hour game, with little replay-ability beyond showing friends. It is a good game worth playing, though. 8/10
  43. Mar 13, 2014
    The Stanley Parable is a game that openly mocked me, what I was doing, and what I enjoy doing, and I loved every second of it. This isn't a game based around interesting gameplay or action-packed sequences and setpieces. I hesitate to even call it story-focused. The truth is that this game turns the notion of choice in gaming on its head. It makes you look at what choice actually means and why it, in the end, can't actually exist in a video game.
    For a game with such a philosophical bent, The Stanley Parable has a lot of charm to it. The narration has the dry wit and dark humor of Portal, and it carries itself with just the right parts levity and mocking derision that you can't help but laugh at yourself. It's like being on the receiving end of a particularly well executed, well timed, but well meaning practical joke.
    I beg you if you have gotten this far to try this game. It isn't much cost-wise and it, above all, deserves to be played. Keep in mind what it's about, and you will have a great time.
    All that being said, though, there are a few things that could have been improved. While it is a good game, there isn't a lot of it. I would say that it "doesn't overstay its welcome," but I would have liked it to stick around a while longer. There are some secrets and achievements (each of which mocking the concepts they represent nicely), but there isn't much reason to play this game after you've seen every ending. This is not a full release title, however, and we shouldn't be expecting 20+ hours of gameplay from this.

    - Deep, well thought out meaning
    - Incredible Humor
    - Unique

    - Short
  44. Mar 12, 2014
    I have played this and for a second I thought the game was going to be a horror one. I don't know, I liked it, but the single thing I didn't like is the fact that you have to play it many times to understand the rest of the story and you have to die in a point.
  45. 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.
  46. Mar 12, 2014
    The most fun I have had playing a game in years, The Stanley Parable is pure brilliance, extremely witty, unique and fresh another giant from the Indie circuit inspired by gamers for gamers. Simply check this game out, you won't be disappointed
  47. Mar 11, 2014
    This game genuinely made me feel like I was wasting my life. I actually felt suicidal while playing, wishing I could somehow cause the game to end entirely by having my character kill himself. Going through this game is tedious and somewhat torturous. I wasn't entirely bored by it, it was interesting enough and amusing enough to keep me playing for a few hours. But make no mistake, this is a legitimate walking simulator with less gameplay functions than the new Amnesia. It's a game for people with limited perspective. If you're impressed by psuedo-intellectual ramblings you'll enjoy this far more than me. This was nothing new, nothing groundbreaking, nothing smart, nothing innovative. It was none of these things to me.

    If I had to describe it in one sentence it would be this: It's like portal except there's no challenge and you wonder when your character will fall down and expire so you can move on with your life.

    Also the broom closet ending was f**king cash.
  48. Mar 10, 2014
    For all the hype surrounding this game I was severely underwhelmed at the lack of seriously witty dialogue and deep meaningful gameplay. It was almost as if you asked someone who wasn't that clever to try and be clever. It just didn't work for me. Maybe you will like it though.
  49. Mar 9, 2014
    Best thoughtprovoking game I've ever seen. People who think this game is boring, you're [not clever] people who don't understand the real deep sense game.
  50. Mar 7, 2014
    Surprisingly good game with achievements that will blow your mind and a sense of humor that reminds that of Portal and Portal 2. An experience everybody should try.
  51. Mar 4, 2014
    considering how good the reviews are for this game, i got easily bored and felt cheated even though i got it on a steam sale. yes it was fun hearing the 'witty' things the narrator said. at first. then i did all the endings and figured out that it is boring and generic and mundane.
  52. Mar 3, 2014
    Definitely an awesome game! Like some people here say - you either hate or love it. It makes you think and is definitely one of the games which I liked most! I don't know how to describe it - it always makes you think the game ended, but suddenly a little thing is different. and THAT'S WHY I LOVE IT!!!
  53. Mar 2, 2014
    Quite an experience. This is a must play for everyone. Hilarious duologue, and a huge branching narrative will have you coming back again and again looking for every detail in the "story". Just when you think you have found everything, the game throws you a curve ball and you go for another wild journey with the narrator.
  54. Mar 1, 2014
    Great narrator. I really liked him. He describes everything I do and every choice I make, like I'm in a book. The Stanley Parable is the first of its kind. It criticizes the modern way of living and shows how this life really looks like. The story is unpredictable. I thought that I'm playing that game. But later I said: Oh I feel stupid. This game is playing me.
  55. Feb 27, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. After Portal 2 this game was the Best.Before I start the only thing that was wrong with the game was two bugs I found.the gameplay was really good and It was awesome that they didn't put any puzzles cause It wasn't like other games It was just exploring and listen to the Best narrator ever.It was like dear esther you should just explore.the endings were all awesome expect the space one were you should trow your self down and die.It had about 5 or 6 hours gameplay.all the ending were about 2 hours expect the one that you should play the narrator game(the one that you should press the button for 4 hours.)which was 4 and hour.Best ending was down stair one(the one that stanley goes down stairs and next morning a woman find his body.). The most stressful ending was countdown ending(the one that you turn the machine on.). The whole game was amazing and I'm really happy that I played It.Till now second Best game ever. Expand
  56. Feb 26, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. For me this is one of the best PC games ever made. Why?
    Simply because it’s really funny and interesting. The story of Stanley is well made and while you are playing the narrator that tells the story usually tells a joke or restarts the game.

    Whenever the narrator restarts the game, you get more addicted to the game and you want to discover another ending. However, the game restarts too much .The graphics are decent too. The Stanley Parable also talks about games. I recommend to the world this game, because everyone will enjoy it.
  57. Feb 24, 2014
    Who says games needed gameplay? This is an incredible piece of self-satirical art that is unlike anything else you have ever played. If you prefer shooting aliens in the face over subtext, don't buy this, but if can appreciate a subtle, clever experience, BUY THIS NOW.
  58. Feb 23, 2014
    Now, I have not given this game as much time as some, but I have given it a good handful of hours and I did find it quite enjoyable and humorous. However, the narration being good and clever, and the branching "stories" that you cause lose some appeal when one considers that he must replay a lot of the same things to find the alternate branches. Within my first 2 hours I had literally found roughly 30 percent of what the game had to offer, and after playing a few more hours I was certainly getting tired of reliving the first moments of the game (...or the later moments) to try and discover more twists and outcomes.

    The game is truly unique and the narration is well done, and it is quite funny. So why did I give this a lowish score? It is what it is, and it isn't much more than that. There's a very clear limit to what can be done and this limit can be reached very quickly in comparison with many, or most, other games. The developers clearly knew this as one of the achievements is to not play the game for 5 years. Perhaps, for a lower price, I would have a more favorable review but I do believe it was a little too high to warrant the amount of content and the repetitive nature of the game.

    It was a fun ride, but a little short and I'm unfortunately left with little desire to seek out the rest of the meat. Which is a reasonable portion of the game, but still not enough content in the mean-time to warrant the play time you invest to find the rest.

    I think, the reason that this game has such high scores overall is because those reviews are being made by less hardcore gamers whose expectations may not be as lofty as my own. I knew what I was getting into when I bought it, but I didn't know it would be as short lived as it is. For a casual gamer who doesn't mind spending just an hour or two playing a game (most likely, those who have the game purchased for them by their parents) I'm sure the game is a delightful departure from the norm, but for those like me, we expect more in the way of content.

    What it does, it does do well. But it doesn't do all that much and that's the most glaring problem I have with it - and this is a big problem for a video game, casual or not.

    My rating is a 4. It's a fun concept and decent entertainment, but not for nearly long enough at the price and the concept isn't exactly revolutionary - it's been done in most open ended games - the only difference is here we have a narrator who comments on what we choose to do, or to ignore. I guess I thought I'd get a little bit more playtime out of it.
  59. Feb 22, 2014
    If you enjoy storytelling, get this game. If you enjoy puzzles, get this game. If you... whatever.. GET THIS GAME. So clever, inspired, witty and awesome. This game will leave a lasting impression on you.
  60. Feb 20, 2014
    Is impossible not to give this game a 10/10. This game redefine what means a story in a video game, and redefine what is a game, is very hard to explain why this game is so extraordinary, you need to play it to see how good is it.
  61. Feb 19, 2014
    A great game BUT there is almost no replay-ability in this game. You spend 8 hours finding all the endings then you might as well uninstall it because there is nothing new you will find.
  62. Feb 19, 2014
    The Stanley Parable is a cleverly designed commentary on the nature of video games and story structure. There is nothing in the way of traditional gameplay to be found with the player instead having to simply make decisions as and when required (often these choices are whether or not to follow ‘the narrators’ instructions). Depending on what decisions are made each playthrough can last from 2-15 minutes but to fully understand the games messages it really needs to be played multiple times (with different choices being made) so that a variety of the multiple endings can be seen.

    Most people will only play The Stanley Parable for an hour or two, so at about £10 it is perhaps a little too expensive, but it is certainly something that gamers should experience for themselves. I know it got me thinking anyway!
  63. Feb 19, 2014
    This game is... alright. I just never got the sense of freedom and choice that the reviewers raved about; there are many choices you can make, sure, but you're never really "free". Everything is written, and that's honestly the feeling I got from it. Warren Spector (the lead on Deus Ex) once talked about how he could watch people play his game and come up to solutions to problems that he'd never thought about- that's the definition of a gameplay-choice driven game to me. The Stanley Parable tries to pull this off, but ultimately, it's just leading you down a path, no matter what. The Stanley Parable is more just the ILLUSION of choice wrapped in a well-written, humorous narrative. It's nothing like it tries to make itself seem, and it suffers greatly for it. Expand
  64. Feb 15, 2014
    why does everybody like this pice of **** its terrible. it cant even be considered a game. i take what jontron said at magfest on his pannel. if i talk to you in a slightly british accent and said stanley went to do something stupid that is the whole **** game.
  65. Feb 13, 2014
    This was an interesting experience to say the least, I'm not sure if this would be called a game, but more of a choose-your-own-adventure story. I personally found this game to be amusing, At times it can be light and humorous, and at others it can take a deep and psychological path. it was very interesting and i enjoyed the time i played it, the only real downside is its a bit short for $15 game, so while i would recommend buying it, i may consider waiting for it to go on sale. Expand
  66. Feb 8, 2014
    I played this game for about two and a half hours, to see how deep the rabbit hole goes and, ok the first hour is funny, but there's really no depth here.

    Don't be fooled, this emperor hasn't a stitch on!
  67. Feb 6, 2014
    This game was a blast for an hour or so. After that, even with the different story options, it was just never interesting enough to inspire me to go through all the same things I had already seen before.

    It simply got boring way too fast. Grab it on sale for a couple dollars to get your money's worth.
  68. Feb 5, 2014
    Listen. This is both for the people panning this game, and the people who don't know the point of it, or if you just want to know what this game is about. Firstly, this game is great in its own way. Although short, and with limited, but many endings that give this game I'd say about a 10 hour play-through (with countless more getting the achievements) this game is proving the point that games are in itself linear. It doesn't matter what you do, it's the end result that almost always is the same. Choices are meaningless. This game attempts to reject that, and say "make your own decision" by saying "Don't make your own decision". In this game, choices matter and you get a drastically different result depending on the simplest of decisions such as going through the left door or the right door. Secondly, if I said anything about the actual game besides the fact you can make the rare interaction with objects and go left right forwards and backwards, it would be a spoiler.

    To all of your panning this game, think of it more as a statement, not a game. Besides, what is a game? In my opinion, it's anything that can be interacted with. So this game meets that category. This game is a statement that video games tropes need to change. Choose a path. That path is different than the main one, and just as interesting. This is the true meaning of the Stanley Parable. Think on it.
  69. Feb 5, 2014
    It is not bad but after 3 hours of playing there is nothing more you can do. It is an average game trying to be popular by being different. It accomplished that but it is not a great game. If you are short on money this is not a long term one so spend it wisely.
  70. Jan 31, 2014
    Very few times do I come out of a sequel thinking differently of it than its predecessor. The original Stanley Parable was nothing more than a fun little excursion; a little 40 min. blurb to sink my teeth into of decent narration and storytelling. The Stanley Parable that you can get now on Steam is so much more. The game is still essentially the same game as before: choices>endings, but with literally three times the content and some kick*ss narrative. The game is, for the most part, a serious game, with a well-raveled plot and some excellent themes. However, the game constantly makes fun of itself, delivering hilarious lines from the perfectly-cast Kevan Brighting. This is a game worth sinking lots of time into to find all of its secrets, yet there isn't a single collectible, no enemies, no real achievable goal. If you prefer to play games with more "playing" involved, this isn't your game. If you love a good narrative and some witty jokes, don't pass this one up! (a tip: take a right at the doors, a left to the maintenance section, and down the elevator to find my favorite ending :D) Expand
  71. Jan 28, 2014
    Я никогда раньше не видел столь великолепной игры. Тонкий юмор и великолепный голос рассказчика, насмешка над концепцией видеоигр, багами в них. Everyone must play this great game.
  72. Jan 28, 2014
    There has been three indies in 2013 that stole my heart. Gone Home, Papers Please and The Stanley Parable. The three are my addiction, my gems, my precious golden rings.
    But somehow, The Stanley Parable is the one I most enjoyed. Maybe because I never know what to expect, because each playthrough is completely different. Maybe because I have never played the Half Life mod so I don't
    actually know how the original is, and still, find this incredibly good. It is darkly funny, confusing and dazzling. It may not have the best visuals and the gameplay is pretty simple. But the amount of freedom (Or not) in this game is outstanding.
    First of all, some of the best writing is here. Even the achievements are funny (Take a look at them). You are Stanley and a narrator is sort of telling you what to do. You can obey him or disobey him and this can take you through a lot of different endings and situations. I love decision-based games, and this the motherload as you must discover the decisions. And it is not knowing what will come next what makes the game so exciting.
    The visuals are good. They will not make your eyes overload with exuberant beauty, but they are not clunky. In fact, play it in a powerful PC, and you have a damn pretty game. It is a game you have to experience with as little knowledge as possible to enjoy its fully potential. The Stanley Parable is one of this year's best Indies. But remember, THISISNEVERTHEEND.
  73. Jan 25, 2014
    This game is fantastic. It was one of the most enjoyable game experiences of 2013 for me. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but this is a game definitely worth checking out. Saying anything else would spoil the game. 10/10.
  74. Jan 25, 2014
    Yes this is different, and reasonably amusing but after awhile it just gets annoying to cover over much the same ground to see if you can find a different ending. Worth maybe paying £5 nothing more.
  75. Jan 24, 2014
    The best way I can find to describe this game is "a story about a story". The gameplay is extremely simple, limited only to following paths and very occasionally clicking objects. What makes the experience so enjoyable is the narrator who comments on your every move, packed with tons of humor. Replayability is very low, and there aren't too many endings, so you won't get dozens of hours out of it, but the time you do get is completely worth it.
    This kind of games are better started with as little knowledge as possible, so don't investigate too much before giving it a try.
  76. Jan 24, 2014
    This was one of the most random pieces of self-aware fun I've had the joy to play. A friend bought it for me and I was gonna play for a few minutes before bed and before I knew it it had been over four hours! I'm also glad for the first time that I tried to get an achievement - the 430 one. Trust me, go for it!
  77. Jan 23, 2014
    A game that is both fun and interesting and I can guarantee that it will make you think outside the box. The Narrator is what makes this game great and thanks to his priceless comments, you'll end up doing the weirdest things just to see his reaction to it :-)
    One of the greatest things about this game is that you can never quite finish it. There'll always be a few things you've missed
    here and there, and even though I've played it for quite a while now there's probably still 1 or 2 endings I haven't found yet.
    In any case this is a great game and I'll recommend it to anyone with a sense of humor :D
  78. Jan 22, 2014
    There is very little reason why I should give this game a 10.

    There is probably the least replayability of a game since Phoenix Wright, some mechanics are a little choppy and glitchy, there are a couple story loopholes that got me stuck in a room and forced a reboot, and many times I felt the game just made me frustrated.

    But after playing this game, I can't even be sure that
    Galactic Cafe didn't want me to be frustrated. Of course, I'm joking, but the narrative genius that this game displays makes me feel just that. It dares, and sometimes forces you to challenge the game, challenge the plot diagram of the story along with the uncouth, witty narrator and even sometimes question what you want from the game. While forcing emotions is detrimental to other games, the Stanley Parable encourages it. I constantly got an eerie sense that the game always knew what the next choice I would make was. When betraying the story leads you to a dark parking garage, the narrator's voice sounding as chilly as ever, your mind leads nowhere but "Oh f**k, I messed up." But then you turn around, the door you just came out of is now closed. Everything that would seem like a cheap trick in another game is played to a forte here, utilized just to shape the player into feeling an emotion.

    And knowing this alienates you, since this game is all about choice anyway. None of your choices were of consequence anyway, and the game knew this all along. And that's what's great about the Stanley Parable- you can look as deeply or superficially into it as you want, and it still retains what makes it unique- a avant-garde, difficult look at storytelling.
  79. 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
  80. Jan 18, 2014
    A fascinating and fresh game. At first it may seem it will be an awful experience, because there's no guns or explosions. But you'll quickly understand why this game deserves such high ratings.
    There's is 0 gameplay, you walk and you walk... and walk.
    Along with your walking there will be a funny, interesting and humorous narrator.
    You make the story with your decisions, you change the
    course of the game with the paths you take, and the narrator always has an opinion on everything you do.
    And the voice actor... OHH, the voice actor. A majestic voice that will make you shed a tear with every sentence.
    You have a lot of paths you can take, and the game has a lot of endings and secrets!
    I wasted around 2-3 hours playing and re-playing the game, trying to get all the endings. I still missed 1
    or 2 "secret endings, but nothing major.
    Anyways, this game is a great experience and it's different from anything out there right now.
    I don't give it a 10/10 because after completing the game it has 0 re-playability, and the game starts getting a little repetitive after your 100th try, but it quickly hides it with the new narrator lines.
    Go buy it, you will not regret it.
  81. Jan 18, 2014
    It´s such a great "Game" for the price. I even kept the Demo because I love how the "Game" plays me ;)
    It´s a little short but you can play it over and over and over and over.....
  82. Jan 18, 2014
    Short (and not costly) but stunning. Reminds me of reading Italo Calvino's novels, as this isn't a game so much as a walk through wonderland. The narration is extremely well done and succeeds at being funny at all the right times.
  83. Jan 16, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One of the best games of this decade, "The Stanley Parable" brilliantly makes of self reflection a raison d'être.
    More than introspection we should probably talk about what we can call "self extrospection".
    The game's self extrospection is favored by making the player bring up and reflect over all of those things that he (or she) considers being implicitly existing in some formats (that a videogame can be beaten, that there are good and bad choices to make, that enviromental interaction gives positive feedbacks, et cetera), and, on the base of those reflections, pushes him to consider the meaning of such conventions, their real value and, with a more distant perspective, his own relation to them and his acceptance of rules in general.

    One of the central arguing points of the game is that the player, by systematically trying to apply the same mechanics he is usually applying to videogames in order to achieve the results he is used to achieve, is substantially growing accustomed to mechanically do the same thing over and over, without demanding anything extra-ordinary (uncommon) of himself nor leaving any space for free reflection. "Stanley [...] has a job that demands nothing of him, and every button that he pushes is a reminder of the inconsequential nature of his existence. Look at him there: pushing buttons, doing exactly what he's told to do. Now, he's pushing a button. Now, he's eating lunch. Now, he's going home; now, he's coming back to work. One might even feel sorry for him, except that he's chosen this life." As Stanley is not questioning the repetitiveness of his job so the player might not be questioning certain patterns that he is automatically following in his gameplay sessions; in The Stanley Parable these patterns are usually bringing the player to look for something that he's used to get in other games, only to end up getting it in a very ridiculing form ([spoiler] just think of the competitive leaderboards and the achievements [/spoiler] ).

    In most of the cases, by giving the players exactly the contrary to what they wanted from the game, The Stanley Parable pushes the player to obtain a sort of third person self analytical perspective (even intensified in one of the endings in which [spoiler] the game ends with a third person view on Stanley incapable of making a choice [/spoiler] ), the so called (by me) "self extrospection", in which he is asked to reflect on the nature of his impulsive attractions or behaviours. The arising questions and the following thoughts are many: is what the players are looking for something really worth to look for, or are they just grown accustomed to have it and therefore they're feeling its absence when it's not given to them? But it is only when this perspective is moved to other entertainment forms, which are also demanding nothing of people and just drench them with a shower of positive or shocking stimuli, that we can really start to question the level of free will that we possess; as Gustave Le Bon writes in his book "The Crowd – A Study of the Popular Mind": ”It is only by obtaining some sort of insight into the psychology of crowds that it can be understood [...] how powerless they are to hold any opinions other than those which are imposed upon them, and that is not with rules based on theories of pure equity that they are to be led, but by seeking what produces an impression on them and what seduces them.”

    How much are we automatically doing because we've been pushed to grow accustomed to it? Are we laughing at a video where someone crashes with a motorbike because it is really funny and not at all unethical, or are we doing that to relief some of our personal frustrations by watching someone else failing? "Yes, it's all very amusing. And we laugh and we call our friends over and they laugh too and soon the whole world laughs and laughs and laughs at the man who failed. [...] But [...] you, sitting there: what have you gained watching this video? What have you learned?" And if we do it because of the frustrating monotony of our life, why are we then allowing the frustration to latently exist? Are we so accustomed to our life as it is that we're scared of doing any changes? How many non-influenced choices are we making? What's the worth of those choices?

    Stanley might be starting to understand all of this: "in and amongst his aimless meandering, I think he is actually beginning to discover something: he is getting closer to an answer, an explaination, an exit. He is beginning to earn his freedom", but he is a videogame character bound to narrative limits and cannot escape his own story. He is Stanley and can only be Stanley.
    But what about us?
    "Now, if I could truly put you in his shoes, to show you the paths he walked and the choices he made.. [...] soon you will be the one to walk: the controls will be in your hands. [...] Oh, I think I'm going to enjoy this. When you find out how alone you truly are.. I will be laughing more than anyone."
  84. Jan 16, 2014
    Strange, funny, thought-provoking. But probably not for everyone.

    It's difficult to describe why I liked it. It doesn't have cutting edge graphics, there isn't a lot of interaction with the environment beyond walking around a strange office and occasionally pushing a button, and even when I had explored all the paths and endings I could find (plus a few others with the help of a guide)
    it probably didn't last longer than about 3 hours.

    As a game it is limited and very short even for the price, but it made me think about the nature of games, life, reality, choice, and many other things. It also made me laugh a lot. I think anything that does all that (not just games but music, films, books etc) deserves a thumbs up. Plus I will always have a soft spot for indie devs trying something different.
  85. Jan 16, 2014
    Engaging and interesting. The intelligence and interactivity with the narrator in regards to actions effecting the story telling is a lot of fun to be honest. Thorough enjoyable.
    I also love games that are a viable "I only feel like playing for 20-30 minutes before I have to do something" game, as it can be as short or as long as you want. Good game.
  86. Jan 14, 2014
    Don't expect a game, because The Stanley Parable is more like a movie, except slightly more engaging since you control the character's movement. It gives you a false sense of control and decision making as you discover a handful of possible endings, of which you could see them all in a few hours of walking around and enjoying the wonderful announcer's voice. Incredible concept. I was thoroughly entertained. My only complaint was that there wasn't that much content, but if you treat it like a movie, then it was fairly priced and I got a good deal.

    PS: Voice work was 10/10
  87. Jan 11, 2014
    Overrated game in my opinion. Had a lot of fun for the 3 or so hours it took to see just about every ending and laughed multiple times at the game humor, but i see little reason to replay it or ever really come back to unless i felt like being a masochist and getting some of the ridiculous steam achievements.
  88. Jan 11, 2014
    The game is unique and awesome. I dont want to spoil, but I reccomend anyone who plays not only dumb-style CS games, but some games actually makes you think at least a little. This reminds me of Portal games (Portal is better obv.) This game is very short and it is not actually a game after all, thats why I cant rate it maximum, but believe me, you gonna enjoy it!
  89. Jan 7, 2014
    An amazingly unique game which is more an experience than an actual game. In a similar vein to Dear Esther the narrative and story are quite amazing and while it lacks some replayability the limited time you will spend in Stanley's world (or the narrators?) is quite amazing and touching.
  90. Jan 7, 2014
    The first thing I wanted to do after playing through this thing was come on here and read the inevitable zero-rating reviews from people who need to be famous as memes. You guys are gold!
  91. Jan 7, 2014
    You are Stanley, your job is to push buttons that pop up on your screen, day in and day out. But what would you do if the screen turns blank? When there are no orders to follow?

    You have to choose. And that is exactly what the game is all about. Will you follow the narrator's guidelines or will you walk your own path, doing whatever you want.

    There are over 15 different endings to
    try out and will keep you occupied for a few hours but don't expect a long game. But for it's fairly cheap price it's definitely worth it. Expand
  92. Jan 7, 2014
    Simply brilliant. I won't say anything, that would spoil it. About the price: Yes, it is overpriced as a game. But it's not actually a game, it's art. Remember that.
  93. Jan 6, 2014
    This is not a game. This is a just a voice which says what you have to do. Finally you do not have a lot of possibilities in this "game". It is just like somebody who tell you a story...
  94. Jan 5, 2014
    Ahahah this is something, a really insane story, i had much fun playing it and I recommend it to everyone who wanna play something different (well, you don't have to play so much in that game, but it is fantastic however)
  95. 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
  96. Jan 4, 2014
    Great game, I've never played something like this before, it's not a traditional "finish it and move on game". I compare it to Portal without the puzzles, just the story.
  97. Jan 3, 2014
    There are a few hints of originality here. But it is so poorly executed, it isn't even worth mentioning. This game simply isn't as smart as it attempts to portray itself.
    The graphics are terrible, like something from the late 1990's. I would have been able to get past that fact if there were a great game were lurking under its ugly shell. But this game is boring all the way down to its
    I would be embarrassed if I had anything to do with the making of this game. And I'm shocked that some critics decided that this is somehow a good game. It is not good by any measure.
  98. Jan 3, 2014
    Incredibly diverse... that is one particularly fitting way to describe this game.
    Never before have I had the pleasure of putting so much time into a pointless game.
    Most likely because it is not a game... it's an experience.
    One that I recommend to everyone... and don't be shy to pick up a walk trough at the end to see what you have been missing!
  99. Jan 3, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I have not bought this game, nor will I ever consider buying this game for the price listed during this Christmas sale (9.99). It is not worth it.

    Originally, the mystery behind all the narration and ambiguous description captured my interest as I tend to attempt to unravel the truths from the untruths via internet browsing and reviews. I like to know what my game is like especially when I'm spending this amount of money to buy a game with steam engine graphics.. was a disappointment. The game's air of enigma was easily blown away with Youtube videos about 6 particular endings and a very short storyline, and even when I tried to dig deeper, there were other endings, but sadly, not enough. And certainly not worth the price tag, when you try to compare to other games with vastly superior and unique graphics and gameplay also at the same price or lower.

    Sure, it might seem new and interesting the first few runs, but really, it's not really so much of a game than it is just a couple of seemingly clever plot twists and mind games. And we're not talking about the deep philosophical and psychological games..just a couple of basic ones, which may have appealed to some of the mainstream critics as a masterpiece at first, and is probably all that was needed to spark their overhyped reviews.
  100. Jan 2, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Filter Kafka through the sensibilities of Douglas Adams and you might end up with something like The Stanley Parable. It is not so much a game as a bewildering tree of short stories to explore, all featuring the same main character and all circling the themes of free will and purpose, while lampooning videogame mechanics. Button presser Stanley finds himself in an office devoid of colleagues and sets out to explore what is going on. As he roams the halls, a sardonic narrator points out what Stanley is doing and crucially what he is about to do. (Also see: Stranger Than Fiction.) But you are free to go against his prompts and the game even expects you to do so, as otherwise it would be a really, really short experience. You can’t really do much except occasionally press some buttons and open a door. Most of the joy comes from exasperating the narrator (Kevan Brighting), who sounds a lot like he is channeling Peter Jones, the voice of The Guide from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It is the funniest, best-written narration since GLaDOS from Portal, voice-acted to perfection. One of the highlights of the game actually had me just hang around in a pointless broom closet while the voice scolded me.

    There are various endings, but these aren’t endings at all in most cases, and you will inevitably end up circling back to the beginning. It’s never clear when you’re done, as it’s always possible you missed a branch of story somewhere, something the game itself also points out. The game is very ‘meta’ and will poke fun at what you’re doing or not doing and the expectations you may have of a game. A sinister countdown that pokes fun at your helplessness is probably the best example of this. (But are you really helpless?) And there is an ‘achievement’ that will have completists grit their teeth, which is to not play the game for five years. So I’ve got something to look forward to in 2018. There is also an achievement simply called ‘Unachievable’. But is it? Be prepared to cheat a little, by way of a walkthrough, when you feel like you have seen all there is to see. There are a few Easter eggs you are likely to miss unless you spend ages bumping around every corner of the office until desperation sets in.

    The only downside to The Stanley Parable is unavoidable repetition, as you will have to run through the same spaces a lot to get to the diverging branch you want to explore. Though occasionally there will be a small change a new voicemail to listen to, a new comment by the voiceover parts get too samey. Movement is fast, thankfully, but when rushing from one place to the next, the voiceover gets cut off awkwardly at points, when you trigger a new one before the old one is done.

    All in all, The Stanley Parable is a unique experience and one that should not be missed. When you look into this game, this game also looks into you. I look forward to revisiting it again, in time, when I’ve forgotten most of the narration. But not until five years have passed, of course, as I really want that achievement.

  101. 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.

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]