Your mind will hurt. By Rogan Louwrens
Oh boy. This one’s going to be tough – because what can you say about a “game” that depends utterly on the element of surprise? You might already have experienced an incarnation of The Stanley Parable, back when it was still a Half Life 2 mod. Now it’s a stand-alone release, and if you haven’t heard of it yet, let’s just say it’s what you’d get if you handcuffed The Matrix to Groundhog Day and imprisoned them both in The Truman Show. And even that is probably saying too much.
The Stanley Parable casts you in the role of Stanley – or employee number 427 – a faceless office worker in a giant corporation. One day you arrive at work to find the office entirely deserted, and now we really can’t tell you anything more about the plot without spoiling the living daylights out of this magnificent work of fiction.
Equal parts satire and tragedy, at heart The Stanley Parable is an asker of questions. What happens if you push this button instead of that button? What does choice even mean? Are you in control of your life? And just what in the metaphysicals is going on here?
It’s hilarious and haunting. It’s unlike any other game we’ve seen. It is, to distil it to a word, brilliant.
The Stanley Parable is available on Steam for US$15.99.
The lowdown: Developer: Galactic Cafe, Publisher: Galactic Cafe, Platform: PC
Check out the trailer below: