Mystery and Intrigue in The Stanley Parable
Another game I had the pleasure to play for Indie Month is one of the more unique titles I have seen. The Stanley Parable offers players the chance to see how much they will follow the game's instructions or completely take things into another direction. From the shoes of Stanley, you will have many choices to make in this game. Obey or rebel? Follow or lead? Please or anger? The choice is yours. This is The Stanley Parable.
Inside the mundane, yet surprisingly fulfilling life of Stanley, you find a mystery that leaves Stanley completely bewildered. His once simple existence as a keyboard typer has taken a turn for an odd circumstance. His directions on his computer are gone. His coworkers have disappeared. What has happened to Stanley's workplace that he enjoyed going to? Well, that's where you come in, dear gamer.
From the get-go, the Narrator (voiced brilliantly by Kevan Brighting) tells in detail what is going on in the story. He gives specific directions of where Stanley is to go and do; however, there is always a time for the player to offer a twist. This is where the fun begins. How far are you willing to follow the Narrator? Will you comply unconditionally or veer off a bit? Will you absolutely be a rebel for a cause and tear the story apart?
From your first-person viewing of this story, you take control of Stanley and move about his workplace. The lifeless void of the office space leaves a feeling of utter isolation, but the Narrator accompanies you throughout the entirety of the game. Once the story begins, you have the chance to make your choices. Even from your first choice of going through the right door or left door, you can set the tone for where the story will go. Sometimes you don't have to do anything and the Narrator will most likely comment on your inactivity.
Gameplay is simple. You move around and click to interact with some objects. The main attraction comes from you (as Stanley) going with the flow of the story or going against the grind. As a result of your ability to choose whatever you want to do, you can go through multiple endings. In my playthroughs, I managed to unlock nine endings. All of them are rather humorous, but it's worthwhile to check them all out.
The clever writing and choice system makes The Stanley Parable shine. Even though Stanley doesn't have any dialogue, his ability to make the Narrator go through many emotions through action alone is often hilarious. The Narrator can be either your best friend or your worst enemy. The replay value comes from being able to experience new endings and take multiple paths in your playthroughs. Give The Stanley Parable a shot. It's on Steam right now. Enjoy the writing and the laughs that come with it.
Day 18 | Galactic Cafe