Writing a review on The Stanley Parable is an odd situation, telling you too much about the game would ruin what makes it so great. On the other hand I can’t just tell you to ignore everything else in this review and just go off my word on how strong and unique of an experience it is.

Then again, choice is one of the central themes of the game. Regardless of if you’re forcibly being druged at the time, your choices planted you there.

The Stanley Parable 427 The Stanley Parable Review

Home, sweet Home.

The Stanley Parable is an updated version of the 2011 source mod of the same name, made by developer Galatic Cafe. Whom in turn is really the shoulders of two men, Davey Wreden and William Pugh. This fully fledged release sees it fleshed out with even more content, updated visuals, and top notch voice work by actor Kevan Brighting. The trio also put out one of the best demos of modern gaming for Stanley, one which should be played even if you own the full release or not.

In The Stanley Parable you play as Stanley, employee #427.  Your job consists of sitting in front of a computer monitor and pressing whatever button it asks you to for a specified time. One day, though, you find that all of your co-workers have disappeared and that a charming British man seems to be vocally nudging you along on a linear path.

The Stanley Parable Break Room The Stanley Parable Review

Worked here long enough to remember when soda was .50

Now where the real draw comes in is bucking the trend. One of the first big decisions is a set of two doors. You are told that Stanley will chose the left door.  Naturally, this will lead people to question and see what is beyond the right door. Doing this leads the narrator questioning if you’ve just forgotten the way or possibly if you wanted to go take a break in the staff room before being on your way.

This is where The Stanley Parable blossoms. By exploring every option you can not only push the narrator but the space you’re given to explore. Players will be rewarded with some of the more esoteric and unique sequences in the game for their efforts. Some of them shining a humorous light on the tropes of modern gaming while simultaneously using them themselves. One of the biggest accomplishments by Galactic Cafe is the atmosphere built within the game; both with the stillness of the office and the excellent level design throughout the experience.

The Stanley Parable Fired The Stanley Parable Review

Hustle for that nominal hourly wage raise.

That is really the heart of the matter with Stanley Parable. It transcends its medium to become an unforgettable experience, something you can look back years from now with fondness at the first time you explored what it had to offer. Five years, in fact, if you’re looking to get one of the tongue in cheek achievements offered by the game.

The Stanley Parable Bathroom The Stanley Parable Review

The most luxurious way to use company time.

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The Stanley Parable Review
The bottom line is that The Stanley Parable is a must play release, before the seas of the internet wash you over with spoilers and jokes from it. Going into it fresh and finding all the nooks and crannies for myself was one of the most enjoyable times I've had in gaming in the last five years. Hats off go to Galactic Cafe for crafting one hell of a game, one that also is firmly in the mix of the best releases of this year.
The Good
  • Very well written and voice acted
  • Inventive ways to push the player to succeed (or fail?)
  • Atmosphere that pushes you to explore further
The Bad
  • Calming new-age music
9Overall Score
Reader Rating: (6 Votes)
9.8

About The Author

Duncan McFarlane
Associate Editor

Duncan is a sly, handsome individual with a very, very dry sense of humor. His love for sports are only trumped by his love for PC gaming. He has a thick manly beard and adores Football Manager. He is a huge asset to local video game shop Super 1UP Games, and is heavily involved in Twitch TV. Duncan is a diverse individual who is fanatical about whatever he tackles, and as a writer and gamer expect to see some of the most thorough reviews and previews ever written by a living human being.