Critical Play: The Stanley Parable


The Stanley Parable was developed and released by Davey Wreden, Galactic Cafe, and William Pugh on October 17, 2013.

Types of Fun and Formal Elements in The Stanley Parable

The Stanley Parable’s primary type of fun is narrative and its main objective is exploration. Player’s mainly just walk around in this game, running into small subtle puzzles along the way. Player’s mainly derive fun from the narrator and by exploring the seemingly normal world only to uncover some weird truth.

For Formal Elements, this is a single player game where the player can either choose to obey the narrator’s commands and follow the expressed narrative, or try to carve their own adventure at the mercy of the narrator. The player’s only real actions are to jump and walk.

Telling Stories

The Stanley Parable tells its narrative and makes it commentary in a very unique way. The game has player’s traversing a world that alone has very view clues that convey the state. Through the use of the narrator, the game-makers color the world and create charming, silly, sometimes creepy, sometimes insightful interactions and experiences. The narrator creates consequences to your decisions as opposed to some visible force or enemy. These expressed consequences are how the game makes players uncover the story and the make of the world.

Art Design

The art in the game is very simple and quite frankly boring. This makes it so the user is more impelled to listen to the narrator since there isn’t much visual noise distracting the player.

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