Critical Play: Walking Simulators

I played a very well-known game on Steam, called The Stanley Parable by Galactic Cafe on my laptop. It’s a game in which the player controls an office worker named Stanley whose life is narrated storybook-style by an invisible force. The player is accompanied by The Narrator, who provides an interesting voice-over to whatever action and decision the player chooses to follow.

The player or “Stanley” has little actions to perform, aside from walking around at uniform speed and turning the POV camera. The Stanley Parable introduces a unique Narrative fun and some Discovery, as the player steps into Stanley’s shoes to explore a branching narrative by either acting out his life exactly as intended or shaping it as they see fit. How this game differs from most walking sims is the agency the player has on the story and the narrative.


The target audience includes people who love Walking Sims, “your decisions matter”, unique narratives.

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