Genre | First Person Adventure/Interactive Fiction game, and Art
Developer | Galactic Cafe
Platforms | PC, OSX
The Stanley Parable is a game where the player moves through an environment that largely consists of an office building while a narrator speaks to the player about what the player and what the player’s character are doing.
The Stanley Parable features 22 endings, including endings that do not end the game. The game also features a number of other choices which influence the game but which do not influence the ending that the player arrives at. The player can restart the game at any time and play through to experience a different ending. Restarting also triggers some things that allow the player to experience other parts of the game.
The narrator that speaks to the player is simultaneously speaking to Stanley, the character the player is playing as. The narrator says certain things which may be intended just for Stanley, just for the player, or for both. It is up to the player to decide how much of what the narrator is saying is about Stanley, how much is about the player, and how much of a difference there ultimately is between the character Stanley and the player playing the character Stanley.
The graphics in The Stanley Parable are generally realistic, with the exception of a baby, which is clearly a cardboard cutout. There is a broom closet with a number of tools and the tools look like actual tools, although they cannot be used. The sound consists of minimal sound effects, like footsteps. The soundtrack is similar to the soundtrack of the movie The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The narrator is voiced by Kevan Brighting and the narrator’s lines span a variety of emotions, from self-satisfied to frustrated to contented to angry to afraid, although the narrator’s voice is always predominantly British.
The Stanley Parable features a wide variety of results based on the player’s choices throughout the game, although because the game often comes to an end the player must constantly restart the game so as to make new choices. Therefore, playing The Stanley Parable necessitates carrying out of a constant cycle of cessation and reemergence that can potentially inspire a desire to break free that leads the player to act out in the game and discover more content, which again leads to an ending which requires starting back at the beginning.