(6/1/2016) --- What an amazing, delightful, little game which leaves interpretation of the reality and as well Stanley's world in an open way. The questions about the game is who is Stanley? Where is Stanley? And where everyone went?
The game itself without too much fanfare offer a deep immersion on the psychological in the psyche of an individual but also it exposes the idea of a decision-theoretic scenario in which the player has to confront multiple realities in which Stanley seems to be trapped in or in a lesser case scenario multiple versions of Stanley.
|The Meeting Room|
The game is set in a fictional corporate enviroment, in which the player controls the eponymous character named Stanley and besides the player there is the omniscient and probably omnipotent Narrator, which he seems to know more about Stanley and where he is, and controlling much of the dynamics that happen around Stanley i.e. controlling doors or giving Stanley advice.
At seem everything seems to be just pretty straightforward if the player follows the narrator advice into reaching an end in which Stanley can escape; in reality there is no set reality, there is a definitive place where Stanley is or who he is, besides being a suffered soul who lost track of himself.
There is no right or wrong but only death as the ultimate companion to Stanley, leaving him on a semi-state of being trapped in a Limbo, a Purgatory where he must be absolved of his own sins before moving out to the next stage in the "afterlife" but also in a more sadistic way the entire office could be a Terseract in which Stanley is just a part of a bigger experiment in which his death or multiple ones mean absolutely nothing.
Being trapped in a nightmare where you are destined to repeat the same cycle over and over in an infinite loop, leaves the idea that probably Stanley in reality is just in denial about his own existence because he has no happiness as he is trapped on a job with no chances of getting a promotion, a loveless marriage or maybe the desire of having one, no friends and no life outside his work. Much as it happens with people in the real world.
The game is actually quite easy to play and highly entertaining considering the minimalistic approach on the story and gameplay because there are no needs to use different controllers, just the arrows and the mouse. The different surreal scenarios as well the voice of the Narrator (who is played by Kevan Brighting) gives the game a very unique atmosphere in which it takes the form more of a visual novel a la Make your Own Adventure.
It is difficult to find something negative about this game, even after almost five years of the original mod release. The game itself plays with suspense and clinical psychology very well that is almost impossible to know or imagine what is the reality that we are playing? Who is the Narrator and what Stanley is really experimenting much as if "his" adventure was just a mere hallucination.
On a point where reality is just twisted and the Narrator suddenly cease to exist and in a moment seems to be more than one, where a woman takes the lead over the male on when the Museum ending shows that probably Stanley is just a man who lost every grip with reality but at the end who knows as the game doesn't offer too many hints about what state of reality Stanley is living in.
The game is totally worth buying it, If you have Steam please click here and buy the game, it's a really nice different experience and it's always nice to support independent developers.
Thank you for reading my blog.