The Stanley Parable is a first person exploration game. You will play as Stanley, and you will not play as Stanley. You will follow a story, you will not follow a story. You will have a choice, you will have no choice. The game will end, the game will never end.
User reviews: Very Positive (14,156 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 17, 2013

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Recommended By Curators

"One of the only "minimal gameplay" games I've ever enjoyed. A "walking simulator" with a great sense of humour that mocks game design intelligently."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (5)

July 13

The Stanley Parable Update Released

Yo! I've just pushed out an update to Stanley Parable! Here's the changelog:

  • Fixed cyrillic font issues
  • Fixed crash on startup on some Windows 8.1 computers
  • Added localization: Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish, German
  • Fixed Portuguese localization
  • (Edit) Updated choice PSA
  • R88888888888888

Please let me know if you run into any issues!

114 comments Read more

Reviews

“It's not the fact that The Stanley Parable makes you think about the nature of choice in games that makes it extraordinary. It's the fact that it does so while simultaneously managing to be a wildly entertaining, hilarious, and surprising experience.”
9/10 - Gamespot

“It's this bouncing between serious tone and irreverence that makes The Stanley Parable so special. You never know what to expect."
10/10 - Joystiq

“Where so many games that aspire to be more than games end up less than any form of art, Stanley Parable strives, and then succeeds.”
10/10 - Destructoid

“Astoundingly labyrinthine onion-like layers of narrative tangents the player can embark on in what feels like the unholy interactive offspring of Inception, Being John Malkovich and Portal.”
Eurogamer

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About This Game

The Stanley Parable is a first person exploration game. You will play as Stanley, and you will not play as Stanley. You will follow a story, you will not follow a story. You will have a choice, you will have no choice. The game will end, the game will never end. Contradiction follows contradiction, the rules of how games should work are broken, then broken again. This world was not made for you to understand.

But as you explore, slowly, meaning begins to arise, the paradoxes might start to make sense, perhaps you are powerful after all. The game is not here to fight you; it is inviting you to dance.

Based on the award-winning 2011 Source mod of the same name, The Stanley Parable returns with new content, new ideas, a fresh coat of visual paint, and the stunning voicework of Kevan Brighting. For a more complete and in-depth understanding of what The Stanley Parable is, please try out the free demo.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
    • Processor: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 (or higher) or AMD64X2 (or higher)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Video card must be 128 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 2.0b (ATI Radeon X800 or higher / NVIDIA GeForce 7600 or higher / Intel HD Graphics 2000 or higher - *NOT* an Express graphics card).
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.8 or higher required
    • Processor: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 (or higher) or AMD64X2 (or higher)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher
Helpful customer reviews
258 of 268 people (96%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
After playing The Stanley Parable for a while, Stanley decided that he enjoyed it so much that he had to write a review. He would carefully deconstruct his experience and share his unique view and opinions in tremendous detail, until he finally summed it all up with a simple "Thumbs up" gesture.
Proud of his critique, Stanley confidently clicked the "Post review" button and -
Was this review helpful? Yes No
48 of 52 people (92%) found this review helpful
28.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
A game with no shooting, no war, no blood and relatively no violence that's GOOD?!
Magnificent, briliant, wonderful, glorious, epic, amazing, awesome, beautiful...Just play it.
Don't watch any youtubers play it, at least not before you have completely played and explored it yourself.
10/10.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
54 of 66 people (82%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Wait.
Did I really play this game or an inner narrator told me to do it?
Maybe it is just part of a blind story leading to happiness...?
What if I endlessly complete the game?
I might need to press more buttons!...
Was this review helpful? Yes No
29 of 33 people (88%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
This game left me with a sense of emotional insecurity like a hole in my heart. With that being said, this is one of the most creative and incredible plots that I've ever had the privilege to play. It pulls you into an ever changing relationship with the narrator that becomes the most important part of the game. Put simply, fear+humor+sadness+beauty+confusion-everything you know about gaming=The Stanley Parable.
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21 of 22 people (95%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
There really isn't anything that you can say about this except that it isn't a game. Anyone buying it as such will be sorely disappointed. What it IS is a brilliant commentary on not just gaming culture, but the thought processes of gamers themselves.

It really is brilliantly done, and superbly executed. As a gamer, I felt a strange air of danger and menace throughout, as if something was going kick off and lead to some sort of battle for survival, and the game plays with this notion throughout, offering a number of different "endings". The "good" ending (which I won't spoil) is a very well observed satire on game design and player choice.

It really is hard to write anything about the game without spoiling something! All I can really say is - it's not for everyone. Some people may look down on people who don't enjoy it or don't get it and that's not entirely fair. The ideas and concept explored aren't hugely complex, but probably require a high level of self awareness and self criticism on the part of the player.

In summary - this is a sublime mix of art, gaming and genuine entertainment.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
27 of 34 people (79%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Stanley was so bad at following directions, it's a wonder he wasn't fired years ago.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
22 of 29 people (76%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
I spent 25 minutes in a janitor's closet. Still the best ending.
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10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
This game is really awesome and unique and the humor and sarcasm are great.
The only con is that this game is really small and i m not sure if i consider it a "full experience".
I hope they release more content in the future.
If anyone enjoy a good laugh, sarcasm, black humor and a little mystery i strongly recommend this.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
If you like the thought of driving a cantankerous British man up the wall, this is the game for you.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
47 of 85 people (55%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
It's gr8 m8 I r8 8/8
Was this review helpful? Yes No
7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
The narrator is my spirit animal
Was this review helpful? Yes No
11 of 19 people (58%) found this review helpful
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Simply the greatest game known to humankind. Nothing has ever or will ever surpass this. Stanley is life. Stanley is better than life. Stanley is everything. 8.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
It's a comedy, adventure, narrative game that is better if you know nothing about it and has so many jokes in it that you won't even see them all. Loads of endings, tons of fun.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 26
That game is not sane...really
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
In my top 5 favourite games of all time.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Ominous. Dream-like. Peerless. An experience, more than a game.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
I fail to see how you can love games and not love this....
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
Definitely one of the most intriguing games I have ever played, I had a hard time walking away from it. I would recommend The Stanley Parable to anyone looking to indulge in a fascinating, refreshing, and humorous gaming experience :)
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
One of the best demos I have played in a long time. Perfectly captures the feeling of the full game without giving anything away about the full game. Play this, then buy the game :)
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
Clever writing, superb narration and meaningful satire prop up an otherwise weak game.

As I sit here mulling over the meaning behind The Stanley Parable's parables I'm dismayed to find an overall depressing and pessimistic undercurrent. After playing all endings except the "Art Ending," I look at the big picture and it seems to me that the game is saying something along the lines of "Follow all of 'The Narrator's' commands or else something bad will surely happen to you." "The Narrator" being interchangeable with "The Man" or God or any authority figure. Even the "Heaven Ending" is twisted, albeit humorously, to be unappealing to the player.

At a more surface level The Stanley Parable is parodying modern life, particularly work life, as well as video games themselves. It is here that the game shines and earns the praise it's received. I appreciate the jabs it takes at the mindless routines that consume much of our lives. Getting us to see our faults while simultaneously making us laugh is this game's greatest strength. However, as I stated in the previous paragraph, what happens within the game when you try to break out of the preset path seems to discourage the very same type of action that the game's satire encourages. This makes for a muddled message that makes me question the clarity and depth of the game. Perhaps I'm focusing too much on the real life issues when they meant it to be foremost a critique of modern game design where you often can't deviate substantially from the narrow narrative path.

Excellent voice acting and witty comedy make the first few hours with the game very enjoyable. The way the game is designed to be replayed many times to explore different choices ultimately catches up with it as the repetition grows stale. To be fair, they did a lot to mitigate this by speeding up certain sections or by changing up what the Narrator says in successive playthroughs. It took me 5 hours to complete nearly everything the game has to offer (excluding 1 ending that requires 4 hours of ridiculous tedium). That time includes a significant amount of repetition and a short time on the web checking for any endings or achievements I had missed. Being that short I can't call this a good value for your gaming dollar.

6/10 and a weak "thumbs up."
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