MIND: Path to Thalamus is a First Person Puzzler that throws you into a fantastic and surreal environment. You will bend the natural elements to your will in order to progress in this emotive, mindbending tale.
User reviews: Very Positive (424 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 5, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Very beautiful narrative focussed experience with some light puzzle elements. Recommended if you like games like Dear Esther."

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February 25

Oculus VR Olive in MIND: Path to Thalamus!!!

Hi everyone!

I am Carlos Coronado, currently redoing MIND: Path to Thalamus in the UE4 and VR. In this thread I would like to show you something I've been working in the last months: my approach to first person controllers for VR. To sum up, I've been watching how we humans behave when we walk and turn and I've tried to imitate this process in the VR. No, this is not about realism. This is about a more natural way to control shooters in VR.

For me, moving the direction of the player's body with the left mouse or joystick has always been a problem, because when we do so, the feeling we get is the entire world is rotating, but our physical head has not moved at all and that may cause dizziness to a lot of people. In the other hand, as VR developers I think we want the player to move the head (but not too much so they don't feel tired) to get a better inmersion and this new system I've made is also a good way to achieve that. Let's get to the point.

If you want to rotate your body, first you look at the direction where you want to rotate, then you press the "rotate body" button (could be anything: left trigger, E, Q, a number, middle mouse button...) and then your body rotates where you are looking at. This button also have a second mode: if you constantly press the button, your body wil always rotate where you are looking at. Amazing for running! So... yes... you are moving the player with just one hand and rotating him with just one button! Then, what awesome stuff can be do with the other hand (the mouse hand or the right joystick hand)? Well, let's use it for shooting! Use the mouse to move a crosshair in the screen... just like in on-rails shooter arcade games such as Time Crisis or The House of the Dead. What about aiming? Well, I've done some tests and aiming doesn't feel good at all. I mean, it is indeed too realistic to work in a game. Fortunately, there're good news still. I have tested this with a lot of people and about 75% of them prefer this new way of controlling shooters. Of course, there is a 25% that still prefer the old school way. Don't worry. With this system the right button is free to use and while you hold it down, you will move your player as you have always been doing... but with 100% free screenspace to aim!

There is still a lot to do, but I think this is completed enough to show this to the world. A big company working in VR asked me to show this to them and so I did a month ago. No answer from them still so if they are not interested I hope you are! To sum up:

- WASD or joystick to move the body
- Look somewhere, then press the "rotate body" button to reorient your body in that direction
- Constantly press the "rotate body" button to always rotate your body where you are looking at
- shooting and aiming as in time crisis games
- gets rids of the tank mode problems in the old school method
- no limits, tricks ore workarounds like moving the mouse in the center of the screen is used for aiming and moving a lot the mouse is used for rotating

Well... here are three videos showing how the system works. Sorry for my English. This was all improvised and I didn't had time to make a script for it.

Movement

Shooting

Menus and Objects

1 comments Read more

December 29, 2014

Merry Oculus Rift Christmas

UE4 Oculus Rift version.

And a happy new wip Linux version!

Of course, everything is work in progress and no release date yet :)

6 comments Read more

Reviews

“As visual, explorable art, it’s masterful. As a puzzle game, it’s rewarding and taxing.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Stunning, intelligent, fun, Mind is a game that deserves to be remembered for a long time to come.”
5/5 – The Telegraph

“This game is fantastic. It’s a legit puzzle game. It is beautiful. Go out and buy it”
Jesse Cox

About This Game

MIND: Path to Thalamus is a First Person Puzzler that throws you into a fantastic and surreal environment. You will bend the natural elements to your will in order to progress in this emotive, mind-bending tale.

Change the entire environment!

Wrapped in a mind-bending tale, the gameplay of “MIND” focuses on changing the very weather in order to solve puzzles: the player will cycle between day and night, modify the levels of fog and rain and even travel in time between seasons, changing the environment to advance the gameplay-driven story —indeed, the mechanics are directly related to who the protagonist is, what has happened to him and everything he is doing: a man trapped in his own mind, he must use all the tools at his disposition to escape to reality. Accompanied by the snarky yet heartfelt narration of this comatose patient, the player will guide him through fantastical forests, dark caverns and deceptive worlds of water and ice that directly relate to his emotional state at each point in his journey.

Features

  • More than 30 different, creative puzzles seamlessly integrated into the environment.
  • 6 ways to affect the environment in order to solve the puzzles
  • More than 20 distinct landscapes into with which you will be able to interact.
  • Turn day to night, make it so everything is covered by a blinding fog, summon incredible storms, travel to the past and make use of even more as of yet unknown mechanics.
  • More than an hour of voice acting that, while integrated into the gameplay itself, will tell you a whole story that is not about saving the world but about living through the pain of a father broken by his mistakes.
  • Face down imposing climactic enemies by using your creativity and everything you have learnt along the way.
  • 22 achievements full of Easter eggs and references

Who are we?


Developed by Carlos Coronado Carlos Coronado, Dani Navarro y Luka Nieto. Aditional code by Jose Ladislao. Voice by Greg Nugent.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 7600 GS
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce GTX 660
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
143 of 197 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Just played through this in one sitting because, for some reason, it just felt like the right thing to do.

HOLY ♥♥♥♥

This game really knocks it out of the park with its design. Those visuals are fantastic. I really hope Carlos Coronado goes on to develop dozens of games.

HOWEVER

I hope he is never allowed to have any say on the narrative aspects of his games. It boggles me that someone can have such great taste in design and still give the greenlight to such awful writing and voiceover work to accompany their game. This is some of the worst writing I've experienced in a game. I want you to think about that for a moment, think of every ♥♥♥♥♥♥ cutscene you've seen, every dumb plotline. This game still manages to outdo them. How? Because it presents itself as awful poetry, then subverts itself and it's plotine with cringworthy self reflection, then manages to return to the awful plotline and wrap it up in a way that offers no imagination or room for interpretation. You can't scream at your audience "this is what the story is!" after you've just screamed at them "aren't these metaphors stupid!?"

It was announced that this game is getting a re-write. Hopefully they fix this but the narrative is so ingrained into its design (which, oddly enough, is actually good design) that I can't imagine a rewrite saving it.

Ugh, how tragically disappointing.
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39 of 44 people (89%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
I was blown away by the beautiful visuals, emotive music and touching story of Mind: Path to Thalamus. This game is a shining example of how far video games have come, and how artistic they can be. My only criticism of the game is that some puzzles drag out a little due to the player having to cover large distances. The slow movement pace is only annoying in a couple of challenges and for the most part moving through the beautiful environments was a pleasure. I think all critics of the games industry as a form of art need to play this game, as the experience is something that will stick with you long after the credits roll. Mind: Path to Thalamus is an amazing game, and has earned 9 out of 10 from me.

STORY
I was hooked straight into the story during this powerful opening sequence, and with the game assuming that the player already knows how basic movement works, no time was wasted with needless on screen prompts, allowing for quick immersion. As the player continues to search for Sophia you are knocked unconscious, starting your journey through the inner workings of your mind, to the thalamus.

The game is minimalist with its on screen prompts, and with the purposefully basic controls I never felt that my progress was slowed due to a lack of explanation. I was having a great time, absorbing the story through the perfectly voice acted narration, while completing puzzles, when I suddenly realised I had just completed the tutorial phase of the game.
The player is led through each environment by the floating drawings of Sophia, with the protagonist weaving in explanations of mechanics and goals subtly in the narration. The game utilise a huge range of metaphors in the challenges and environment as the main character narrates his way through his painful memories and experiences. I don't want to ruin the story of Mind: Path to Thalamus by giving away plot points, but I will say this game was extremely moving and I was genuinely affected by the story of the main character.

GAMEPLAY
The puzzle mechanics used in Mind: Path to Thalamus, are basic when considered conceptually, but are displayed beautifully in the environments. Players need to activate various environmental changes by placing themselves or small tumbleweed like balls in specific locations to allow them access to the goal of the area. The different environmental changes vary from changing between day and night, controlling fog, causing rain and controlling time.

Each environmental mechanic is introduced gradually keeping the puzzles fresh and challenging without overwhelming the player. I found myself stopping and taking in each puzzle mechanic when it is used, as the impact on the environment is breath taking. Players must also be careful not to run into the" trauma", which are black and red electrical balls, that represent the damage that has been done to the main character's brain. The puzzles in Mind: Path to Thalamus are perfectly paced and are never too easy, or too difficult, but still make the player think laterally about the environments.

VISUALS
The visuals of Mind: Path to Thalamus are the focus of the game, and are absolutely beautiful. I was forever slow panning each area and enjoying all of the intricate beauty of the environments. There are heaps of subtle metaphors relating to the story of the main character, and the use of minimalist area design creates surreal beauty while facilitating the puzzle focus of the game. One area that I found particularly beautiful, and fantastically designed, had the player traversing ice paths. These represented the synapses of the brain, with the images of his memories reflected on the ice surface.

MUSIC
Mind: Path to Thalamus continues its balance of minimalist design, with breath taking immersion, through the perfect use of sound and music. Many areas have no music at all with the sounds of the environment and the amazing voice acting of the narrator carrying the player perfectly. There were so many moments in this game when I would stop and listen to the rain drops splashing on the ground or enjoy the mystical wind blowing through the trees. During moments of beautiful environmental reveals or important character realisations, a gentle, but emotive piano score would resonate around the player, intensifying the situation. The piano score from Mind: Path to Thalamus is a beautiful piece of music, and I have found myself listening to it again and again since completing the game.

For my full review and heaps of other delicious content see Glitch
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20 of 21 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
A great first-person puzzler let down by weak writing and voice acting, Mind: Path to Thalamus makes amends for its crimes against literature with magnificent achievements in visual design and an almost Valve-like ability to guide players without explicit pointers. Each and every major puzzle is of just the right difficulty: head-scratchingly confusing at first, then delightfully simple and logical later. Ignore the story and this is easily one of the best looking and most intelligent games of 2014.
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22 of 28 people (79%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2014
The mind is a beautiful, sometimes terrifying, thing. Projecting nightmares, anxiety, flashbacks to embarrassing moments we endured in our lives. In our day to day lives, we’re often able to draw attention away from such negative thoughts and musings with the distraction and hum of daily life. But when you’re trapped in your own head, and there’s nothing between you and the darkest corners of your thoughts, it can be a hell in which there’s no escaping. Sometimes, there’s nothing but a malfunction, a delayed chemical or electrical reaction in the body, that prevents us from leaving such a place. There’s little we truly understand about such conditions. Can one even fight their way back to the surface? Or is it totally down to chance?

The protagonist of Mind: Path to the Thalamus, only known by the name of Nick, is a prisoner in his own head. His struggle to reach the Thalamus, the part of the brain which controls consciousness, is gorgeously rendered by dreamy vistas inspired by dream art, surrealism, and the culture surrounding the formation of those movements. His internal struggle is a powerful, personal one. Threads of plot are entwined between his younger self dealing with the death of his sister Sophia, an abusive drunk of a father, and the loss of his daughter – whom, perhaps unwisely, he named after his deceased sister. His path to the sacred tree he crawls toward in a disjointed journey is riddled with visuals both symbolic and grounded in the reality of Nick’s past.

Perfectly in tune with the dreamy nature of the visuals are the puzzles, which take advantage of the mind’s ability to transform a scene and abandon conventional logic. Each element of a puzzle is controlled by placing or removing a webbed orb from an environmental cue. Dropping an orb onto a field of glowing flowers will bring about the night. Dropping one near a circle of rocks, which leak water from an impossible source, causes thunder to roar from the sky and heavy rain to pour down. Each brings some fundamental change that you will need to learn in order to solve an area. With the exception of the very first concept, which is abandoned for good pretty much right after it is introduced, every one of the powers is gradually taught to you and then added in progressively more difficult puzzles featuring other powers.

The degree of cleverness varies wildly, from being brain dead easy to requiring some serious ‘outside of the box’ thinking. I’m no Mensa, so a softer approach to the puzzle elements kept me from feeling too frustrated. Unfortunately, this means those who were looking for higher level challenges will be let down. Even the most difficult of puzzles didn’t require more than a handful of tries before the solution would present itself. Even still, it’s fun to watch the leaves change color, or a night sky, complete with rain, to completely change the mood of a beautifully constructed scene.

Some slight texture/detail pop-in marrs the otherwise gorgeous crafted scenery. For most maps, this isn’t an issue. Larger maps tend to have this effect rear its ugly head more often. It’s difficult to enjoy a wide shot of rolling hills when the texture on the hills displays its tiled texture until you’re a few feet from it. It’s only a small mark against the lush atmosphere achieved by the excellent use of color and texture to paint such striking imagery, but one that must be mentioned all the same.

If I were to have any major complaints, it would be directed towards the ever-present monologue provided by the protagonist. The entirety of the game’s story is told through musings and introspective questions. The problem here, I felt, was the lack of emotion and unnatural speech patterns used by the narrator. His inflection, and emphasis on certain words over others, sounds awkward and stilted, getting in the way of my ability to stay immersed in the game’s world. Everyone will have their opinion on how much they can tolerate the voice acting and, while a Spanish voice acting track has been promised to players since before launch, it has yet to surface in the game as of yet.

Part of the reason this review has taken so long hasn’t been because I was in a coma myself but rather due to the constant state of flux the game’s script has been in. After launch, feedback was next to unanimous that the script was very weak. The developers took this to heart and removed a lot of the game’s superfluous ramblings. Many of the sarcastic remarks made by the protagonist were also removed, as were some of the faux-philosophical quandaries. Mood and tone were pretty much instantly improved but the differences still aren’t quite enough to remedy the incredibly stale delivery by the lead voice actor. If I’m to be completely honest, I think I’d need him to be replaced as well. But again, opinions differ and it may not be such an issue for you.

Mind: Path to Thalamus straddles a line between the artistic pursuits of games such as Dear Esther while tying its themes to puzzles that require thinking about things a different way, a la Echochrome or Antichamber. It’s a game with big ideas, and a gorgeous art direction, but simply cannot carry itself under the weight of some ever-present negatives. Much like a dream, however, parts are constantly shifting around. The developers are listening to feedback and actually acting upon it. And I hope they achieve the perfect balance to make the game shine, refining the way it speaks about the delicate topics it covers. In some moments, between the bitter sorrow and the picturesque backgrounds, I had small flashes of scenes from What Dreams May Come. That’s quite a feeling to achieve.

Did you enjoy this review? Stop by http://rgz.ca/gaming/mind-path-to-thalamus-review-helplessness-blues/ to check it out and any of my other reviews! Thank you for reading!
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14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 15
I’m torn with this one.

I love first person puzzle games and I love games that explore psychology. People’s minds, their inner torment, dreams, nightmares, thoughts and aspirations. So with that I imagine it’s pretty hard to put something so… deep, I guess? …Into a game, have it make sense and have the visuals live up to the vast imagination and expectation of others. All of which just kind of naturally come with the subject. I was pretty excited to try this because it really seemed from the trailer like they had all aspects, the visuals, the puzzles and the story, down to a tee.

Well First off, the visuals are definitely what they seem. They are absolutely amazing. Although I was pretty gutted that for some reason Steam overlay wasn’t working for me with this game so no screenshots for me! There really is some amazing scenery in this game. I would actually go as far as to say this game is worth trying purely for that. But then again, not all people are as easily amused by how things look as I am.

The puzzle side to things were quite unclear from the trailer (maybe I just wasn’t paying attention) so I was a little unsure on what to expect. But I was actually pleasantly surprised by the mechanics when I played. They’re unique and if anything the mechanics for the puzzles actually enhance the visuals even more. You basically interact with “tumble weed” like balls, place them in various different “hotspots”, I guess, which change your surroundings. Each one doing something different, changing the scene in a particular way, you obviously needing to figure out how to manipulate the level into being able to move onward.

Now here is the iffy part.
A lot of reviews that I read before I started this game definitely mentioned the storyline/voice acting being the main problem. I went into the game not really expecting much because of it and to be honest maybe that is why I wasn’t as disappointed as others seemed to have been.
The voice acting is bearable through the most of it in my opinion, there was only one or two odd scenes which really were cringe-worthy to the point of giggling to myself like “REALLY?” despite it being a very serious and “emotional” scene.
The story on the other hand, to be fair, was a little poorly executed. You can… kiiind of? See what they were trying to do with it but it really could have been done better. The foundations for something great are there, but as it stands it is very “meh”.

Lastly, Achievements!
This game is a pretty easy one to 100%, there were a few I thought were going to be very tedious to try and get but it turns out they weren’t!
Apparently I have a total of 11 hours in this game, but honestly I think quite a lot of that is me standing around in the game hungover trying to solve puzzles (really wasn’t a good idea) and idling seeing as I wondered off a few times after being so stumped over one or two of the puzzles. So if a normal functioning human being wanted to 100% this I’m sure it’d be a lot less.

All in all though, during the playthrough I was very unsure the whole time, I didn’t really know what to think, had these negative reviews rattling around in my head lowering my expectations, but now I have finished it and I kind of sit and reflect a little, I still think this game is worth recommending. The story isn’t great but you can see what they are getting at. It’s not AMAZING, but it’s bearable.


TL;DR : Amazing visuals, iffy but bearable story and unique puzzle mechanics. Despite having a bit of a “I don’t know about this” attitude throughout the whole thing, after finishing it and looking back I would still say it’s worth a try.
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33 of 52 people (63%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 2, 2014
Contrary to popular conception, I don’t revel in criticizing games, at least not ones which clearly tried to do something interesting with their concepts but wound up falling flat. Mind: Path to Thalamus is the sort of game I hate having to review; ambitious, compelling, and filled with beautifully imaginative imagery and a narrative that tries to explore intelligent themes of guilt, parental neglect, and the possibility of an afterlife. It’s a game with great potential that executes itself with an abundant lack of skill and cohesion, that by the end is almost pitiable in how poorly the experience comes together.

Entering a dreamlike world within your own head by way of a tornado induced coma, you inhabit the body (for lack of a better term) of a father drowning in a tidal wave of guilt at the death of his sister (and more recently, daughter), for which he holds himself wholly responsible. His last thread of hope is to make his way to the Tree of Thalamus, a sort of tree of life which is at the heart of this world that in some ways serves as a bridge to heaven, where he will find his sister and beg for her forgiveness.

Simply typing out that synopsis has given me an even more obvious view of how fundamentally flawed the narrative is right from the start. It consistently loses its own plot as it attempts to draw meaning out of its level designs, juxtaposing new emotional hurdles for your character to overcome while never giving any of them time to develop into anything but poorly conjured schlock, existing solely to attempt to impose some greater purpose to the narrative than the mediocre writing ever manages to do. It’s telling that at the end of the game, the developer very nearly acknowledges the absurdity of the plot, though in doing so essentially writes off everything which came before and creates even more issues which ultimately culminate in an ending that seems to have no idea whatsoever what it wants to say, wrapping itself up hastily and clumsily before it can cause further harm.

I appreciate that Mind attempts to tell a story that wishes to touch upon lesser explored themes than we often see in games, but to do so requires a great deal of forethought and an author capable of crafting something meaningful which is simply not present here. Mind drowns itself in self pity and heavy handed theology, leaving an abundance of plot holes along the way as the lone voice actor reads off a poorly worded script with a consistently over the top or lack of inflection that is little more than an embarrassment.

The pacing also suffers do to convoluted and tedious nature of the game’s puzzles, which involves placing strange tumbleweed like balls within certain areas in order to change some aspect of the level, be it making day turn to night illuminating portals or causing crumbled pieces of the environment reappear. Its mechanics are never explained nor even highlighted in such a way as to make them apparent through their effects, leaving the player to meander about levels until they may stumble into the right area and realize the subsequent result.

These areas are often hidden or placed out of the way, with the camera often being positioned in such a way as to lead you off in the wrong direction, as if the developer wanted to make them as hard to find as possible. The solutions are typically simplistic in nature, but because of the complete lack of a prior explanation of how the game’s systems work, it can be incredibly tedious to solve them. I never felt accomplished by discovering how to do so, instead a feeling much closer to relief that I could finally move on.

They also serve to disrupt the otherwise gorgeous art design of the environment, inserting stagnant architecture that is used to provide consistency for the puzzles, but often feels out of place positioned on the changing landscapes you travel between over the course of the game. In such a visually imaginative world, having these moments when parts of it clash stands out even more aggressively and greatly weakens what is easily the most well crafted element of the game.

The opening of Mind is without a doubt its strongest moment. It relates a possibility of something incredible, an excellently executed scene of a tsunami emerging out of the sea, destroying the countryside in a terrific display of destruction and chaos as our character frantically searches for his daughter. It gives the impression of lofty ambition and great promise, but only the former ever showcases again, more often than not to illustrate the danger of biting off more than you can chew.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
I really wanted to like this game. It's so pretty. And it seemed like such a good concept. But I can't get over the fact that I hate the puzzles. I really hate the puzzles. They just keep getting more vague, and I haven't enjoyed one yet. Playing this game feels like trying to read a book with speedbumps. If it had a "Dear Ester" mode that just autosolved the puzzles as you explore, I might love this game. But as is, I just can't say that I think it's pleasant.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 22, 2014
Mind: Path to Thalamus immediately strikes you with its beauty and unique style, with the added substance of game-play; often lacking in the more “intellectual” “walking-simulator” type games. The dissociative narrative also serves the purpose of this general image, whereby you quickly get grabbed by the intimacy and self-awareness of the story which is also something you rarely come by in games. There is a heartfelt feeling to the game, and the guilt-ridden, grief-struck man we play as is a fairly easy one to relate, in this (his) pandemonium of emotive manifestations. As we traverse the neural pathways, ganglia, creating new paths: new associative links of lost memories, trying to make sense of the traumas, or to yet again connect with the traumas of our past. Exploring happily, in hope of absolving the implied sin, in hope of atonement and enlightenment, we trod along in this maddeningly wonderful world of explicit and poignant beauty.

The puzzle design is in itself rather brilliant, apart from my success in “cheating” by my exhaustive attempts at jumping past, over and across different platforms which did not seem to be the correct way of doing things.
The gradual introduction of mechanics in different forms, which all – despite the narratives self-hatred and degradation – I considered to be excellent, and surprisingly not too jarring to a world that could suffer severely by the hand of clumsy or all too “game-like” mechanics. As you walk across these shattered memories – and in some situations – traverse that which used to be, or crawl around in the organically ribbed (from centuries of successive rivulets of water) cavernous holes, intestinal and damp; slimy – or flow through between the enormously beautiful skybox, implemented to perfection, and its reflection, on the ocean beneath – or the forests that change color from gleeful green to autumn's golden glow – you can't help to feel a sense of joy, to be in this world, experiencing it: first-hand.

The game in a sense, pertaining to level design and set-design, symbolize the disintegration of body and mind, which pertains to the vicissitude of the edifice of both mind and matter – memory and structure, network –, especially so with a contusion on the brain, and in how we perceive matter with this contusion; or perhaps not experience at all outside of our mind, such as with being comatose.
What is might not be, but what we grab is tangible, and that is what we work with. . . that is what we have to work with. Any dubious thought, skepticism, will serve to progress us if what was once tangible – or perceived to be as such – turns out not to be. Only the shame and disdain one may feel towards oneself, may not be the progression we were looking for.
Some puzzles seemed to be shining lights on a mosaic memory, lighting neural pathways with a mirror: a reflection, of the past or speculative pathfinding.

The game switches on you towards the end, and the player, thinking about the symbolic situations and models sprinkled throughout the game, get their speculations happily denounced in thinking any real purpose or profoundness could be found in this game, sounding like a developer gone mad, even thinking it was all an obvious, not-so-creative attempt at clever metaphors. Perhaps I didn't see the pretense in the game, that would warrant such a reaction, but with insecurity comes an aberrative self-awareness, and in the case of this game, it slightly lessened the impact of quiet reflection, that it, before this point, had on me.

Mind: Path to Thalamus. . . is pretty neat.


*Apparently pretension was deliberate, which makes a lot of sense narrative-wise, and I now have egg on my face, I'll leave this abomination up for the sake of shameful regret.
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
where do I begin...... this is a very strange but intriging game. Very clever puzzles. The scenery is awesome. Have not finished the game yet. It keeps drawing me back to play wanting to know what is going to happen and what clever puzzle I will have next.
I highly recommend this game. It is very fun to play.
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
For games like this I am waiting for. It's not a Dear Esther, It's not an Anna, Its a new kind of riddles. Got this game for 4.64 greens in Humble Bundle and what I must to say is this is the best and most interesting game in 2014 year. That's for sure. Must have if you like to think and travel and getting more and more. For all Dear Esther and Anna fans.
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11 of 15 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
Some deep ♥♥♥♥. I might have cried, which is not good becasue then I can't see the beautiful envoriment in the game.

10/10
Would cry again.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2014
I absolutely loved this game for its stunning visuals and (seemingly controversially) for its story. The aesthetics of Mind are glorious to the extreme, few games have had me so captivated merely by how they look, but Mind managed it on numerous occassions. Although this can be seen from the screenshots and videos, something which can less easily be brought across in such mediums is the story.

Avoiding specifics regarding the story, the way in which the story is presented within the world, and the way in which game mechanics are narratively presented; are near perfect. Whether intentionally or unintentionally (I suspect the former), every element fits neatly inside a cohesive landscape which allows for, and stands up to, analysis of the pretentious sort: If you are prone to such things, I cannot reccomend this game more highly. Even simple positioning and landscape backdrop has been considered thoroughly to give a clear sense of where one is in the world, and assure a sense of progression, as well as maintaining a goal in clear view.

Mind is not a tremendously lengthy game, but I found the length to be entirely appropriate, clearly however, if under five hours of play time (making allowances for puzzle solving,) is not enough, then obviously that must be taken into consideration but I would not consider any of that time spent as 'padding'.

I have not yet mentioned game mechanics yet much, not because they are inconsequential or substandard, but because they were not what shone through in my experience of the game. Make no mistake, this is an experience that could not have been provided sufficiently by any other medium. But my enjoyment of Mind came overwhelmingly from the destination, and the journey, not the means of travel, but as previously stated the puzzles themselves did not feel contrived.

If you are interested in games that ask for some level of analysis, or if you want a game that uses every element to help reinforce a core message, then absolutely buy this game.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
The game is pretty basic and easy to figure out, just move forward and solve simple puzzles to continue. Can get tedious and wrote but the amazing visuals and atmosphere will keep you interested until the end. Voice acting could use some work and there are several bugs with achievements. Overall I enjoyed the experience, the game could stand to be more polished, but I would recommend it if your looking to kill a few hours cheaply.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Quite interesting game with lot of logical puzzles. It's not a copy of Portal nor Antichamber but if you liked them, you will probably like that one too. At least I did!
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16 of 26 people (62%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
Walk Simulator 2014
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
My experience playing this game was only after the revised narration was implemented, because of this I have no comparison of the monologue nightmare that some speak of before the changes.

The latest version of this game was absolutely stunning to play. Its presentation reminded me of the Myst series, however instead of a journey through a book it's a journey through the mind. The puzzles rely on some basic rules in order to open gateways to the next state of mind. Some parts are more beautiful and relaxed while others are chaotic and jumbled.

Puzzle solving relies mostly on using these neuron-looking spheres which, if placed in the right locations, can alter the state of the environment and/or time. Changing states in each world is how you bend the rules of each obstacle to complete the puzzles.

I definitely recommend this if you enjoy puzzle games, or even games that focus heavily on atmosphere and story.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 15
It is pretty! And it makes me feel stupid. I will stop for now because I'm not in the mood for puzzles and the very annoying monologes, but mostly because I wanna save that one for the Oculus!

If you are like me and enjoy interactive experiences like Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Gone Home, Dear Esther and such, go and get it.

I rate this game F12 instead of F5/F9!!
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
This is a beautfull looking first person adventure puzzler.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXDW2m9BMEo
It's probably one of the best looking games of this genre I have seen this year. The puzzles are unique and very clever and the sense of mystery draws you in even deeper. - This game deserves your attention!
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 17
Path to Thalamus was okay. It really feels like it was made by a college student who was trying way too hard to be deep and poetic, but the visuals were beautiful. The puzzles themselves were challenging, but often felt like part of the puzzle was finding all the pieces. Imagine if you had to solve a jigsaw puzzle but one of the pieces was hidden somewhere else in the room.
Another issue that I kept running into was that I couldn't tell that things were puzzle mechanics until after I had solved puzzles using them at least twice.
For all that said the game was still enjoyable and I played it all the way through to the end. The visuals and uniqueness of the mechanics make up for the rest of the game's shortcomings.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
TLDR:
-Novel puzzles
-Gorgeous scenery
-Weak story
-Puzzle mechanics are poorly explained

Very pretty, with some fairly clever puzzles. However, it probably leaves a bit too much to trial and error. The story is fairly original, but ultimately fell flat for me.

It concerns a man who lost his daughter in a tsunami, who has since fallen into a coma. He's trying to find his daughter in his own mind, and escape from his mental state by solving abstract puzzles in the (really quite beautiful) landscapes of his unconcious. Interesting premise, however it's delivered entirely through poorly acted voiceover. The game doesn't really explain much about the protagonist or his daughter (at least in the first half of the game, I didn't finish it), so we don't really have an incentive to care all that much about either of them. So that really leaves the gameplay as the main drawcard.

There are some strong ideas when it comes to puzzles, however much of it fell flat due to the trial and error required to understand the basic mechanics. I'll explain them, if you don't mind being mildly spoiled on the mechanics. Essentially, there are areas on the ground that, when stood in, affect the level in various ways. Patches of white flowers will change the level to night, which opens various portals around the area, and makes balls of light become visible. Stone circles will bring on the rain, which raises certain wooden platforms. Tree arches/circles will make the level foggy, but remove spherical barriers blocking paths. These effects only apply while you're standing in the zones, so you'll need to place balls you find into them to change the states and solve the puzzles. This also means that if you enter an area and it's already dark, you know there's a ball in a flower patch somewhere. Once you've figured this out, the puzzle system becomes quite rewarding. But the trial and error required to get to that point can be irritating.

Ultimately, I gave up on playing about halfway through because I wasn't having much fun with the puzzles, and the story wasn't compelling enough for me to continue. There's definitely promise here though, and I'll be keeping an eye on future projects from this developer.
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