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 (222 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."

Recent updates View all (5)

December 11

The enhanced Mind update FINALLY

Here it is at last, the promised update! Reworked script and environments, controller and Big Picture support, settings improvements, more music, and lots of other changes. True, the update was promised for September, but it just got delayed and everything didn't come together until yesterday.

In the gameplay area, the most importer change is this one: the balls won’t be annoying anymore while you carry them. They become smaller and appear in the bottom of the screen.

The narrator

Now, the script. The narrator's voice is much less intrusive throughout the adventure and we have streamlined everything he says so that every last word is relevant; the fluff is gone, as is the overly complicated language that came off as pretentious. That said, the ending remains the same; the message or the point of the story has not been compromised. In fact, the streamlined script makes the meaning of the story much clearer.

Structurally, the narrator now only speaks at the beginning of most levels, before your mind is occupied with puzzles, or when you as the player approach certain parts of the environment, which have been reworked to visually tell a story which the script compliments.

Indeed, you read that right: new narrative layers have been crafted into the environments, something that was sorely lacking at release. Also, certain parts of some levels have been completely redesigned. Those with no great changes still have new details for those players who are particularly interested in the story. Meanwhile, if you only wish to solve puzzles or look at the environment, you are now free to do so. Also, as it has become obvious that many of you play for the sake of sight-seeing and taking pictures, all levels will now be unlocked since the beginning. You know that damn puzzle you can't crack? Well, if what you want is to take a good look at, for example, the Zen garden at the end of the game, now you can simply go there!

Big Picture & Utra HD

You wanted more control and you will certainly have it. The game is now controller-supported so you will be able to enjoy MIND in the living room, with Steam’s Big Picture. Of course, there is now an option to configure the vertical axis, and there is support for 4K resolutions . Now you will be able to see every grain of salt at the shallow sea. Literally.

Settings improvements

There are more enhancements coming along with this update. You will be able to set the level of grain and vignetting, including disabling them completely , which is perfect for taking photographs at crazy resolutions.

Achievements, bugs and exploits

Achievements have been fixed —now each and every one of them works. Also, most of the bugs have been put to rest. Why “most”? Two of them have been deliberately left alone, as they are used by speedrunners to quickly (and quite creatively) advance through the game. If you want to know who was the first MIND speedrunner , you can follow their steps and you will find their name!


Generally, this is it. But there is still some more MIND to come. In the near future, there will be translations to new languages and a Mac version. Then, Oculus support. And much later, you may yet find new surprises if you stick around. Did someone say “MIND photography contest”?


- Reworked and rerecorded the entire script
- Environmental narrative now present in almost each level
- Music added to certain key areas
- Mysterious something appearing somewhere now  (shhh do not spoil anything!)

Environment improvements
- Added new models and textures.
- Reworked the entire level flow after leaving the old house.

Configuration Improvements

- Added support for xbox controller and any other kind of pc gamepad.
- Added the Big Picture feature.
- Added parameters to control Vignette, Grain and Y axis.
- Added support for ULTRA HD resolutions (4k).
- Unlocked all chapters from the beginning

Bugs erased:

- Zen Moment achievement
- Collision problems at the beginning of chapter 4
- Reespawn event glitching the game at flying rocks
- Audio non stopping at the final boss
- Sounds improved at the beach level
- Collision problems at the cave
- Cave achievement now working properly
- Grass now doesn’t spawn near the player
- 17 minor collision bugs
- Ball now doesn’t glitch anymore at the hospital level

Our warmest regards from the TEAM!

16 comments Read more

August 14

Reworked script, new content and bug fixes

Hi players,

We have received some great feedback for the game on its first week of release. Some of the technical aspects will be fixed on the coming weeks, but something we have heard loud and clear is that the voice acting and the script are too intrusive, repetitive, and pretentious. Basically: we hear ya.

The scriptwriter for MIND, Luka Nieto, has a few words for the community:

"When I wrote the script, I did it around a game that was already essentially done. Of course, the story had already been thought up during development, and the design of the game reflects it, but how much of the story would be explicit was still on the air. When I got the job, we decided to design the storytelling with a simple premise: you would get a snippet of the story each time you solve a puzzle. We were so much inside the box of development that we couldn't see it, but we got too carried away with that premise and resorted to way too much padding, repetition and off-the-point philosophical disgressions. All I can say is our intentions were good; we knew it was filler, in a way, but it was meant to accompany you while walking. Also, the pretentious text does tried to pay off in the end —I won't spoil the ending, but the early levels in particular were certainly supposed to sound annoyingly pretentious. Obviously, we went way too far. Essentially, the feedback is clear: neither the filler nor the disgressions worked as intended.

We aren't changing our vision of the game, but we are adjusting the script so that our vision of the story is clearer and also so that it's less intrusive to the gaming experience. Right now, you'll get an update that cut outs pretty much all the filler, the repetition and the unnecessary disgressions. But soon, in September, you'll get another update with a re-structured script and lots of redone voice work, which will have a more appropriate tone and register. Both I and Greg Nugent, the voice actor, are really, really eager to work on all of this. Although we already have plenty of ideas on how to improve the script, we would love to get direct feedback from our players, so we have created a Reddit thread in which you can voice your own specific concerns. As long as you are constructive, we accept any kind of criticism, however harsh. We really do want to improve the game.

We hope today's update and the more thorough update next month will greatly improve your experience of MIND: Path to Thalamus. As I am not the man who designed it, I can say that it is a beautifully designed game, both visually and in terms of the puzzles. The story was meant to support it, not detract from it, and we hope that that will be the case soon."

Also, with this update we will bring in new content from Dani Navarro. Check out those amazing new new skies!

  • Fixed a bug that didn't let the player get an achievement the first time they discover the rain

  • Added two new portals in the first part of the cave, so you will walk less in that puzzle

  • Added new textures made by Dani Navarro

  • Fixed some issues with the subtitles

  • Fixed 6 bugs related to optimization issues

MIND: Path to Thalamus Team

Reddit Thread


14 comments Read more


“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.


  • 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

    • 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
    • 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
87 of 106 people (82%) found this review helpful
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
Path to Thalamus, hum. Here's a tricky one. I don't wish to spoiler the story beyond giving you the intro, because the story is well told (I'm about one third to one half way through at the point of writing by my estimate), and the VA is well produced. The graphics, save one or two low res textures are uniformly exceptional, in a few places you can practically hit "screenshot" and you've got yourself a 1920x1080 wallpaper, yes, they're that good. The mechanics are creative as well, I am a great fan of games that eschew combat in favour of exploratory solutions, and I feel that games as a medium to tell stories, particularly the story that's told here, are finally now coming of age. But it's not a game I can recommend without a couple of caveats, it's not going to appeal to all and sundry, to those who have looked at the store page and who think this is a game that might appeal to them, read on. To those who are expecting the next dudebro shooter, move along please, that's not what you'll be getting here.

So, to the meat of it - Mind: Path of Thalamus places you inside the head of someone who is currently in a coma, a man, a father, one who is buried deep in regret at the loss of his daughter (this is told in a very, very well played out intro scene which alludes to, but does not show the precise nature of it). Over time you'll learn this mans history, what drove him, what led him into the position that he's in, and now, deep in his unconsciousness, his path to redemption, the "Thalamus", represented by a great tree.

The depiction of the mind and the subconscious in this case is very, very well thought out, everything takes on a logical significance without descending too heavily into cliche (though occasionally the VA does make a point of lampshading the obvious dream and story cues), and the graphical fidelity means you get a very good sense of atmosphere. There's a pervading loneliness that is reminiscent of games like Gone Home and Dear Esther, but even moreso because you're trapped in your own mind with only your own voice to self narrate. If you've the machine and the graphics card for it, the game will reward you with some stunning landscapes and a visual atmosphere that is well worth the time invested.

Sound quality too, whilst it's not quite in the leagues of ambience as games such as Don't Starve or the seminal Endless Space, maintains a consistently high quality, and again, remains a good plus, the voice acting is decent, if not good most of the time, though once or twice when he lampshades the dream cues you will be thinking to yourself "Thank you Captain Obvious".

Gameplay revolves around exploration, which is handled very cleanly and with the visual landscapes, is a pleasure, and the puzzle design, and here's where I have to issue the caveat. The puzzle design at the point of writing is a little uneven, some of them are very well paced, and despite being tricky little beasts, once solved, give you that feeling of satisfaction that comes with beating a well crafted challenge. Others... just have you running around doing a lot of legwork, and that's partly a problem in the core design of how the puzzles function, which annoyingly seems to be a case of placing objects in areas to manipulate the environment appropriately. The well designed puzzles keep the object movement relatively short, but clever, whereas the ones involving legwork (there's a cave level which is a particularly horrid early example) just makes you think "there may have been a better way to do this". I'm unsure on this point, but the busywork does take the sheen off of what otherwise has been an excellent experience.

By now you will probably have a feeling if you know whether this will be a game that appeals to you or not, it's an exploratory game in the same sense Dear Esther and Gone Home was, and I feel the medium can only benefit from games like this, the puzzle design or perhaps the core mechanic of the objects should have been handled more elegantly, and some of the puzzles carry a risk of you ending up going around in circles, but to those willing to persist, and to those who enjoyed the experiences Dear Esther and Gone Home offered, this is a worthy follow up to those kinds of games.
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50 of 68 people (74%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 4
Even though this game is advertised as primarily a first person puzzler, what really impressed me was the atmosphere generated. A stunning looking game, with an intriguing story and engaging puzzles. I did have some screen tearing issues with the version I got to play but I've been assured these have been addressed in the finished version. Overall it's a fun little puzzle game with fantastic immersion and environments.

If you'd like to know more you can watch our full review here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNo8LpMFSmY
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48 of 66 people (73%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 4
The game is absolutely gorgeous, with great graphics and amazing art style that's awe inspiring, Great narration with clever use of book author references, and a great story story that talks about a mans troubled life of a tragic event. Nice puzzles to solve that utilizes it's great visual art style in an amazing way.

If you like Dear Esther, Gone Home, Dream, Myst (the new one), or Stanley Parable (with only one ending) and you like what you see then you will love this game as i did. The asking price is well worth what you will get/experience in the game.

Also, Mind: Path To Thalamus is another game, if not the best one, that you can call 'Art'.

More info here
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33 of 44 people (75%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
Mind: Path to Thalamus is one of the most inspirational game I have ever played.
Those majestic landscape who may have no sense at first, but is yet majestic and simple.
When playing this game, it's like I'm dreaming.
Also, the soundtrack complete the "final touch", it gives me chills.

I recommend this game to everyone.
So calm, yet so complicated.

This review is not very professional as english isn't my first language.
(P.S. I would love it, if it was possible to buy an album of the soundtracks of Mind: Path to Thalamus)
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37 of 51 people (73%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
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.


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 ♥♥♥♥ty 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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20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
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.

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.

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.

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.

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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23 of 28 people (82%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
This game was mindblowing. It's not a long game, nor is it particularly difficult, but by god it is gorgeous and stunning. Not only visually, but in game design as well.
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27 of 37 people (73%) found this review helpful
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
The game is stunning and puzzles are designed well to teach you mechanics while gradually ramping up the difficulty. The scale of environments and the various effects in-play are used wonderfully. However, the voicework and writing is, in my opinion, terrible and detracts much from the game. The writing switches from self referencial to philosophical, quoting scripture to exposition and even at times comedic. All-in-all it did not fit with the rest of the game for me.
It would have been much more interresting to have to piece some of the story together yourself through the interaction with the world, yet not much except the first level even give a hint of why anything is happening.
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13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
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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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
For the price, this is an outstanding game. Most notably are the visuals which are astonishing. The skybox, the caves, other spoiler places, amazing. The puzzles are challenging, but not to the point where you will get frustrated. Normally one or two passes is all you'll need to figure something out.
That being said, there is a downside which lowered the entertainment and immersion of the game for me, and that is the walking speed. It is so freaking slow and you have to walk many of the fields two or three times over (some more). I basically held the forward key nonstop for 3 hours.
All in all, absolutely recommend if you have a few dollars. It's short and there isn't any replay value, but it's worth it.
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
One of the best indie games i've played this year, it's an absolute must for any fans of indie, adventure or puzzle games. The game looks amazing and the music suits the dark yet colourful world that the protagonist traverses. I've heard people criticise the narration of the game, but I really can't complain as i found the story very ingaging and it kept me wondering what was going to happen next. The games biggest downside, like many indie games like it is probably it's length. Don't expect to get a full 8-10 hour experience out of it like you might with a AAA title, but the 4-5 hours you do get will be incredibly unforgettable. There are also some not story related achievements to go back for and a chance to speed run through some of those tantalisingly difficult puzzles.
Overall, Mind: Path to Thalamus is a great gaming experience, with great game mechanics, superb graphics and an engaging story to keep you occupied for hours.

For more information and gameplay footage, check out my walkthrough here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSWSoZhEIGw&list=UUI6wSDrFxD8RSk96qFp3oMA
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33 of 53 people (62%) found this review helpful
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 8
Mind: Path to Thalamus is an artistic first-person puzzle/exploratory game, blending ideas from games like Myst and Dear Esther. Based on its influences, I'd be inclined to like 'Mind: Path to Thalamus,' but I found myself disappointed by the game.

The visuals and aesthetics are outstanding, and are easily the highlight of the game. There are fantastic uses of color and atmospheric effects to create beautiful, evocative scenes. Even the skyboxes are amazing. Music is used sparingly, but it fits the mood well. If anything, I'd have much preferred to hear more of a soundtrack.

Puzzles in the game work by changing part of the environment, including rebuilding ruined structures to triggering a beautiful night effect that looks absolutely gorgeous. The 'fog' option is the only one I did not like. It rarely makes the puzzle more interesting, but instead makes it a chore to navigate the environment. Generally speaking, the puzzles were fine, though nothing outstanding. Pretty easy, but a few brain teasers here and there. The main method of intereacting with the different elements usually involves walking over a certain area or placing a special ball inside of it. Given the distances that often must be traveled, it often felt tedious, and the hands-off method of interaction took away some of the satisfaction of puzzle solving.

The main problem the game faces is its writing and voice acting. I feel a little bad criticizing this aspect, since it is clearly an earnest attempt to elevate the game as an artistic statement. To be clear, the writing is cohesive and competent, but it's misdirected in several ways. First, the protagonist's backstory comes off as increasingly fanciful, to the point where I found myself rolling my eyes whenever it was referenced. Considering that the main game is awash in fantastical and unreal imagery, having some element of the story be grounded would have helped. As it was, I struggled to get behind the incredibly unlucky disasters that befell the protagonist.

Second, the writing becomes increasingly self-referential and tries to subvert narrative tropes. It's a big risk whenever a stroy does that, and it didn't pay off. In fact, it completely turned me off of the story.

Third, the way the main character is personified relies on him 'telling' us how he feels and what he knows, not 'showing.' At one point, the text almost directly states: "and this is what happened next." I didn't care for this approach. It gives too much away and made it more difficult to empathize with the protagonist.

The game's short length is another issue (much of my play time was spent idling). I feel that a longer play time may have allowed the game to sink its teeth into me. I more subtle story telling technique may have also deepened my appreciation for the game.

Overall, I was disappointed by Mind: Path to Thalamus. It's not a bad game, not by any stretch, but it falls short creating a memorable story or puzzle experience, and in the absence of anything that truly stuck with me, I can't recommend the game. Yet I feel I must reiterate that there's nothing cheap or lazy about the game, esepcially its aesthetics. I'd suggest readers of this review consider Ether One, a game that I think does a superior job in world building, restrained storytelling, and organic puzzle solving.
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14 of 18 people (78%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
Ambient and beautiful would be the two words I would use to describe this game. I was disappointed to find that it isn't very puzzling, however, as it lacked a certain "Myst" dynamic. The screenshots and videos show exactly how the game looks and plays.

I was hoping for more of a puzzle, but it ended up being more of an exploration of art than anythine else. I enjoy the different levels, but could use less ball play and more symbolic brain teaser type action.

I still give this a recommendation because it has been made well for what it is.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 11
Where should I even start with this game. So many things to say, yet so hard to decide on where to begin.

Story/Plot: Mind: Path to Thalamus is a game in which you explore a world that revolves around the mind of a father who reflects on his past.

Gameplay: The game has various puzzles that start off simple and increase in difficulty, but never become so hard that they are near impossible. Nearly all of the puzzles, are based off using a ball to cause create certain effects, such as accelerate time, or shift time-of-day, etc. The places that you go to, are very open although there are boundaries to keep you from getting too far off track. Being this open, you get to enjoy the visuals of the game, along with explore and find ways of solving various puzzles.

Graphics/visuals: I do not feel that I need to say anything here because just looking at the screenshots, and the trailer, should give you more than enough proof that the game is eye-candy and looks beautiful. Now, the graphic controls are few and limited, but the amount of optimization in the game, is shocking. Games like this when I max out, are usually smooth but have rough spots or hiccups every now and then, but even with max settings and vsync, I had liquid smooth performance with absolutely no lag at all. In short, you can most likely play this game, with an older computer.

Sound/music: Music, was fitting and relaxing. Sound effects were fine, although some things could have had more effects like walking on water or sand. The narrator's voice is fine IMO, but certain lines felt really forced, but aside from that, he did fine.

Enjoyment: I love these type of games that explore the mind and make a game that represent abstract things, so it was a blast.

Other: No cards and no word if there will. There are many things they could use as cards, backgrounds, and emoticons, but who knows. maybe in the future they will make some.

Any questions? Just ask and I'll help the best that I can.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
MIND is pretty short all things considered, and most of the puzzles along the way are pretty straight forward until the last 2 chapters, and has a few odd collision and geometry issues, but none of that matters. What matters is the interesting story of redemption of a man longing for forgiveness for letting his sister die in a disaster. Story is simply well done, and all comes together in a brilliant last 20 minutes when the entire game is turned on it's head and borders on breaking the fourth wall.

In those last 20 minutes, I went from merely enjoying the game, to absolutely loving what MIND has done here.
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10 of 12 people (83%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 8
"MIND: Path to Thalamus", is an exotic visual display akin to Surrealists such as Magritte and Dali at times. The narrative could have been accomplished even more effectively without a voice actor, but all in all the puzzling and art alone makes it a worthwhile purchase and play.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
It's as gorgeous as the trailer implies and thus far it seems to be well-paced and pretty fun (though I seem to suck at some of the puzzles and get just a little bit stuck sometimes). As some others have suggested, the game's main issue is that it has a lot of narration and the voice acting is pretty mediocre, ranging from pretty alright in a few places to "that wizard came from the moon"-terrible in others. Still, an intriguing game, mostly recommendable thus far.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
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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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
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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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
Mind Can be a beutifully stunning game graphically while also being very annoying. If you enjoyed the challenge of portal 2 then you'll find this game enjoyable as the developer built the difficulty around Mind based on P2. The puzzles themselves aren't that difficult, its just the repetition of walking around the same spots back and forth that gets tedious. There really needs to be a run button at walking back and forth just gets downright boring after a few minutes of walking through the same hallway because you didn't figure out the puzzle the first time. All in all, this game may be worth the money if you can get it on sale. I wouldn't reccomend this for 15 bucks as it only has about 4 hours of play time depending on how long you take to figure out each level's puzzles.

The graphics are simply stunning. I've taken around 25 shots of this game while playing it and they all looked marvelous. Some textures here and there are questionable though such as small rock surfaces, but most of the game has incredible graphics that shouldn't tax your computer unless its like 5-6 years old.
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