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 (146 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 5, 2014

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Recent updates View all (4)

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!

Changelog:
  • 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

Regards,
MIND: Path to Thalamus Team

Reddit Thread

Website

11 comments Read more

August 5

MIND: Path to Thalamus Releases Today with a Launch Trailer

MIND: Path to Thalamus, an indie project developed by Carlos Coronado, sees the light of day today, August 5th, alongside a launch trailer focused on the gameplay and narrative features.

MIND: Path to Thalamus is priced at 13€ on Steam, available today on PC and eventually on Mac. It will soon be on DRM-free platforms such as GOG and Humble Bundle, thanks to SurpriseAttack. Later on it will be released with Oculus support and, if it all goes well, on consoles. MIND features more than 30 puzzles and 6 interactive environmental tools to solve them, such as turning day into night, covering the world in fog, summoning storms and traveling to the past. In the end, you will face down enemies by using everything you have learnt along the way. Interwoven into the gameplay itself, the story tells you about a father broken down by his mistakes, as written by Luka Nieto and performed by Greg Nugent. Additional coding was executed by Jose Ladislao.

MIND will release with additional features and bugfixes since the review copies were sent out. Predominantly, MIND will feature VSync to avoid reported ocurrances of screen tearing.

1 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
10 of 10 people (100%) 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.

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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
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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1 of 1 people (100%) 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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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
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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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Trendy! and Artful.
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4 of 7 people (57%) 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.

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 ♥♥♥♥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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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 9
Incredibly hard, but so satisfying at the end. Seeing as I've barely started it, this may not be accurate, but from my gameplay so far, 9/10.
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1 of 4 people (25%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
Beautiful.
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
"A MIND-♥♥♥♥♥♥!!!"
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
everything seems to be good but my mind can handle this....too much for me.......i feels dizzy....

skip.........................
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1 of 9 people (11%) found this review helpful
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Mind: Path to Thalamus has incredible visuals presenting deep mind of man who feel guilty, lost his daughter by his fault. And yes this game is one of trendy games which try to express ‘art of dreams and phantasms’. But I fill this game is not a good game. There are few clues to make progress, and I can’t find connections between puzzles and game’s theme. It’s hard to understand puzzles on this game cause puzzle has no the context with the story. So if you want to feel some trendy visuals, buy it. But I can’t say this game offers deep gaming experience.
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1 of 24 people (4%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
No tutorial in the beginning. no cloue as to where to go and what to do
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5.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
Highly recommend this game. Great music and fun yet not too difficult puzzles.
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4.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
Awesome, really liked it and hope that there is more where this come from. :)
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3.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
A great first person puzzle game, inspired on Myst. Nice story, awesome environment and graphics.
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5.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
This game will take you on a journey you'll never forget.
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79 of 95 people (83%) 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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47 of 62 people (76%) 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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44 of 59 people (75%) 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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31 of 39 people (79%) 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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