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.