The Beginner's Guide is a narrative video game from Davey Wreden, the creator of The Stanley Parable. It lasts about an hour and a half and has no traditional mechanics, no goals or objectives. Instead, it tells the story of a person struggling to deal with something they do not understand.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (881 reviews) - 89% of the 881 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (8,913 reviews) - 86% of the 8,913 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 1, 2015

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Packages that include this game

Buy The Beginner's Guide + Soundtrack

Includes 2 items: The Beginner's Guide, The Beginner's Guide Soundtrack

 

Reviews

“The Beginner's Guide is one of the most daring and creative commercial games to come out in a good long while...a masterclass in character-driven storytelling.”
Eurogamer

“Few game developers have ever ventured such an open-hearted project about human frailty – and knocked it out of orbit.”
The Washington Post

“I've been thinking about this game a lot for the past 36 hours. It demanded I think about it, at first only superficially, but later more substantively. I mulled over a lot of questions when I should have been sleeping. I continued thinking right when I woke up. I think I dreamed about it in between.”
Destructoid

About This Game

The Beginner's Guide is a narrative video game from Davey Wreden, the creator of The Stanley Parable. It lasts about an hour and a half and has no traditional mechanics, no goals or objectives. Instead, it tells the story of a person struggling to deal with something they do not understand.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows Vista/7/8/8.1/10
    • Processor: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 (or higher) or AMD64X2 (or higher)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Video card must be 128 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 2.0b (ATI Radeon X800 or higher / NVIDIA GeForce 7600 or higher / Intel HD Graphics 2000 or higher - *NOT* an Intel Express graphics card).
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.8 or higher required
    • Processor: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 (or higher) or AMD64X2 (or higher)
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04
    • Processor: Dual core from Intel or AMD at 2.8 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT, ATI/AMD Radeon HD2600/3600 (Graphic Drivers: nVidia 310, AMD 12.11), OpenGL 2.1
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (881 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (8,913 reviews)
Recently Posted
ThisIsTheLongestNameTheyGaveMe
0.5 hrs
Posted: August 27
I don't understand all the raving reviews.. I was expecting another stanley parable type game. This, this is a walking smulator. Sure, there's a story, but this is not a game, and I was not inspired or amused.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
ZettaX
2.2 hrs
Posted: August 27
Just be strong.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Spaulding
1.6 hrs
Posted: August 27
It's hard to say anything about The Beginner's Guide without spoiling it. Possible cons are the length, ~90 minutes, and that it's of the 'walking simulator' or 'virtual installation' genre. However, the experience, at least for me, was so absoloutely incredible that it shows us what that genre can accomplish in amazing ways.
I got this game included in a Humble Bundle, but now I'm looking for a friend who might like it so I can buy it and give it to them just so we can talk about it.
If you have any interest at all in this genre, give The Beginner's Guide a go.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kill Joy
2.6 hrs
Posted: August 27
Playing it the first time, the ending kinda hurt. The second time, I was angry, frsutrated, saddened, empathetic...

Davey, I understand how you're feeling because of this game.
I don't even understand how I feel.
It's okay to be depressed.
You have to be, there's no other way I could connect with it so much, right...?
Making this game was a step in the right direction, but you need to connect with people more.
Where did I go wrong...am I writing this review of someone else's work just for likes, just for validation?
Everything has a solution.
The answer isn't finding myself in other people, then projecting myself onto them...
Thank you for showing us how you're feeling through this game.
I think I need to go. I'm starting to feel like I have a lot of work to do.
Thank you for this insight into your mind, please make more games, I really get a lot out of them.
And so I'm...just going to...okay.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
PANDOR
1.5 hrs
Posted: August 27
a nice expirience and one of the most deep games i ve played in a long long time. thank you for this great project. (sry for my bad english)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Deadly Fred
1.4 hrs
Posted: August 27
Good ♥♥♥♥
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Three Doge
1.6 hrs
Posted: August 27
The Beginner's Guide is less a game and more an interactive documentary. You play through the unique but seemingly unfinished games that someone has created, as an acquaintance of the creator walks you through their perception of the mindset of the creator during those periods. This is an introspective story that pulls you in right from the beginning and doesn't let go. The message is relatable, the environments are immersive, and the voice acting is perfect. I felt a really surprising range of emotions throughout this, and I'm sure that a lot of you out there will be able to experience those too.

I played through in 90 minutes from beginning to end, and paid $1 for it as a part of the most recent humble bundle. It was easily worth the money. This obviously isn't something you're going to be playing every day (as a linear story with one ending) but I can definitely see myself coming back to this game in the future to experience this again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Captain Wombat
1.3 hrs
Posted: August 27
There's nothing I can say about this game other than to just play it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
The Count of Malachor V
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 27
I liked the Stanley Parable. I don't like this game.

For a story to work, it needs to have layers. It needs surface level text interwoven with complex themes and ideas. The Beginner's Guide only has subtext, without any actual main story. At least the Stanley Parable told a surface level story while still asking deep questions.

Comes off as pretentious. 2/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CompuRanger
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 27
Amazine experience that wonderfully mirrors the experience of depression and co-dependency.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
159 of 170 people (94%) found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Holy crap.
I was not ready for this.

I got this game as part of a Humble Bundle, so I didn't pay full price.

I didn't know anything about it.

I just started it.

I have never experienced something similar.
It feels like being with a good friend who is showing you something.
the sound design is amazing.
now I need to talk to somebody...
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
64 of 69 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
A very touching (true?) story that really is all about relatability, projection, and seeing others and others seeing you.

Looking for a game? don't by this.

Looking for a powerful experience? You won't be disappointed
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
61 of 70 people (87%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
I thought I was good at understanding people. Turns out I'm not.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
60 of 81 people (74%) found this review helpful
17 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
I played through this, not really knowing anything or expecting anything particular.

I feel like I was violated and violated someone or something in return.
I cried so much. This game is part me and probably part you.

I showered while sitting on the floor afterwards. I thought I was done crying.
I'm not.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
29 of 35 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
This is a game that everybody needs to play.

And I'm going to tell you the best way to play it. This may seem like a very snobby thing to say, but just hear me out... The odds that you're reading this are low, and I don't want to waste any more of your time than I need to.

Play this game with an open heart. Open up your emotions, let this game touch you. I don't often do this myself, but this one time... I chose to actually listen and digest everything that's being given to me, and I need to say that I didn't regret it in the slightest. Here I am, 1:00 in the morning, writing a review for a steam game. I never write reviews, ever. No game has ever touched me to the point where I deem it necessary for me to give my two cents on a game. Ever.

So please, if you're reading this and you're on the edge about buying it... Do so.

The graphics aren't the best, but don't focus on that. Don't focus on that at all. Focus instead on the words being poured through your headset, speakers, or earbuds. Focus instead on the love and time put into this game. Focus instead on all of the little things, learn to smile, learn to cry.

I highly suggest this game to anyone and everyone.
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21 of 28 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 17
Firstly, to address the elephant in the room, the game is incredibly pretentious. There is no getting around that, there's no arguing it, it's just plain pretentious.

However, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

If you're familiar with other "walking simulator" games, you know what to expect gameplay-wise. It's just more of that. The game is also INCREDIBLY short at that. And while it really sounds like I shouldn't recommend this game, I will for a very specific audience.

I recommend this game for people who can not only tolerate the "gameplay" in these sorts of games, but people interested in a well-delivered, if a bit odd, meta-narrative about game design and creative instinct in general. The game's story is hard to explain without spoiling, but it's seemingly a commentary of creativity and self-worth. If that sounds interesting to you, you would probably enjoy The Beginner's Guide, but I recognize that this probably is not a game for most people, and that's just fine.

I got the game for a very low price (through a Humble Bundle) and am therefore happy with the purchase. That having been said, I probably would not pay more than $5 US for the experience.
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15 of 18 people (83%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
This review will be short as I highly HIGHLY suggest you play it yourself, cause The Beginner's Guide is phenomenal.

The game is created by the writer of The Stanley Parable and follows on the creator talking about a few unfinished games by a developer named Coda. As you go through the game the questions asked by the developer is what you think about the creator of the game. I will stop here to avoid spoiling anything more, cause I believe The Beginner's Guide needs to be experienced by everyone.

Graphically this game is simple, it changes styles with each coming game. It changes from space stations, to prisons and abstract environments.

The game is less of a game and more of a walking simulator with a very good narrative. If you played Stanley Parable you can imagine the same experience (Minus the choice making).

The story only takes an hour to finish. After that there's no reason to replay it.

As weird as this might sound, I usually never recommend short games at full price, but this seems to be my only exception. The Beginner's Guide is absolutely phenomenal and owning it is a must.

Pros:
+ Fantastic Narrative
+ Game Ideas are great
+ Great Soundtrack and Narrator is amazing

Cons:
N/A

Final Rating:
9.5/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
I generally hate games that are barely interactive, but this game touched parts of my brain that I had nearly forgotten about.

In my nearly 40 years of occasionally enjoying videogames (and often being disappointed by their failure to take advantage of the unique aspects of the medium), this is the first time I feel I can honestly refer to a game as being poignant.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.0 hrs on record
Posted: August 20
I went in with no expectations and came out speechless. As an introvert and aspiring developer the message is touching. If you've ever felt misunderstood this is one for the books.
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16 of 25 people (64%) found this review helpful
Recommended
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: August 3
I have to say, I really, really enjoyed playing through this game. I wish it was longer- but, that being said, it is of such quality and contains such great amounts of content, I found it hard to believe it only lasted about 90 minutes.

I am going to continue talking about the game, but highly recommend you just dive in without reading too much into it.

This game is a set of games made by a single developer, none of which were released. A narrator walks you through small projects, and attempts to explain the creation of them. This is how the story unfolds, by changing emotions portrayed through the atmosphere of the various games you play.

The narration through this is really quite incredible. In fact, everything ties itself together very well into a cohesive story, even though you are in drastically different games throughout your playthrough.

Perhaps a little too well, even. But, I'm going to continue telling myself that it's a true story, regardless.

There is also a very good representation of timelines, as the games improve in quality over time. Overall, everything was just really well done, and very well polished.

I can't remember how much I paid for this game, perhaps I paid full price, perhaps it was through some bundle somewhere. Regardless, it was definitely worth it.
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