The Beginner’s Guide developed by Everything Unlimited Ltd. on Microsoft, Linux, and OS. Currently $9.99 on Steam.
“I don’t know if I’m learning more about the narrator or more about myself, but I am learning that there is no limit to the amount of times I can think ‘what the f&%k'”
I said this about a quarter way through my playthrough of The Beginner’s Guide to my small audience on Twitch. The Beginner’s Guide, created by Davey Wreden of the Stanley Parable, is a linear story Davey’s relationship with a game designer named Coda, Coda’s games, and the mind of both him and Davey, who narrates and walks you through the game. I’ll keep this review as spoiler free as possible, because the game is truly best enjoyed with as little information as possible.
The game, simply put, is a walking simulator. There are no enemies. There’s only one puzzle. You get a gun at some point and you can just unload until you run out of bullets. There is interactive dialogue, where someone other than the narrator talks to you and you get a choice of responses. Other than that, the game is played simply to listen to Davey Wreden discuss his thoughts about his friend Coda.
You are walked through several of Coda’s games and while you roam the various, eccentric levels, Davey talks about his thoughts and analysis on Coda’s mind. There were times where I felt nervous. I would be looking down a dark corridor, ominous music rumbling in my ear, while massive prison bars slam behind me, and I would feel… well, about as nervous as anyone would feel in that situation.
The game lacks the charming, sarcastic humor that the Stanley Parable has. Instead it leaves you with a perspective of other people, creative thinking, and yourself. It left me sitting there for ten minutes with the feeling like I had inadvertently breached the inner and private thoughts of someone I just met.
Difficulty: So easy, if you manage to game over you’re probably playing the wrong game.
Gameplay: It’s hard to rate a game where 90% of the time you’re walking and listening.
Graphics: Created with Source. Looks about as well as any of the latest games using Source.
Music: Music was really well done. It matches the scene and helps invoke all the right emotions.