The Beginner's Guide: Digital Game Miniview

Phil and I played through The Beginner's Guide by Davey Wreden this weekend.

I don't want to give away any spoilers, so I won't say much about the gameplay or the story. However, I can tell you that it was a deeply intense and  emotional experience. My reaction to it was similar to how I felt playing Journey, although the feelings evoked were of a vastly different timbre.


Presuming a leisurely pace, we started eating breakfast as the game launched on our new Steam Link (hooray for sharing games on the couch!). An hour later, we had barely touched our food, engrossed as we were by the action on the screen. I didn't want to miss a thing. I felt compelled to participate, even at times when that participation grew uncomfortable.

If you're looking for a true "game" experience... you may be disappointed. I can't say that you'll enjoy this game. It will piss some people off. It pissed me off, at times - which, weirdly, I appreciated. I highly, highly recommend it to my game designer friends (and creatives of all types). The insights it provides into the mind of a particular creator are invaluable - whether you choose to agree or disagree with those insights.

I do suggest, however, that you play The Stanley Parable first. Or that you at least watch one of the Let's Plays (though personal experience is preferable to really get the flavor).

Washington Post describes it as "blurring the lines between video games and interactive art." Is this experience a game, or is it a story? It's something I've been thinking a lot about myself - I've successfully dabbled in Twine and Unity, and I'm excited to explore my storytelling in a more digital/interactive medium in the future.

Thoughts on games as stories? Or the intersection of interactive storytelling and game design? Share them below!