The Beginner's Guide Review


ust finished The Stanley Parable's creator, Davey Wreyden's new game, The Beginner's Guide. It's a collection of games made by an individual named "Coda", and you play through them chronologically with Wreyden, himself, giving you commentary about his relationship with Coda, and his fascination about Coda's work. The only other game I can remember that has in-game commentary was Half-Life 2, and here it's never obtrusive as it's a mix of artistic insight on the little quirksin Coda's game design and also personal revelations from Wreyden. In fact, it felt less like I was playing a game, and more like actively analyzing a game design and Coda.

As you progress, the experience becomes almost uncomfortably personal as his later games become emotionally-harrowing to play through. It's not like Gone Home, because of the way the story unfolds. And, you'll come to understand Wreyden's appreciation of Coda's work. If nothing else, it's extraordinary for being able to marry a documentary-esque story-telling with gaming.

I could mention the surreal gaming moments you'll play such as a game where you can only move backwards, but I don't think that's too important. For me, the concept itself pushes the whole mailbox on what gaming can offer. It's on sale now on Steam for only $8.79 and only takes 90s mins to finish.