One of the terms that I’ve been hearing a lot lately is “experimental gameplay.” The other popular descriptor for games is to refer to some as art. They’re labels that seem to be haphazardly applied to anything that doesn’t conform completely to bog standard gameplay conventions. Gone Home was a game that the critics referred to as both experimental and art. While last week we found out that I disagree with those sentiments, I have found a game that both labels could apply to and certainly qualifies as experimental.
The Stanley Parable is an updated, full release of a 2011 Source engine mod. Like Gone Home, there’s no combat in The Stanley Parable. However, that’s where the similarities end. The Stanley Parable is so experimental, so unorthodox and so brilliant that it certainly earns its place as one of 2013’s best games.