Are You Listening Carefully? The Path Demo Out

By Kieron Gillen on June 6th, 2009 at 1:29 pm.

Not sure how we missed this. The ever-controversial and much previously discussed The Path have finally released a demo of the game. In fact, it’s more than a demo – iit’s actually a prologue to the game proper, especially created to give a sample of the atmosphere. In other words, almost certainly worth downloading for fans of the the full game as well as those intrigued by all the net-chat.

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45 Comments »

  1. Heliocentric says:

    You don’t even read your own forum.

    *scowls*

    A prologue? Then i’ll need to download that then.

  2. bansama says:

    Hmm, I’d better download that tomorrow and give it a go.

  3. sfury says:

    I actually regret buying that one.

    I was expecting much more after all the buzz surrounding it. There are so many games that are way more artful and communicate their ideas to the player better that the Path (and there are even some with worthy ideas). I find it a bit pretentious and not-so-successful experimentation rather than “a short horror game”.

  4. Lewis says:

    Have downloaded this. I worry playing it may lead for me to have even more things to say about The Path.

  5. Legandir says:

    By pure coincidence i’m installing the full game right now. I bought it ages ago when it was on sale in steam but i’m only getting around to it now. I’ll probably download this too

  6. Half Broken Glass says:

    You know how RPS sometimes takes a (righteous) jab at japanese dating sims for hardly even being games?

    They should do it with The Path.

  7. LewieP says:

    Go on then. *click*

  8. Daniel says:

    I was going to buy The Path, but then I found out that one of the creators is a total jerk: http://tale-of-tales.com/blog/2009/05/01/braid-is-not-a-game/

    Being an indie developer, getting lots of good will press because most reviews say “The Path” is more art than game, and then going around and calling one of the more successful indie games of last year not a game but an exam… no, I don’t want to play this man’s game.

  9. fuggles says:

    Wow…what a crock of shit. You literally wander down a path.

    I sort of get what they are after, but feel that it should be free and that my weird faced girl should be more interested in burning graves than blackbirds.

  10. Psychopomp says:

    @Fuggles

    You’ve missed the point entirely

    Go OFF the path.

  11. Carra says:

    I bought it to support some of our Belgian developpers. But I wasn’t very impressed with the game. I’ll give it another go one of these days.

  12. qrter says:

    I was going to buy The Path, but then I found out that one of the creators is a total jerk: http://tale-of-tales.com/blog/2009/05/01/braid-is-not-a-game/

    Being an indie developer, getting lots of good will press because most reviews say “The Path” is more art than game, and then going around and calling one of the more successful indie games of last year not a game but an exam… no, I don’t want to play this man’s game.

    Would you look at that, it’s the Battle of the Indie Ego’s! ;)

  13. fuggles says:

    I went off the path. Nothing’s really there.

  14. Xercies says:

    @Daniel

    I think you kind of missed the point of the article, and actually it didn’t feature braid that much except for name dropping really to get the posts up a bit for people like you. Its basically saying that singleplayer games are not “games” because most of our traditional games are “multiplayer” Just look at some of Kierons 7 in 1 game posts and you see all the games in there take 2 or more people and most imaginative games children play are multiplayer as well(e.g cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, space marines and aliens etc.) it also talks about it not in a kind of shouty “Braid is not a game ehhh” but talks about ti in a kind of manner like “We just realized this”. So I think your being a bit harsh to them.

  15. Persus-9 says:

    @ fuggles: Yeah they seem to have taken all the content out of the demo. Did you see any of the smoking ruins type things? Like a tent or playground because in the full version they aren’t smoking ruins and your character can interact with those in mini-cut-scenes and they all nit together into an abstract sort of story but in the demo they seem to have removed that and pretty much everything else except for the dumb flower collecting that should never have been in the full version never mind the demo. Very poor demo.

    I have to say I’m increasingly going off The Path (no pun intended). I don’t mind it being pretentious, the problem is it’s also rather trite.

  16. Sinnerman says:

    Great! Before I download it, does anybody have any high scores or time attack times for me to try to beat?

  17. Persus-9 says:

    @ Sinnerman: Ok sure, I did a speed run just now. From double clicking the icon on my desktop to completing the game, selecting quit from the buy the game splash screen at the end to seeing my desktop again took me 1 minute 41 seconds. Beat that!

    EDIT: 1:36

  18. Fat Zombie says:

    One hint: watch out for the Wolf. He’s a Spy.

  19. oddbob says:

    @Persus-9

    Youtube it!

  20. Lewis says:

    Huh…

    They seem to have removed most of what makes The Path so interesting: namely, the fascinating interaction between the player character and the environment. Here, she just runs around, occasionally finds something odd, and the camera sometimes switches.

    Very interesting indeed.

  21. Eric says:

    This game is terribly disappointing. I usually do not go out of my way to recommend people to NOT buy a game but in this case: do NOT buy this game.

  22. Ben says:

    In regards to – http://tale-of-tales.com/blog/2009/05/01/braid-is-not-a-game/
    how can he say that about Knytt?? Sure IMHO braid was more puzzle than substance, in a bad way, but knytt was one of the most satisfying games I have played in this Indie gaming revolution.
    The man is a cock.

  23. Sinnerman says:

    This demo was not too bad. I think that if they try to make a decent work someday then they may be able to as long as they leave behind their simplistic notions and really try to understand the medium and make a bold statement.

  24. Heliocentric says:

    Braid was fun, not an iq test, but i suppose all games are tests and its most obvious when you fail.

    So i passed braid then…
    The path? :) own it, haven’t played it because i want to play it with my partner and all she wants to play atm is sims 2 and fear 2.

    So i won’t comment on the path, but the graveyard was an utter waste of my time, ugly not visually but rather ugly in tone, too limited for my creative half, too limited for my voyeur side, if i must observe alone keep it interesting. It was like a rubbish cut scene that is also a quick time event and the whole game… And also had flickering textures which hurt my eyes. 7/10

  25. Irish Al says:

    WRT the article by the developer, he used the term ‘Legos’. Tsk. And I had so nearly bought the game, too.

  26. Persus-9 says:

    @ oddbob: Your wish is my command: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tqy-tAN2TQA

    Unfortunately the game doesn’t run quite as far when recording so I could only do 1:39 while recording. I guess I could do a few things to improve my computers performance to try and get those seconds back but I can’t really be bothered right now.

    I think I might do a speed run of the whole of the path at some point. Missing the point that hard apeals to me.

  27. PHeMoX says:

    I liked the Penumbra games a lot better, this demo doesn’t really make me want more of this. It’s not bad, but it’s not what I expected either.

  28. Darthey says:

    Find this demo very confusing. You wander round a forest picking flowers.

    Have I missed something? Picked 65 of them and nothing happened.

    Bit of a lousy recommendation, RPS. :/

  29. Lewis says:

    People are still expressing shock at not liking The Path? How quaint.

  30. Persus-9 says:

    @ Darthey: It’s just a really rubbish demo that doesn’t include any of the content that made the full game interesting. I’d recommend the actual game to anyone interested in a really pretentious, arty and trite videogame reimagining of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ but I really wouldn’t recommend this demo to anyone. I actually had a lot more fun and intellectual stimulation doing my speed runs then I did “playing” this demo.

  31. malkav11 says:

    Sounds like the usual demo failure. This is why I’ve stopped bothering with them.

    The full game is interesting aesthetically and probably worth experiencing, although it’s not “fun”, nor is it very game-ish.

  32. Lewis says:

    @Persus-9

    Yeah that pretty much summarises my thoughts. All the interesting content was stripped out and replaced with an awful particle effect. At a very basic level, what you actually do and where you go is all present in the demo. But the core of the game – its abstract symbolism and interlinking narrative threads, not to mention the unique interaction system – is all gone. A very odd choice to promote the game.

  33. hydra9 says:

    I loved the game. But I don’t think the demo is a good advert at all.

  34. Max says:

    It got more compelling once I wandered off the path. I was starting to get into the artsiness of it. Then I picked up one of those flower things and got the message “1 of 144″. That ruined it for me. Suddenly this object of art and abstraction became a scavenger hunt – a LONG scavenger hunt. I wanted to just keep exploring the woods, but suddenly aware of these collectibles I found it very difficult to do so.

    I wanted to ignore them because I didn’t want to commit to getting all of them, but I also desperately wanted to know what happened after you did. I ended up so torn that I quit and uninstalled. Not fun.

  35. Lewis says:

    Just to put the flowers in-context (although I thought they were a weak idea as well): in the full game (not sure about the demo, as I didn’t bother collecting them) each six flowers you collect provide you with a location waypoint to somewhere you might not have discovered yet.

  36. Kieron Gillen says:

    Irish Al: You know that Yanks all use Legos? It’s brits who use Lego.

    I’ve watched several hundred post arguments about which is correct, so I bring that up with some trepidation.

    KG

  37. Heliocentric says:

    Lego is a brand name, you all fail. The word is bricks, lego bricks if you must.

  38. Pishtaco says:

    The demo is helpful, in that it turns out that the game does run on my below-min-spec system.

    I honestly assumed that the 1/144 flowers thing was the developer making a joke about achievement points.

  39. sfury says:

    Hmm, picking the flowers was one of the few things I enjoyed in “the Path” – well-designed way to make you stray in the woods and in the process find new places and experiences.

    The problem is those places and experiences didin’t do much for me though.

  40. fuggles says:

    I’m not sure the view helps. I’m playing STALKER now, and if I see something good I wander over. In this I tried to run and the view pans up, so I have to stop, realign and run up.

    I noticed that my character stops to examine a bird, but should you go to a burning playpark then there is no response or reward for your exploring.

    I know that the point is to get off the path, there is just no point in doing so in this demo. I gather that what you do should affect what happens in the house, but again, in the demo this is just not so.

  41. Idle Threats & Bad Poetry says:

    Except to get people talking about the Path again, the demo is pretty useless. It’s going to elicit a lot more criticism than anything else because, gosh, it’s boring! It’s more of a tech demo than a game, and it’s certainly not art. An unfortunate choice by the developers.

  42. Irish Al says:

    @KG, Heliocentric

    It’s LEGO, and LEGO bricks, or pieces or whatever.

  43. Dave Gates says:

    I really enjoyed the Path, this demo however doesn’t seem to bear any relation. The whole game, for those of you wondering had random little spots like the part but they were interactive and pushed forward the rather abstract plot. This to me seemed more like a tech-demo than a prologue. Rather disappointed.

  44. Dave Gates says:

    *like the part with the park.
    Sorry i’m a little hungover.

  45. Block machine says:

    It seems interesting! I want to play the games right now.