You Must Must Must Play The Stanley Parable Demo


I’m not going to explain it, because that would be madness. But you must. The full game is out on the 17th, and, look, just play this. Trust me. Don’t not play it. Don’t think that you’re saving it up to play the full thing next week. That’s not the right choice. Playing this is the right choice.



  1. PhilKenSebben says:

    I’ve been meaning to try this. Will definitely give it a shot.

  2. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    I played it last night. I laughed until my eyes started to tear up.

    This *demo* is the funniest game I’ve played in a long time.

    • S Jay says:


      My funny glands must be broken. I had absolutely zero funs.

      • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

        To quote Grygus in a different thread below:

        This is the demo doing its job very well. You’ve just been saved money.

    • tumbleworld says:

      Me too. It’s like accidentally stumbling into a long-forgotten episode of The Hitchhiker’s Guide. Glorious, glorious stuff. It’s the best thing that’s happened to me in days :)

      Of course, if you don’t like dry British humour, you’ll probably absolutely hate it.

  3. BlitzThose says:

    The Stanley Parable.
    So good, it felt like Maggie Thatcher had never been born. Just imagine: never.

    Truly the Stanley Tweedle of video games…

  4. Rather Dashing says:


    • Ross Angus says:

      Does … does that mean eight out of ten? This place has changed.

      • Rather Dashing says:

        No, it’s a… certain joke within the demo :)
        Play it!

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        This brings up an important issue, and leads me to something I have been thinking about for some time. We all know Numbers Are Bad and are used to spread evil lies (marketing). However, there may be another way. Ladies, Gentlemen – I believe it is time to propose … the RPS Fruit Based Ranking System. This system uses the comparisons to fruits as an ‘experiential shorthand’ to give the reader a feel of what emotions and sensations they might experience as they play the game, with or without Emotion Booths. By way of examples:

        1. Lemon – entirely bitter experience that will have you curling your lips up (CoD Online)
        2. Tamarillo – exotic but acquired taste (Anything by Ice Pick Lodge)
        3. Orange – difficult to get into, with one or two squirts of acid in the eye, but sweet if you persevere (DOTA 2)
        4. Strawberry / Grape – small and short but excellent experience (Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons)
        5. Peach – Amazing and satisfying for the first one you have, but second helpings cause nausea and stomach cramps (Dishonored)
        6. Pineapple – in many users, causes agonising stomach aches and / or allergic reactions from the outset, yet they inexplicably cannot stop eating it (Dark Souls)

        I am sure there are many more wonderful fruits out there that we could co opt. Starfruit?

    • The First Door says:


    • MeestaNob says:


  5. SwissPsycho says:

    Apperently it doesn’t have any content from the main game. So yes, you should play it.

  6. Zak T Duck says:

    8 is currently my Game of the Year. What depth!

  7. SpecimN says:

    It seems like a Portal without puzzles, which is definitely a good idea.

  8. JR says:

    At one point we all had to yell at RPS to play Stanly Parable. Now RPS yells at us to play the demo. I do approve.

  9. RedViv says:

    Gosh this was wonderful.

    • caff says:

      I concur, best demo I’ve ever played.

      Well, I tried to play it.

  10. Grygus says:


  11. khomotso says:


  12. staberas says:

    8 out 10 cats

  13. basilisk says:

    This was amazing.

  14. solymer89 says:

    That guy. That guy sitting on the chair, in the spotlight. A bit ominous wouldn’t you say…. is that me? I NEED AN ADULT! I NEED AN ADULT!!

  15. Niko says:


  16. The First Door says:

    Yeah, I couldn’t agree more with this article. Everyone really needs to play this, it’s fantastic!

    One questions though: What on earth is the fourth ‘famous demo’?

  17. bruibrui1 says:

    I can’t can’t can’t play the Stanley Parable Demo — as it unfortunately is Steam-only.

    • basilisk says:

      You’re one of those unfortunate people who explode when they open a Steam account?
      I feel sorry for you.

    • twig_reads says:

      Or you could play the demo and uninstall steam? Oh, I see now, you would rather pirate the game then support Davey for creating it?

      • bruibrui1 says:

        That will depend on whether he will release a non-steam version or not. Nothing wrong with pirating a game you would not have bought anyway.

        • twig_reads says:

          Then don’t play it, ever, at all. You’re lying if you would say you wouldnt pay for it, because you would if it were steam-less. So, these are the options, you either buy it or not. If steam is a deal-breaker then just don’t play it. If you’re so much above Steam.

          • bruibrui1 says:

            >You’re lying if you would say you wouldnt pay for it, because you would if it were steam-less.

            What a lame nonsequitur. Yes, I would pay for it if it were steamless. I never said I wouldn’t. So I never lied.

            >So, these are the options, you either buy it or not.

            No, there is also the third option of playing a cracked version.

            >If steam is a deal-breaker then just don’t play it.

            Why not? For the game dev it does not make a difference whether he does not get my money because I don’t play his game or whether he does not get my money because I play a cracked version. So playing the cracked version causes him no additional damage over not playing the game at all.

            So, in your opinion, what is the moral problem here?

          • The First Door says:

            The moral problem is you are trying to take a moral stand against something, but you aren’t willing to even inconvenience yourself the tiniest amount to make a point. It’s nothing to do with whether the dev gets your money it’s to do with being a bit of a hypocrite.

          • Jonfon says:

            If you were genuinely interested in opposing Steam and also trying to help out a wee developer you’d probably be better off not buying it and letting the Dev know via a Forum Post or something, asking if / what other options were available and what his take is on it.

            I mean the original is a Source game so maybe he feels this is worthy payback for Valve for providing a game engine for him to develop with. Or maybe there’s a GoG or stand-alone version on the cards in the next month.

            Alternatively maybe he won’t care too much and will say “Go for it, I’d prefer someone played my game anyway” as some devs have said in the past. Either way at least you went off and got it from the horses mouth with regards to how the developer feels about Steam, Piracy etc etc.

            Instead you just seem to want to have everything your own way while also justifying it to yourself so you don’t feel too bad about it.

          • The Random One says:

            It appears that you would prefer the dev would release a non-Steam version. If you pirate the game you have no reason to buy such a version if it comes out, and so the dev has no reason to release it. (Of course, you may say that you would certainly and immediately buy such a version if it comes out, but you don’t know that. What if you lose your job? Will you readily use your food money to pay for a game you’ve already played?) If your money is tied to a DRM free release it will encourage that.

            Conversely, if you want to crack the free demo to play it without Steam, I see nothing wrong with that. If it’s free it’s free.

          • Synesthesia says:

            Don’t feed the troll, etc. etc. etc.

        • Jonfon says:

          Sorry, but that’s bullshit. If you’re going to play the “noble anti-Steam stance” card then have the balls to stick to your guns and boycott the product entirely until it comes out in a more palatable format for you like GoG or whatever.

          • twig_reads says:

            *highfives Jonfon*

          • bruibrui1 says:

            Please see my response to twig_reads above.

          • basilisk says:

            Yep. He’s basically trying to impress the world by saying that wearing a hair shirt is a very noble thing to do, but won’t actually put one on himself, because hey, it’s really uncomfortable, you know?

            It’s having your principles and trying to eat them too, or somesuch.

        • ElDopa says:

          I don’t think there’s going to be a non-steam version, because this looks a lot like Source Engine.
          But regardless, I don’t think it is immoral to crack a demo which is free anyway.

      • CookPassBabtridge says:

        I heard this entire Internet Argument in the voices of “Raphael” and The Stanley Parable Narrator.

  18. sleepisthebrotherofdeath says:

    Nope nope nope. Will not play the demo. I’ve been avoiding reading anything about this game, so I can have awesome unspoilt goodness when I buy it.

    • twig_reads says:

      The demo spoils nothing. As it’s specifically a demonstration, this not a part of the full game, this is a separate thing.

    • solidsquid says:

      As far as I could tell, the demo doesn’t spoil anything about the actual game except maybe giving you an idea of the sense of humour behind it. The whole thing was built as a bespoke demonstration piece rather than them taking a chunk out the game for people to play

      If you *do* decide to wait for the game anyway though, make sure to remember and go back to play this afterwards. It will still be entertaining

    • Wubble69 says:

      Please play the demo. It’s been made “literally” just for you. There’s more effort gone into this demo than most AAA titles.

    • sleepisthebrotherofdeath says:

      Ok, you’ve convinced me. I look forward to playing this tonight.

  19. KwisatzHaderach says:

    Guys, I need your help! I’m stuck at the section where it says 8 when I push the button. I keep pushing it but there’s only a couple of 8s showing up on some wooden stands. How do I actually get the 8 and what do I do with it once I got it? This game is real fun, but its so damn hard!

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      You need to Look At Leaflet. Then Give Leaflet to Friendly Natives. They will give you a severed Head. Job done.

  20. Turkey says:

    I challenge anyone to find me 10 better demos this year.

  21. Snakejuice says:

    I have vague memories of playing this (or a version of this) about 6 months ago, what gives?

  22. Oozo says:

    I like this idea of a demo that is not just a part of the game cut out, but something that gives a feeling for what the game will be like. (See also: <Kentucky Route Zero.) I can understand why that’s unfeasible for AAA-production, but still, it’s a good thing.

    And this demo is, as a lot of people have already mentioned, wonderful. (For a moment there, I thought that I have broken it by misplacing the cup behind a box, rendering it unattainable. But, as usual, they had thought of everything.)

    • Grygus says:

      I don’t see why it’s unfeasible for AAA production; they’re able to produce Day 1 DLC, so a similar structure should easily be able to produce a demo by launch time. I would imagine the real problem to be that AAA developers simply don’t seem to see much value in demos in the first place.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      I’m relieved to hear that I wasn’t the only one to misplace my cup.

  23. BreadBitten says:

    ALRIGHT ALREADY! I’LL PLAY IT!! Just…just let go of my genitals now, PLEASE!?

  24. JimDiGritz says:


    Now everything I read is being narrated by Kevan Brighting

    make. it. stop.

  25. Spoon Of Doom says:

    I’ve only heard about this new Stanley Parable the other day. Is it just the old mod with new graphics, or something new?

    • basilisk says:

      It was originally supposed to be a straight HD remake, but ended up being more of an expanded version. So something in between, really.

      • Spoon Of Doom says:

        Thanks for the info. Since the first one was free, I guess that’s enough to justify paying for it. I’ll give the demo a try tonight.

  26. MrSean490 says:

    Did it crash for anyone at the very absolute end?

    • Sixtoe says:

      Yup, totally worth it tho’, probably working as intended ;)

      • MrSean490 says:

        Yeah beautiful demo. I quickly played thru it again just to make sure it wasn’t a random thing and yeah it crashed again.

        Anyway, the first playthrough really had me by the balls. Absolutely amazing. Had my complete interest. Still have no idea what the heck the game is about but I certainly know it will be of top notch quality.

    • CookPassBabtridge says:

      It did, but it caused a cool 4th wall effect. I had the steam page open in windows, and as the game crashed, Steam started playing the “Raphael” trailer immediately. The demo makes you look out for weirdness, so for a moment I couldn’t tell if I was still in the game or not.


      • Kitsunin says:

        I think it actually caused that to happen? I installed the demo via google chrome, so never visited the store page on Steam itself, also I launched the game from my library, so that should have been what was open, but when it crashed at the end, there was the Steam page with the trailer loading…

  27. Maritz says:

    I guess it just didn’t appeal to my sense of humour, or I’m just a miserable bastard, but I didn’t even crack a smile once during the demo.

    If the main game is anything like the demo, it’ll just irritate the hell out of me.

    • Oasx says:

      I must admit that i felt the same, didn’t really find it funny. But the full game sounds interesting enough, that i will see what reviews say.

      • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

        If the humour in the demo didn’t appeal to you, you probably won’t enjoy the game either. They’re very much of a muchness in that regard. The humour is the main draw of the actual game too.

        • khomotso says:

          Good to know. I went into it with enthusiasm, kept waiting for the clever to drop, and then it was over. Some of the textual stuff flashed on walls was nice, but most of it just kept going for the obvious jokes. Weak tea for me.

    • Grygus says:

      This is the demo doing its job very well. You’ve just been saved money.

    • Gonefornow says:

      Likewise. Based on the demonstration Stanley Parable is another linear narrative on choice and consequence, itself only having the illusion of them, the Bioshock games being the big-budget equivalent.

      The positives: This one is quite open about what it is, without trying to jam in a “real” game (shooter), and a I cannot imagine a multimillion dollar budget and the time of hundreds of people was wasted on the production of it.

      So a good demo.

      • sirflimflam says:

        The game itself is about as far away from linear as you can get. The demonstration just gives you a feel for the humor of the game and how it operates from a narrative perspective. However the actual game doesn’t lead you down a single path.

        • Gonefornow says:

          Well in that case I redact my statement.

          Not a very good demo.

  28. CookPassBabtridge says:

    Oh god the bit with the penguin was brilliant

  29. strangeloup says:

    Having played the mod version a while back and thinking it was entirely brilliant, I was interested to see how the standalone version would hold up. It’s certainly a lot better from a audiovisual viewpoint, as it’s not all ‘stock’ Source SDK resources (aside from the narration and a couple of modified textures, iirc). The demo works very well as its own thing, in the same way as — I think someone mentioned this already — KRZ’s Limits and Demonstrations.

    Very much looking forward to the full release. Back when I played the mod, I wrote to the dev with some thoughts, and he was a great guy to talk with; he gave me a lot of encouragement to work on my own game projects too, and it does tend to give me a more favourable impression of something when its creator comes across so well.

  30. Luke says:




  31. Cooper says:

    This is the first game I’ve seen an actual analogue clock working. And ticking.


  32. Vandelay says:

    Perform a Dance!

    More games need to make demos again. This changed from a game I had of heard and thought I might get at some point out of curiosity to a day 1 purchase. I smiled/smirked/laughed pretty much the whole way through this demo.

    Excellent work.

  33. ElDopa says:


    The button and the LEDs may say 8, so does the narrator.
    But when you push the button, the voice clearly says AIDS.

  34. jadejada849 says:

    I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,,,,●►●►●►●►▶

  35. Snakejuice says:

    So I just started the demo. Did they really have to change the default res to 1024×768 and change the Source default menu system to something much worse? Anyway if it’s as good as the mod I surely wont care in a few minutes!

  36. Raphael says:

    Oh come on, what is this stuff? Where is the LOGIC?? Where is the EMOTIONS?!
    That’s supposed to be a game? Frankly speaking, I don’t understand :((

    • alphyna says:

      This comment needs to be featured.

      • Jalan says:

        Yeah, nothing quite like making a gimmick account to rehash a joke the developers themselves already did better.

  37. Mozai says:

    Very confusing that this has the same name as the previous “The Stanley Parable.”

    I was able to get that running on Linux easily, but when I try to acquire the demo for this one, Steam just says “not available for your platform”. Well, I’d like to find out on my own, please and thank you, since you probably thought the original “The Stanley Parable” wouldn’t work on Linux but it does quite well.

  38. BlackAlpha says:

    At first the game seems quite linear, but then once you reach the point with all the buttons, you actually get a lot of choice, a lot more than in most games.

  39. TheCube says:

    Is this accessible to non-gamers? I want to play it with my wife but she might hate it if it’s just gamezz jokes

    • Vandelay says:

      I haven’t played the original mod, but the demonstration was definitely making a lot of in-jokes about games and demos. Having said that, I think they were broad enough for someone who is not familiar with games to at least get the basic joke (spoiler!!!!!! For example the pick up the cup and drop it in the bin works on one level as a joke about the narrator trying to find something for the player to do, another level as poking fun at games needing to force game mechanics into areas where they are not needed or might seem incongruous and it also works as a parody of the opening HL2 physics demonstration, which is added to when you know what the origins of this game are. You don’t necessarily need to get all that to find the joke funny.)

      There are also quite a few gags that don’t require any gaming knowledge and the quirky tone should be able to get most on board (unless you are someone that finds that kind of thing irksome.) I do get the feeling that this is mainly setting out to be a parody of gaming conventions though.

    • RagingLion says:

      I played this with my girlfriend watching and she enjoyed it too. She’s dipped her toe in the water before (played through my copy of Portal 2) but doesn’t have much experience playing games. There are some game specific references and jokes in there, but I think the same thing as I did with the original The Stanley Parable mod … that of all the games out there this is one of the easiest sells to someone that doesn’t normally play games and would probably provide the most interest. She would still need to like the style of humour, intelligence, meta but that’s it.

  40. welverin says:

    Done, as I played it last night.

    John, you really should mention in the post itself that the demo is entirely separate from the main game and not a little part of it.

    Also, 8.

  41. alphyna says:

    It’s done: never have I ever wanted to play a game this hard.

    Bu I think seeing SP (at least the demo) only as comedy is diminishing. It’s charming and funny, but also unnerving (what with the repeating?) and… existentially beautiful in a HAL 9000 way. The very (true) ending is really sad. And THAT’S why I really want to play SP, not only because it’s funny and charming.

    • jorygriffis says:

      I thought the last few minutes of the demo were alarming and sad in ways that reminded me of the tone of the mod. I thought “We were free…” was pretty nicely written and performed.

      I remember when the Greenlight page and trailer for the commercial version first went up, I thought that they were trying just a bit too hard to make the narrator seem sinister, so I’m glad they’ve scaled it back a bit.

  42. rfa says:

    Games as art: Stanley Parable, Unfinished Swan…

  43. Siimon says:

    Am I the only person here who LOVED the mod, but found the demo fairly unsatisfying?

  44. kaer says:

    Was everyone a sex predator?
    Was everyone number 28?
    Did anyone else try to exit the demo by doing the ‘exit-demo dance’? Spoiler: it didn’t work.

    I hope the 8 game is in the final.
    This may be the first game I ever buy on release date. I give it a 17% chance. Yes, that’s low, but still higher than any other game.

    • Siimon says:

      Yes, yes, and yes.

      I felt like this game had none of the “choice” that the mod had…

      • The Random One says:

        Did anyone do something strange and got a different ending? Will anyone stand for thirty minutes in the green room and tell us what happened?

        • mzlapq says:

          After a a minute or less of doing nothing the narrator tells you to take the same route.

  45. Jalan says:

    The only emotion I feel is disco.

  46. benjamin says:

    The bit with the wall made me laugh a lot. Slapstick always gets me!

  47. derbefrier says:

    Well that was awesome. I have completly ignored the existence of this game up until now, and after playing the demo I must have it. I was laughing my ass of the entire time.

  48. CMaster says:

    I liked the bit where they made fun on Dear Ester.

    It’s a shame that it doesn’t have the option to wind the narrator up like in the mod.

    Also, that ending.
    Ouch, that’s a nasty move.

  49. Acorino says:

    Great, I flung the cup somewhere I can’t reach it anymore. :(
    Suspension of disbelief BROKEN

    Edit: Well, the game does continue after a while at least. Still, the narrator fell silent for too long there.