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The Beginner's Guide

Developer / Publisher: Everything Unlimited
01 October 2015
The Beginner's Guide - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.87 / 5.0
0.5
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963 Ratings / 6 Reviews
#323 All-time
#7 for 2015
The narrator attempts to understand the nature of an indie game developer he met at a game jam by exploring the games he made.
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It's no surprise that Davey Wreden is a fan of the Source aesthetic. Considering The Stanley Parable was originally a Half Life 2 mod. When I booted this up I honestly expected something that would just be an homage to source aesthetics with a little bit of Davey Wreden comedy. When I finished this game, however, I ended up crying my ass off and reassessing what art really is and what it means to me. This is one of those games that makes me wish the genre "walking simulator" didn't exist. It's honestly rude to call this a walking simulator when it packs more punch and emotion than most any other game.
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voomex 2023-02-14T22:53:05Z
2023-02-14T22:53:05Z
5.0
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one of the most unique games ever?
Davey Wreden's voice acting is shaky at times, and parts of the story give me creepy, incel vibes to be honest, but this is still such a genius concept for a video game that it's undeniably great! It's true that this game is basically an interactive story that doesn't give the player any actual control (i.e. a walking simulator), but it is still a story that could only be told through this format.

This whole concept of a traditional, literary character study told through a fictional character's game design is so mindbogglingly genius that it makes up for the game's shortcomings, though for the most part the execution is really great, with some really striking visuals and bizarre gameplay elements within the fake games themselves used to drive home the well-written story.

Davey Wreden is really pushing the art of video games forward with this title even more than with The Stanley Parable. It's similar in a lot of ways to Charlie Kaufman's Synecdoche, New York, a movie that is self-indulgent and overly-sentimental but also is very meta and unbelievably poignant and unique. I can't think of a game like this made before or since, and I think anyone interested in video games as art absolutely must play this.
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sam_burgerFan 2022-09-22T19:27:47Z
2022-09-22T19:27:47Z
4.5
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this game is interesting in that the first time I played it, I thought it was the best thing i'd ever seen, and the second time I thought it was the worst. the concept and curiosity (is davey really who he says he is?) of it is really intriguing, but at the end of the day the actual gameplay is just a bunch of basic source maps, and you have to wait for davey to shut the hell up to progress any further. the limited options of what you can do or say add to the experience, however. and the ending is beautiful. maybe i'm just an impatient person.
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bugsbunny100 2022-01-28T02:50:04Z
2022-01-28T02:50:04Z
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A postmodern masterpiece
A lot of people like to throw around the word "pretentious" when talking about this game, and I don't agree with that assessment at all. Because pretentiousness implies a low level of quality or talent on display. The Beginner's Guide however, is one of the most brilliantly written narratives in gaming. If you don't believe me just go watch the Innuendo Studios video on it.

This game is one of very few pieces of media that I would say completely expanded my horizons on what media can be and how it can make you feel. I don't just cry when I play this, I sob, I weep, I bawl my eyes out. Like Davey talking about Coda, I just can't help myself.

If you aren't a complete idiot who actually likes art that is expressive and thought-provoking, please go play this.
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Logamuffin 2021-09-05T03:48:50Z
2021-09-05T03:48:50Z
5.0
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One of the only works of art ever made that perfectly encapsulates the despair and self-hatred that an abusive relationship does to the mind.
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romanticism 2017-07-21T17:13:00Z
2017-07-21T17:13:00Z
4.0
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Debates about this being a game or not put aside, this is a lazy piece of media.

I found the narration to be really annoying, and the levels had very little effort thrown into them. If you go to gamejolt right now and browse the free unity games, you'll find levels with much more content. Sometimes the game will tell you that the level you're looking at is so weird or strange. However, again, gamejolt fan-made games feel like they were created under the influence of LSD. When mindbending games like Antichamber exist, or metagames such as The Stanley Parable, there's not much excuse to how little is here. Even $5 is far too much for this.

On top of that, the story wasn't really believable. It feels like the equivalent of showing me a completely blue canvas and explaining why it's so ground-breaking and emotional. The main character is so unlikable, as part of the story actually is that his interpretations of the levels are off-base entirely. So essentially we're just listening to a guy rant about his emotions while being subjected to unrelated unity demos. This is the worst of all the "walking simulators".
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nospr 2016-06-14T20:36:12Z
2016-06-14T20:36:12Z
1.0
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Catalog

Enkerou The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-22T10:10:51Z
2024-05-22T10:10:51Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bruisesthatwontheal The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-22T08:24:37Z
2024-05-22T08:24:37Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Heardian The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-19T13:28:45Z
2024-05-19T13:28:45Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
damian_ The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-18T19:48:23Z
2024-05-18T19:48:23Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jovanjovan The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-18T15:40:16Z
2024-05-18T15:40:16Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
roman_cancel The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-15T03:13:33Z
2024-05-15T03:13:33Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Bubu66 The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-12T04:45:19Z
2024-05-12T04:45:19Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
scoterinaia The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-11T06:18:02Z
2024-05-11T06:18:02Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
snow415 The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-10T21:39:23Z
2024-05-10T21:39:23Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FarioMerreira The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-10T17:36:20Z
2024-05-10T17:36:20Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sigismund The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-10T12:46:27Z
2024-05-10T12:46:27Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
anitahegerland The Beginner's Guide 2024-05-10T08:56:06Z
2024-05-10T08:56:06Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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  • sk3rk 2023-07-11 21:34:44.839288+00
    i love a lot of the themes this dabbles with but at the end of the day this seems to end on the idea of analyzing and putting meaning onto art and the people who make it a harmful thing, which it didnt have to imo. Maybe im missing something, or doing exactly what Davey did, imposing my own interpretion onto the work, but reading into the artist and their thoughts is a completely natural and human thing to do. Not to the parasocial and borderline psychopathic lenght as davey, but its simply not black or white situation
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    • arcticbreath 2023-07-16 18:52:07.832516+00
      I mean, I think you said it perfectly right? It's NOT a black and white situation. But regardless, I don't think that the entire point of the game is to critique art interpreting itself... i think its one of the many takeaways of the game. For me the game is a lot more about self hatred/depression, and the obsession that comes from that. The art people cling to or attach their whole personality to (perhaps unknowingly even), when they are at their darkest time. The only glimpse of warmth during those dark times. I mean it is worth noting that these are all games Davey Wreden made... I feel like what he's trying to show is his lack of ambition and his self hatred and how it ruined his OWN art, because of how much he lost himself in his work. Especially when you look at it from a lens of it just being himself, it really puts in perspective how self critical he is towards himself. "Stop adding lamp posts to my games". I think he believes he had something truly special at one point in his creativity, and as he made more and more, it just became more of a mess, and started doing things to his games to give him any semblance of the feeling it used to give him. I dunno, that's just sorta my own interpretation. There are a lot for this game though, and it takes on a new meaning for me depending on where I am in life. I think that's what I love about the game. Haha, I mean in that way, it'd be a little silly on Davey's part to make such an open ended game and then tell the viewer that they shouldn't be interpreting it.... at least I would find that very hard to believe he would do that. I feel like it's just generally about creativity as a whole and what that means to the artist, or what it could be.... but, then again, what do i know!
    • sk3rk 2023-08-20 20:39:24.83938+00
      @arcticbreath
      yeah that sounds about right. I like your interpretation
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  • mesinging 2023-12-21 06:39:05.821337+00
    i played this when i was wayyyy too young to fully grasp the themes, i desperately need a replay [2]
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  • bigzookers 2024-01-31 00:58:32.597993+00
    lovely game. play this about once a year and it's just as good every time
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  • LavKazan 2024-02-01 00:18:10.831648+00
    Thinking back on it now, the Charlie Kaufman influence on both this and The Stanley Parable is SUPER apparent, which isn't a bad thing at ALL.
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