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The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe (Switch) Review

by Alex Culafi - May 5, 2022, 3:44 pm EDT
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The meta-verse, amirite?

Though not the first “meta” game, The Stanley Parable was an early example of an indie game that was aware of – and played with – the idea that it was a video game. It was first released in 2011 as a Half Life 2 mod before being remade as a standalone game in 2013.

The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe is a remake of that second release, but it’s also way more than that. There’s a lot of new content, and my playtime in this new version was twice that of the original game. I’m not really going to tell you much about the specifics of this new content or even too much about what The Stanley Parable is; this is a video game best experienced by knowing as little as possible.

I’ll talk around the edges, at least. The Stanley Parable is a first-person “walking simulator” in that you aren’t doing much other than walking around and interacting with the world around you.

You are Stanley, a man who works at a dead-end job whose sole responsibility is to tap keys on his computer. Stanley notices that his coworkers have disappeared, and he goes on a mission to find out why. As he does this, a British-accented narrator (played by Kevan Brighting) describes what Stanley is going to do next. Stanley walked down the hall. Stanley went past the desks.

Eventually, you/Stanley arrive at a set of two doors. The narrator explains that Stanley goes through the left. Do you decide to go through the left door? Or maybe do you want to go through the right door as an act of defiance? The story and narration adapt to this choice – and many, many subsequent ones – accordingly.

What plays out over the next few-to-several hours is a very funny story about player choice, video game development, and the creative process. It is, at all times, having a conversation with you, itself, and the world at large, and Ultra Deluxe expands on that with an additional meta layer that made my jaw drop several times.

The amount of extra content in here is so vast that I recommend Ultra Deluxe not just to those who like funny, meta video games, but also those who have experienced The Stanley Parable. If you’ve played it before (you’re asked the first time you boot up the game), it doesn’t take long to reach the excellent additions.

The Switch port is pretty good. It looks nice and uses a simple control scheme that translates the first-person gameplay quite well. There are also some port-specific references, which was cute to see. It ran at a mostly stable framerate, barring some dips from time to time.

The Stanley Parable is an extremely worthwhile video game and, I would argue, one of the finest examples of meta-humor (as well as humor in general) in the medium. Just don’t read too much before you play it.


  • A fascinating, funny conversation about games and choice
  • A whole new game’s worth of content
  • Excellent writing
  • Some frame dips on Switch

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Game Profile

Genre Adventure

Worldwide Releases

na: The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe
Release Apr 27, 2022
RatingEveryone 10+
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