The Beginner's Guide

Hey kids! Do you love your life? Or are you questioning the very existence and purpose of your being and realising that life can possibly be nothing but a phase? Then this is the video game for you! Or is it?

The Beginner's Guide

In all seriousness, this game is brilliant - it's always great to see something so simplistic have such an introspective impact on each player that comes by it. This easy yet thought-provoking (understatement) interactive storytelling game is by far one of the most unique titles I've seen so far, and it takes a lot of brains to conjure something like this up in a heartbeat.

Basically, the game centres around a player exploring what appears to be a collection of small "unfinished" abstract games developed by a man known by the name of "Coda", and the narrator, Davey Wreden (the game's real-life developer), guides the player through each game in the chronological order of their creation between 2008 and 2011 when Coda "suddenly" stopped making games altogether. As the player makes progress, we learn more about the complex relationship between Coda and Davey.

How its gameplay is set up to present this storyline is really easy but pretty clever - a 5 year old could probably complete this within an hour, though the game's concepts are far too mature for a child to understand. Upon first glance, it is set up like a basic exploration 3D game, which is to some extent what the game is. However, each puzzle or room you enter hides a much darker motive and really reflects the so-called introspective mind of Coda.

But then again, who exactly is Coda? Davey Wreden has stated that the game overall is open to interpretation, and I bet that when you type in "Coda" in Google, you'll find all sorts of debates about the identity of Coda. But, for the sake of avoiding spoilers, you'll just have to see for yourself.

I can't give enough praise to this game - its portrayal of themes of mental health, social alienation, depression, anxiety and isolation really appeal to a generation of people experiencing these issues in such a creative way. It also speaks very important messages about art and reality - a very common argument that never gets resolved..

Or has it already been resolved? And are we just subject to slavery to our own art? What is free will? Are we breathing?!

*cries in a corner*


Luke Taylor

Luke Taylor Contributor

I work as the Network Administrator for Voice. Having completed my apprenticeship at Unit Twenty Three, I continue my work supporting Voice and the Youth Network in whatever way possible. Music is my passion, and I will happily talk about all the bands you've probably never heard of!

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  • Tom Inniss

    On 6 April 2016, 20:32 Tom Inniss Voice Team commented:

    I watched a playthrough of this game - it's ending hit me nearly as hard as Bioshock Infinite! The feels were too real!

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