The crew are on strike, there’s a player already in the game, and you’re stuck behind the scenes, trying to keep things running.
Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger and the Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist on PC
It might be ironic to say that a game with a title as exhaustive as Dr. Langeskov, The Tiger and the Terribly Cursed Emerald: A Whirlwind Heist leaves you speechless, but it does. It feels like the product of a one night stand between The Stanley Parable and Portal, two amazing games, that blossomed into something with some of the best traits of both.
Without spoiling much, it is very necessary to compare this game to William Pugh’s other most notable work, The Stanley Parable. The similarities are just too prominent. You walk around, you push buttons. You generally avoid playing an actual game and do everything else. You have a British narrator who is bossing you around, you obey or disobey. Havoc ensues. You got this same kind of experience playing through The Beginner’s Guide, created by David Wren who is also of The Stanley Parable fame. For those of you who haven’t played it yet, it is well worth picking up, but that of course isn’t why we’re here.
The similarities between these three games are numerous. Among those stated above, you have a type of backstage quality to all of the games. In The Stanley Parable, one path brings you to a level that the narrator says is incomplete, with unfinished textures all over. The Beginner’s Guide is all about game development, and does things such as showing you the levels broken down to a less playable state. Dr. Langeskov takes this to an extreme degree, showing you literally in the backstage of a game in the same sense that you would be backstage of a play. A unique take, and one it embraces wholeheartedly.
Where these games differ is tonally. The Stanley Parable had an amusing blend of philosophy and humor, questions and comedy, feelings of irrelevance and boarded up broom closets. If The Beginner’s guide can be accepted as taking the philosophical aspect and expanding upon it, Dr. Langeskov then takes to the comedic side, focusing more intensely upon the humor of the situation. Comedian Simon Amstell’s interactions with the player are core to this. “You’re breaking my heart,” he says in a half sob imploring you to push a button, or pull a lever, or flip a switch, or answer the telephone and not just lift it and drop it back on the receiver.