How do you review a game like The Beginner’s Guide? As a narrative experience that lasts an hour and a half (and that’s not a rough estimate—you’d have to go some lengths to make it any longer) one is almost tempted to say, “look, it’s really not that long, if it sounds like the kind of thing you’d like, you’re only losing an hour and a half to it.”
It’s strange, because a movie—you know, a narrative experience—also generally lasts an hour and a half, yet if someone said that to me about a film, I’d be like “uh, an hour and a half is a lot of time to spend on anything, pal” and yet if a game has got out of the tutorial by that point we’re probably feeling pretty good. And if it’s any shorter than about six hours we’re probably feeling ripped off, no matter how much it cost.
(If you’re wondering, The Beginner’s Guide is $9.99.)