Mind: Path to Thalamus is a stormy first-person puzzler featuring lovely landscapes

Following the decree that says that all first-person puzzlers must feature a tricksy metaphorical narrative and be scored by sad piano music, Mind: Path to Thalamus is first-person puzzle game promising both of those things. Heavy Rain-style dad-shouting aside, Mind also contains a bunch of stunning environments, impressive stormy weather effects, and lots of other visual/physics elements that should make your computer sing. It's out on Steam now , and I have two sad-piano trailers waiting after the break.

Mind: Path to Thalamus is a "metacritical story about a father broken by his mistakes", and while that does sound kind of interesting, I've been burned by enough minimalist platformers and puzzlers featuring treacly piano and cliched plot twists to be wary of games that appear to be treading similar ground. What I'm much more certain of is that Mind is absolutely stonking to look at. I mean, have a gawp at this:

Simply exploring that world would probably be enough for me, but there will also be "over 30" puzzles in the game, seemingly based around shifting the weather/the environment rather than moving a block onto a switch. Here's an exciting sentence taken from the Steam page: "turn day to night, make it so everything is covered by a blinding fog, summon incredible storms, travel to the past and make use of even more as of yet unknown mechanics". Well, I hope the developer knows what they are, at least.

Speaking of whom, Mind is largely the work of Carlos Coronado, creator of the Barcelona-set Warcelona mod for Left 4 Dead 2. (Here are some other credits: the script's by Luka Nieto, the music's by Chris Zabriskie, Greg Nugent supplied his voice, while additional coding was done by Jose Ladislao.)

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.