[Review] Her Story (PC) (2015)

I have played a handful of games that have touched on the subject of criminology, where you play a detective on the beat picking up clues, interviewing suspects and arresting perps. Some games do the subject well and are intuitive (see Cold Case Files: the Game or Unsolved Crimes), while some crime games, not so much (see Crime Scene or CSI: Dark Motives). Never have I had a crime-themed gaming experience like what I had with Her Story. Instead of getting clues at the start, you are using already-collected evidence to come to a conclusion.

Her Story opens with a feeling you have gone back in time to the days of Windows 98, as you are presented with a dusty CRT computer monitor. A database program from twenty years ago is running on-screen. No sound is present, except for the faint humming of overhead fluorescent lights which can be seen reflected in the monitor.

A handful of live-action videos are open and available on-screen for viewing. All are short clips (30 seconds or less) of a woman who appears to be in a room being interviewed. They all seem to be out of sequence. The subject matter of what she says instantly piques your interest as you soon realize this woman is being asked questions about the whereabouts of a man named Simon and her involvement with him.

The videos available to you on-screen have been watched…now what? You are given a text box on-screen inviting you to enter random search terms of your choosing. You come to realize you are searching a police investigation database to view the videos. You pull clues from what the woman had said in previous videos and try entering them in the search box. More video results come up based on your search terms. You notice this woman is in all of them, and you learn soon enough Simon is dead and she is a suspect.

Her Story loops around and subtly confuses. Just when I thought I had the sequence of events down, the game pulls a fast one. I take to writing things down in my trusty pocket notebook, like a cop would. More search terms, more videos…suspense ramps up…soon enough, the ending reveals itself…

I am not going any further into the gameplay, except to say Her Story is very much a unique interactive and satisfying experience that I won’t soon forget. Do yourself a favor and get this game!

5/5

Her Story
Sam Barlow
2016

Side note: The “Win 98” desktop shortcuts are .txt files, a trash bin and a game that are active too. You can open them and view them! 

25 comments

  1. Hi Sarca, What format is this game on and where is it available? Is it for PC or Mac? Sounds interesting but no good if it’s on devices for me. Thanks for your Likes, by the way. 😀

    Like

      1. That’s good to know. I’ll check it out.

        My laptop died a few months back. The whole operating system dead. No recovery. Nothing. Just wouldn’t kick back in, so I’m running Ubuntu on it. Really like it, but can’t use iTunes, Photoshop, or, importantly, Football Manager 12.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Computer savvy… That’s certainly one way to put it!

            I reckon I’ll revert back to Windows before long. The laptop didn’t come with a recovery disc and the manufacturer doesn’t support it online any longer.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah, most laptops no longer come with a recovery disc…you have to create one before the computet goes kaput! But you only think of that when the laptop goes right?

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Tell me about it. I’m thinking I’m gonna get in touch with them, as I imagine they’ll have an archive of backup discs they can hook me up with!

              Like

  2. One of my very favourite games of the last few years – I absolutely loved this one, it’s such a clever idea and so well acted too. I should also point out that I am profoundly in love with Viva Seifert too.

    I first found out about it by reading this ‘making of’ article which sparked my interest:

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/feb/27/her-story-computer-game-true-detective-meets-google

    Such a clever idea. The bit where you find out (sort of) who ‘you’ are is a great moment too.

    Liked by 1 person

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