Her Story

Her Story's computer interface

The rare games that don’t follow traditional formulas we’ve come to expect are extremely interesting to me. It’s very difficult to make something that still fits into a video game while getting rid of the traditional systems.

Go here

Do this

Shoot them!

Get some points and a sticker!

Wow you did a good job, you’re so good at games!

I still love RPGs and FPS games, but those mechanics just feel insulting after a while. Can’t we do a little bit more than get a prescribed shot of dopamine every five-to-ten minutes?

Sam Barlow of the excellent Silent Hill: Shattered Memories is here to throw most of that out of the window and take us to a more interactive-fiction style of play without so much reading. Though there are subtitles in his adventure called Her Story, so far the game feels more about listening skills than reading.

Her Story is about a fictional missing persons investigation in Britain from 1994. You’re to review the interview clips on a computer interface that to me is reminiscent of Windows 3.1 which is so realistic as to include a fictionally warezed Othello game, scanlines, and glare. The latter two can be toggled off if you get annoyed but I feel so much more in the game’s world when they’re on.

The interview clips are of a suspect, the missing husband’s wife, and the acting is (again, so far as I’ve seen having not yet completed the game) fantastic.

Once you’ve reviewed the first set of interview clips available to you, your only mechanism for getting more is to type in a search query into the database pictured above. It is a tiny amount of dopamine joy when you get some new nugget of information, but each clip gives me so many new keywords to try and there’s no failure or score unless you count the Steam achievements so I can sit there for a while writing down each keyword that I think of while watching the video clips and making up my mind only to find out every few times I get a keyword jackpot that there is some important fact I’ve been overlooked about the situation.

Typically I’d hold off on sharing my impressions of a game until I had completed it and turned my thoughts into a full review. This a rare case where I couldn’t wait to tell you to play Her Story, because you should.

Her Story is on Mac, Windows, iPhone and iPad. It’s a steal at $6 but it’s on sale for a little while longer at $5.

Author: Jack Slater

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