Her Story: An Interesting Exercise in Storytelling

Last weekend my wife and I spent about three hours interacting with a new not-quite-a-game that felt like 10 minutes we enjoyed it so much. When Her Story begins you are presented with desktop screen from a stylized 90's operating system with a program running that allows you to search a police database of related videos. Each video is a single statement, ranging from about 5 seconds to 2 minutes, from multiple interviews about a man's disappearance. The transcript from those videos is what you are querying, and the first term typed into the system when you begin is "MURDER".

The reason I am calling this not-quite-a-game is that it only requires you to type search terms into a system and watch the resultant videos. While there is no "test" at the end of the game to see if you have solved the mystery there are some elements of a game like trying to uncover all of the videos and if one of your search terms is too broad you can only watch the first 5 videos returned form your query. That said, Her Story gains a lot from its simple mechanics allowing the player's imagination to create much of the suspense, twists, and turns that would be lost if you simply watched the videos in order.

I really enjoyed Her Story and would recommend it to someone looking for an interesting story and an active imagination. It is definitely not a big production, big studio game, but it is an interesting experiment in storytelling, and I think it is worth the 5 or so dollars it costs. It can be purchase on Steam and the Her Story website.