her story

In 1994 a British woman is interviewed seven times

about her missing husband. This is her story.

Her Story is an interactive crime fiction game created by Sam Barlow (Silent Hill, Aisle) and starring Viva Seifert. Game play is simple (and thus very attractive to an occasional — very occasional — gamer like me): you are presented with a database of seven interviews with a woman in 1994. However, the interviews have been chopped up into clips (some as short as eight seconds) and they are not in order. In order to view the clips, you can type keywords on the search bar. When you first open the game, the first keyword is already there: MURDER.

Screenshot 2015-07-04 17.56.21Watching the first few clips, you start to discern that someone is missing, possibly murdered, and the woman may or may not be a suspect. You only get to see the first five clips of every search (i.e. the database may say “61 clips found”, but will only show you the first five) so in order to access all of the clips, you need to get those detective skills working and try to think of as many inventive keywords as you can. I actually opened up a Word file and took notes of words I could use later in my search, mostly proper names of places and people, but also some mundane ones like “early” or “friend” or “coffee” or “sugar”.

At a certain point, the game (a person named SB in a chatbox that will suddenly appear) will ask you if you’ve got everything you needed. If you answer “yes”, the credits will roll. I answered “yes” after accessing perhaps 60 or 70 percent of the clips, which took me roughly three hours. (You can check on your progress by double-clicking on the DB Checker.)

You can continue hunting down the missing clips even after you choose to have the credits roll. I was pretty satisfied with the narrative I managed to glean from the interviews, but I’m still thinking about it. It’s an engrossing story, and a great gaming experience.

If you have played the game (or is just intrigued about the story), you can watch the clips in order here and/or check the complete list of keywords here.

Highly recommended.

h/t to M who told me about this and to J who bought me this game as a gift on Steam.

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