Narratives for Interaction: Her Story Game Review

Her Story is an interactive video game produced and directed by Sam Barlow in 2015, and has won several game publication awards since. The game is set in a detective desktop computer, with access to video footage of police interrogation of a woman (Viva Seifert) on several separate occasions. The page starts off with a few snippets of the interview, revealing the crime – the murder of a missing man named Simon.

The woman proceeds to introduce herself as Hannah Smith – Simon’s wife. The keyword search function in the corner prompts us to further research on the case, by searching notable names and phrases mentioned in each interview. The game leads us on to search for video after video, digging deeper and deeper into the case.

As the pieces come together, a bigger picture is gradually revealed. At some point, the woman starts to refer to Hannah as a third person, indicating the existence of a twin sister. Eve and Hannah are twin sisters and she, in the interview, is the former. The two identities, Hannah and Eve, seem to merge into a single person as one’s alibi is used as an excuse for the other’s murder of Simon. The video footage leads us endlessly – from her singing videos to her troubled relationships.

I was intrigued by how the game was so engaging, despite its simple design and 90s themed graphics. Although I didn’t play the game till the end, I watched its gameplays on YouTube, which easily lasted for an hour. The game brings us through countless twists and turns, and many surprising revelations. Important clues are scattered throughout the gameplay – such as an occasionally flickering of the office light and the faint reflection of a woman with striking resemblance to Hannah/Eve. One of the events that struck me was a video of the woman casually performing on her guitar, singing about the rain and making a bow out of hair and bones. The eventual realisation that it was actually a song about her murder of her twin sister was extremely creepy.

The game ends without any confirmed accusations or a definite conclusion – a chat window asking if the player is ‘finished’. It is then revealed that the player (you) is actually Sarah, Eve’s daughter, who came to seek the truth behind her mother and Hannah (hence the reflection on the desktop).

Her Story opens up our imagination and gives us the exciting role of a desktop detective. The concept is not only meticulously planned out, but the attention paid to the little details was also exceptional – from important hidden clues to mindless comments like Simon’s preference for blondes. It is one of the most creative and deep storylines I’ve ever read and is certainly an inspiration to me.

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