Her Story

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Her Story Game Poster Image
Inventive live-action murder mystery has adult themes.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Themes include jealousy, deceit, love, loss. Very little of what happens fits black-and-white moral code, leaving players to discern rightness, wrongness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The woman in game is often inscrutable, making it difficult to determine when she's lying, telling the truth. She has hidden motives, a secret past that makes her current character very complicated, often not for the better.

Ease of Play

Not really any way to lose. A matter of working through video files until story is revealed to player's satisfaction. 

Violence

No violence shown, but deaths verbally described in detail within context of police interrogation.

Sex

No sex shown, but frequent, frank discussions referring to intercourse, other sexual acts, including a scene where a woman briefly describes consensual taking of another woman's virginity with a hairbrush.   

Language

Occasional coarse language, including "f--k" and "s--t."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Dialogue references alcohol consumption, drugs. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Her Story is less a downloadable game than a visual, interactive story. It was created using live-action video clips, and players search through and watch scores of police records where a woman is interviewed about a murder. There's no on-screen sex or violence, but both are discussed frankly and occasionally in some detail during the interviews. The woman sometimes employs strong language, including "f--k." This isn't the sort of game players can win; they must simply make it to a point in the story where they feel as though they understand what happened.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 16 years old Written bySilverfall July 4, 2015

Great Modern Murder Mystery

Her Story is a very unique game. As the review states it isn't so much a video game than it is an interactive movie. The story revolves around your chara... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byInternetReviewer May 6, 2017

Very good

It has quite violent and sexual themes, but they are just that, themes. The whole game is just her talking so it's not to bad.

What's it about?

HER STORY is less a game than an interactive film, complete with live-action video segments. The experience begins with players dropped in front of a police workstation desktop. You don't know who you are or why you've been provided guest authorization to a police computer. The fake screen has a few clickable items, including Readme documents that explain how to play and one accessible program: a police video database containing dozens of clips of a woman interviewed about the death of a man in the summer of 1994. The game consists entirely of searching through this database, watching video clips, and trying to work out what happened. All the interviews have been transcribed, making them searchable by any words mentioned during the interrogations. If players hear the woman mention a name, object, or place, they can type it into the query box to return a list of all videos in which she speaks the word. There's no winning; the player's goal simply is to understand who the woman is and what happened. It will take most players a couple of hours to get a good feel for the story, but they can keep searching the database for additional details both crucial and mundane until they've watched every video in the catalog.

Is it any good?

Games dependent on live-action video don't come along often and generally aren't well received, but Her Story is an exception. Easy to grasp, surprisingly interactive, and instantly engaging, it plays on our natural curiosity as to the circumstances behind and reasons for criminal acts while making us an active participant in the investigation. The clips are generally pretty short (many are only a handful of seconds), which means there's not a lot of time spent simply staring at the screen. And longer clips in which crucial information is revealed likely will lead some players to scribble notes on a pad beside the keyboard, jotting down names and other ideas for search terms to query the database. The crimes and fates of those involved may be decades old, but the game still manages to make us feel like a sleuth, discovering details on our own through a mix of inquisitiveness and intuition. The compelling performance of the game's sole actress -- who is convincing and rarely over-the-top in her depiction of an enigmatic and slightly suspicious person of interest -- is the icing on this delicious murder-mystery cake. This is one game armchair detectives shouldn't miss.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the game's live-action video segments. How does video change the atmosphere and experience of a game? How does the performance of the woman who appears in this game stack up against that of CGI female characters in other dramatic games?

  • Discuss screen time. It's possible to play this game in about the same amount of time it takes to watch a long movie, so should it be broken into two or three smaller play sessions simply because it's a game? 

Game details

  • Platforms: Mac, Windows
  • Price: $14.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Sam Barlow
  • Release date: June 24, 2015
  • Genre: Role Playing
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Description

For kids who love mystery

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