Her Story

Her Story is a rather unique adventure/narrative game. Created by Sam Barlow, it is truly a game of mystery, detection, and observation. The player must sift through a database of police interviews with Hannah Smith, regarding the death of her husband. The videos aren’t in any order and can’t be directly accessed. Instead, the player must enter a search term, which will return up to five videos that contain that keyword. Depending on which (and how many) words the player puts in will determine whether the actual truth is discovered. In other words, there’s no definite end to the game. After a certain number of discovered videos the player receives a chat prompt asking if he or she is finished, but I would recommend to keep going. I would also recommend keeping track of search terms already used, as well as potential terms to try out discovered from each video.

Portrayed by Viva Seifert, Hannah is a very intriguing interviewee, and through the dozens of videos will display the full gamut of emotions. Unless the player spends the time unearthing at least most of the videos, it can be really hard to tell what is true and what isn’t. Besides the clues of what she’s wearing, be sure to also pay attention to the date and time for each video.

Sara Is Missing

Played by both Markiplier and HarshlyCritical, I decided to give Sara Is Missing a try (I actually played the game before watching their playthroughs, and I recommend doing so). This is a short but free game for Mac or Windows, and is also available on the Apple Store and Google Play.

In the game you find Sara’s phone and must search through emails, texts, photos and more to try to determine what happened to her. Along the way you’ll have a helpful Siri-like AI assistant to give you helpful nudges. The story is fairly intriguing and as time goes by things get weirder and creepier. There’s no background music or sounds, and I’m not sure if they’re really needed or not.

Thankfully the game is free because it is a very short one. If they simply made it to gauge interest in a longer version then I think they’ve succeeded. I really wanted more, and I can see this style of game working quite well whether played on a PC or a phone.

Lara Croft Go

Soon after I began playing Hitman Go, I learned that a Go version game of Lara Croft was in development. Since I quite enjoyed Hitman Go I was happy to hear this news and was anxious to see how it would turn out. Luckily, the release of Lara Croft Go shows that while some things are similar, it’s not exactly the same as its predecessor, and it’s a better game for it.

In Lara Croft Go, the player moves Lara through many levels of caves and jungles. The artwork and graphics are very nice, and not as stiff as those in Hitman Go; there’s a lot more movement and shading. Lara is still basically a piece on a game board, but I usually forgot about it. The puzzles start out fairly easy, but it doesn’t take long before I would die and would need to really concentrate before moving each step. Like in Hitman Go there are enemies that will pop up from time to time, some static and some will move, either in a fixed line or pattern or will follow Lara around. At times this got pretty annoying and frustrating to me, but I would just need to restart the level and think it over a little more before moving again.

I certainly hope this second Go game isn’t the last. I’ve had a lot of fun playing both, and I would love to see future Go games with more refinements and changes to suit the corresponding game world/universe!

Hitman Go

I never really played the original Hitman PC games. I’d certainly heard about them, and I did like the stealth and strategy aspects of them. Recently when I heard there would be a Hitman game for iOS, I wasn’t too thrilled as I thought it would be another 3D game, which in my opinion still don’t work well on tablets and smartphones. However, what we got instead was Hitman Go, and it’s sort of like a virtualized game board. Well, considering my recent renewed interest in board games I was intrigued, and so I had to try it out.

Color me impressed. I like that the game has many individual levels, and it’s easy to open the game and just play a level or two at a time. Further in the game they do get more difficult, so there can be times where a quick session could turn into a half-hour or longer. I like that it forces me to think, to try to anticipate all the patterns and movements of the other pieces on the pathways. This has ended up being one of my favorite iOS games, and one of the few that are still installed. Apparently it was popular enough for Square Enix as well, as before too long we would get another game, Lara Croft Go.

Tiny Wings

As mentioned in my Monument Valley review, Tiny Wings is one of the few mobile games I’ve ever purchased, and one of the extremely few I’ve kept on my phone. It’s a very simple game, bolstered by lovely artwork and sublime background music and sound effects. You control the flight of a bird, but not directly. It can fly on its own, but it needs help to know when to tuck its wings in and dive, using the landscape to help propel it along faster. You’ll need to do this to get as far as possible in each level, as the sun is sinking, and when night comes the flight is over. Too simple to be a game on its own, right? Wrong! The best games have a simple and solid premise and control scheme, and Tiny Wings succeeds brilliantly because of that. While I don’t play it very long at a time, it’s always a fun game to come back to again and again.