First Impressions: When I started this game, I was playing as a detective solving a homicide case. I was controlling a police department computer looking at video interrogation footage. The art design wasn’t fancy but the acting in the video was very convincing and this is what kept me continue playing. There were ambient light bulb sounds which gave a glow to the computer screen in the game. This reflected a game image of myself which was creepy but also brought up my curiosity. These external factors created the mood throughout the game which ultimately forced me to focus on the video footage. The video footage are cut into many pieces and players can only view up to five videos at a time. The video archive has a search bar which allows you to type in words and the archive will pick five videos that contains the word in the video dialogue. Players can also comment on each video, store it and review them later to gather more information about the case. The game seems complicated in the beginning but it is very simple to play and once I understood the search mechanism, I knew what words to search for and I was inclined to understand the whole story. Anyone who enjoys interacting with television shows will enjoy this game, especially for the crime and mystery genre. It’s like putting a movie together like a puzzle.
Going Further: The game mechanics were simple to use. I decided to try every tool in the game. I was looking at a desktop so I tried to use another program but the game stops playing when I exit the archive. I realized later I needed to move the archive window to open other programs. The database checker showed me how many footage I have seen. The database checker seems to have the videos saved in order which made me understand which portion of the story I have discovered so far. There was a query window which I can use where it shows how many footage there are for each key word I typed. Each footage was of different length and each showed a different date and time but all of them filmed one person. There were places where I could take notes and save the footage but I didn’t really use them. At first, I thought I could only search a single word. I typed in core words such as “name, Simon, Hannah, attic, story, twins, Eve” and so on but I was running out of words to search. I typed “it was me” and it searched videos that contained each word but separately. The tools given in the game suggests the users to discover more about what happened with the woman in the footage. Viewing the footage out of order really gave me the curiosity to focus on matching the story together.
The main focus of this game is finding out what happened to Hannah Smith. I realized that either Hannah or in the later footage her twin Eve had to do with Simon’s death. I thought it was jealousy in one of the twins due to an unfair childhood. Hannah kept referring the word “Her Story” when she spoke about her war-widowed mother. I thought Hannah and Eve’s early childhood was traumatized by some incident in their old attic. In the early stages during game play I thought that the plot was like this: Simon and Eve were a regular couple but one day Hannah pretended to be Eve and became pregnant. Eve spoke about Hannah being the popular one and out of jealousy and hate I thought Eve murdered Simon pretending to be Hannah. What gave me the chills later was when Hannah failed the lie detector because there was no reason for Eve to pretend to be Hannah during the interrogation. I begin to think that Hannah and Eve could be the same person with a dual personality.
I enjoyed the game because the plot was twisted and interesting. The game is enjoyable but requires full focus. The game requires players to remember the footage and the overall story. People who may have guessed or figured out the case in the early stages can also continue to play the game since it confirms the gamers’ suspicion. Overall it was a fun experience. I would try a game like this with another single actor with a different plot.