Videogames like Her Story
July 8, 2015 1:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm going through major Her Story withdrawal. What game should I play next?

I'm not necessarily looking for more FMV games, though I'm not opposed to them, either. What I love about Her Story is the emotional complexity. I love how although there are a lot of "Aha" moments along the way, it's never all tied up into one nice package. You leave the game with lots of questions to think about.

I'm not opposed to more traditional videogames either (Portal 2 scratched a lot of the same itches for me that Her Story did), but I really suck at the more twitchy ones. I know that a lot of people praise Half Life 2 for its narrative complexity, but whenever I've tried to play it, I've pretty much just spent it getting killed.

posted by roll truck roll to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 36 users marked this as a favorite
I enjoyed Yesterday and the Dreamfall: The Longest Journey. Yesterday is, truthfully, hokey, but there's a good narrative in there - but the downside is that may be mobile/touch-enabled only. Plus, The Room I and II (touch-only) really, really did it for me. Loved the story, the gameplay, the graphics - best money I've spent on a video game in a long while. If I think of more, I'll let you know.
posted by singmespanishtechno at 1:05 PM on July 8, 2015

Have you tried ICO and/or Shadow of the Colossus? Emotionally and narratively... interesting, I'll say to avoid spoilers, and you are certainly left with lingering questions after completing them.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:14 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh, and Journey, too. I sincerely almost cried at the end of that game. No kidding.
posted by singmespanishtechno at 1:17 PM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: It just occurred to me that I should have mentioned that my only gaming apparati are a Mac, a Wii, and an Android phone. But other people can enjoy the recommendations that I can't.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:17 PM on July 8, 2015

you might enjoy gone home.
posted by koroshiya at 1:22 PM on July 8, 2015 [10 favorites]

The Walking Dead games are well written and their narratives change based on a series of moral choices you'll have to make as the game progresses. It gets very heavy at times. There are some twitchy bits in there but the gameplay is mostly pretty casual.
posted by evisceratordeath at 1:29 PM on July 8, 2015 [4 favorites]

You might look into modern Interactive Fiction. Mostly text-based games, but the best are shockingly creative and fascinating. Here's a recent Top 50 of All Time list. But for your purposes, maybe first try the work of porpentine.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:38 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Analogue: A Hate Story (which is a not-sequel to the developer's previous Digital: A Love Story, hence the name) isn't quite the same thing, but it's not entirely different. It doesn't have the keyword searching mechanic, but it's about you uncovering a story told non-linearly through documents and diary entries stored in the database of a deserted starship. It doesn't have the ambiguity of Her Story, but I thought it had quite a bit of emotional punch.

It apparently supports OS X 10.5 and up (it worked just fine for me under 10.6), and there's also a demo you can try if you're unsure if it will run for you.
posted by figurant at 1:50 PM on July 8, 2015 [3 favorites]

You might like Phantasmat - The Endless Night. Good storyline, very emotional - and yes, I almost cried at the ending too.
posted by SisterHavana at 2:32 PM on July 8, 2015

Hatoful Boyfriend is a dating story with birds instead of people but a lot of people really like it.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:43 PM on July 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Echoing Rock Steady's IF recommendation, but I would start with Photopia.
posted by gregglind at 7:31 PM on July 8, 2015

I love Her Story too so I'm grateful for the answers here. A shorter game (maybe 2 hours) that hit a similar-but-different sweet spot for me is Monument Valley, which is on Android now. Very pretty puzzle game which I found more emotionally resonant than I'd expected a simple family-friendly game to be. It's inspired a lot of fan art so I guess I'm not the only one who got fully absorbed by its world.
posted by harriet vane at 12:06 AM on July 9, 2015

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