Her Story is one of those games that makes you wonder what the hell a game is anyway. There's barely a beginning, even less of an ending, and no achievements other than the hazy and unmeasurable kind that we used to have before Xbox.
The game – or is it an interactive book? Or an FMV puzzle? - sees you sifting through video police interviews with a woman called Hannah Smith in an attempt to work out, well, why she's there.
The videos are stored on a police database and tagged with keywords. As you watch the interviews you pick up clues and develop theories, which you can flesh out and test by searching the database.
If your search for, e.g., 'Glasgow' brings up results then you can further refine this thread of your investigation by adding your own tags to the entries that appear.
It's an ingenious concept, but what makes the whole thing so engrossing is the detail of its execution, from Viva Seifert's engaging performance in the title role to the authentic interface and creaking hard drive of the 1990s computer you're working on. Her Story is made to be as authentic as possible.
And that means no points, or power-ups, or easy resolutions. The challenge in Her Story is first to understand the parameters of the game, and then to use common sense and a bit of lateral thinking to build a picture of an incident and the people involved.
You'll never see a game over screen. The game ends when you don't have anything left to ask it, and even then, like a lot of good stories, it contains enough ambiguity to allow for alternative theories to share with others and ponder in the shower.
Should you buy it? That's difficult to call. If all you want from games is the easy, mind-numbing escape of cut-and-paste laser carnage (which is totally fine and nothing to be ashamed of) then we won't judge you for passing – but you'll be missing out on something ambitious, imaginative, and completely new.