Every now and then you’ll look at a game store page and see that it’s got pretty good reviews, and wonder if it’s actually any good. Well, I decided to play Telling Lies and see if it lived up to the Overwhelmingly Positive user reviews it garnered back in 2019, three years on.
Telling Lies is a playable FMV game where you take on the role of an NSA operative who is tasked with sifting through hours and hours of recorded footage of a handful of individuals, searching for keywords such as “Love” or “Dead” and analysing the footage which is returned by the search. It shares DNA with “Her Story” through its format; however, where “Her Story” only had one person to try and catch out in their lies, Telling Lies has you analysing and playing Sherlock on four different people. Each clip is one side of a conversation and you must piece together the other half of the conversation to try and solve the puzzle.
What are people saying?
If you look at the reviews for this game, they are mostly positive; outlets like The Guardian praised the game for it’s ingenuity and complexity whereas user reviews were not as favourable, with some calling it a “bunch of boring clips” and others saying that it was about as much fun as watching paint dry.
Is it actually any good?
Being a fan of Tim Roth’s series Lie To Me and being interested in human psychology and behaviour from a very young age, Telling Lies appeals to me on many levels. I have also always had a passion too for games that are slightly different and games that don’t hold your hand, and Telling Lies is certainly both of these. It’s a fantastic twisting-and-turning tale of suspense and mystery right up until the last clip which offers hundreds of possibilities based on your deductions, and it is a game that is so well acted, that you truly do feel like a human lie detector by the end of it.
Telling Lies isn’t for everyone and many are going to either struggle with the format, or just not find it engaging at all; however, if you are passionate about lie detection and fancy yourself a bit of a sleuth, then you could do a whole lot worse than Sam Barlow’s intriguing little gem, Telling Lies.