Average Playtime: 4 hours

Telling Lies

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A Video Game About Private Conversations Telling Lies is the new video game from Sam Barlow, creator of Her Story and Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. An investigative thriller game with non-linear storytelling, Telling Lies revolves around a cache of secretly recorded video conversations. It stars Logan Marshall-Green, Alexandra Shipp, Kerry Bishé and Angela Sarafyan. How does it work? Telling Lies sits you in front of an anonymous laptop loaded with a stolen NSA database full of footage. The footage covers two years in the intimate lives of four people whose stories are linked by a shocking incident. Explore the database by typing search terms, watch the clips where those words are spoken and piece together your story. Unlike anything you've played before, Telling Lies is an intimate and intense experience. A game where you decide the truth.
Metacritic rating
Release date
Aug 23, 2019
Annapurna Interactive
Sam Barlow
Furious Bee Limited
Annapurna Interactive, Annapurna Games, LLC
Age rating
17+ Mature

System requirements for macOS

  • OS: OS X Yosemite
  • Processor: 2.00 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Storage: 1 GB available space

System requirements for PC

  • OS: Windows 7/8/10
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce 8800 or equivalent
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 1 GB available space

System requirements for iOS

iPhone 5s, iPad Air, iPad Air Cellular, iPad Mini Retina, iPad Mini Retina Cellular, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad Air 2, iPad Air 2 Cellular, iPad Mini 3, iPad Mini 3 Cellular, iPod Touch Sixth Gen, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Mini 4, iPad Mini 4 Cellular, iPad Pro, iPad Pro Cellular, iPad Pro 9.7, iPad Pro 9.7 Cellular, iPhone SE, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad 6 1 1, iPad 6 1 2, iPad 7 1, iPad 7 2, iPad 7 3, iPad 7 4, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPad 7 5, iPad 7 6, iPhone X S, iPhone X S Max, iPhone X R, iPad 8 1 2, iPad 8 3 4, iPad 8 5 6, iPad 8 7 8, iPad Mini 5, iPad Mini 5 Cellular, iPad Air 3, iPad Air 3 Cellular, iPod Touch Seventh Gen
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Last Modified: Sep 17, 2019

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Telling Lies reviews and comments

In Short:
Telling Lies is a fascinating example on how clever game mechanics & storytelling can elevate a regular thriller story into something special. If you are looking for the next unique game experience then play this game!

In Long:
I think it's best to know very little of the story before going into the game so I'll mostly talk about everything else.
But to quickly mention the story - it's good. The acting is great (at least from the main 4 characters), the cast pretty huge, and it offers enough to keep you guessing on what's going to happen next, or if you already found out, how it all went down.

This leads me to the gameplay. You are essentially going to watch the entire story out of sequence with you trying to piece together everything yourself. This essentially makes it a puzzle game more than anything else and even though it doesn't offer much in terms of gameplay, what's there is absolutely crucial to the game and its story!
You are given very little information with each clip with a few lies, secrets & red herrings to keep the story twisting & turning.
This is also due to each clip only having the audio input and is therefore often missing the other side of the conversation.
It's is genius!
Sometimes you will find the other side of a dialogue way later and it will re-contextualise the situation & relationships. It also makes for an interesting treasure hunt in the dialogue by trying to search for a question or response to find the opposite clip of the conversation.
Reading the characters & the environment can also help you spot important information & expose lies.
This game is very much testing your observation skills but is also purely fuelled by your own curiosity since the game lacks any real objectives.  
It also has a very natural difficulty curve due to its search engine. Whatever term you search for, it will only give you the first 5 results, usually relative to the recording date. So it's very easy to find the earliest clips with common words and phrases but to get to the latest clips & the ending you need to pay attention and find the right things to search for!
Again, it's genius!

I do have some personal gripes with the story and there is definitely a little bit of video game logic at work (meaning: odd rules to the world to make the gameplay better). One example is how you never hear the other end of a video call, even if they have the audio on loud and sometimes even tell the person they are talking to to be quit ... yet you can't hear anything!? 
Try to embrace it and have a great time with the game.

Tips before jumping in:
- Pay attention to the date & time of each clip
- Make notes & write down planned & used search terms
- Don't rewind clips to the beginning if you start at anything past minute 3
(My guess is that rewind is intentionally slow to discourage this player behaviour)
- Look at all the files and executable on your desktop
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