Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Aug 22, 2019
    100
    Telling Lies requires a deliberateness from its players that turns us from viewers to active plot participants. It’s a game that doesn’t hold your hand, and ultimately it’s down to you to decide the truth – another secret of a good mystery done well.
  2. Edge Magazine
    Sep 12, 2019
    90
    The variety of ways for a player to interact with a single narrative is breathtaking, and the way Barlow has paralleled how we shape our own view of a story in the digital era - clicking back and forth across an exploded timeline - truly incisive. [Issue#337, p.104]
  3. 90
    Some may argue that Telling Lies is less of a game and more of a form of loosely interactive media. If that’s the case, well, it’s the most engrossing ‘non-game’ game I’ve played in recent memory.
  4. Aug 30, 2019
    90
    Telling Lies not only confirms Sam Barlow's quality in writing and game design, but exalts even further the expressive potential of the videogame medium
  5. Aug 25, 2019
    90
    Telling Lies is especially interesting in how its themes connect to real-world politics and ethics surrounding privacy when in the hands of a government bureau.
  6. Aug 23, 2019
    90
    Barlow creates an aura of intimacy around the scenes which makes watching any number of them feel like an invasive act. Telling Lies’ crafted voyeurism should inspire the creep in you.
  7. Aug 23, 2019
    90
    Telling Lies is an absolute masterpiece. It offers some brilliant writing and acting that drive us to passionately discover all of its secrets through its very simple but effective mechanics.
  8. Aug 21, 2019
    90
    Telling Lies is like the best parts of an adventure game, a mystery novel, and an art nouveau movie all rolled up into one. It tells an exciting story uniquely and shows that Sam Barlow’s success with Her Story wasn’t just a fluke. Besides a few frustrating moments, Telling Lies was one of the most compelling gaming experience I’ve had yet in 2019.
  9. Aug 21, 2019
    90
    I won’t tell any lies here, Telling Lies is another excellent piece of narrative game design from Sam Barlow and I sincerely hope there’s more to come.
  10. Aug 21, 2019
    90
    Telling Lies is a paragon for storytelling, for character arcs that surprise you and linger on long after the credits – and videos – have ended.
  11. Aug 21, 2019
    90
    Sharp writing, believable acting and a twisting plot make Telling Lies an essential detective game.
  12. Aug 21, 2019
    90
    Telling Lies feels like it's about four times as big as Sam Barlow's previous game Her Story, and it shows. You feel it not just in the four characters you're sifting through footage of, but in the variety of its videos too: from FaceTime calls to hidden cameras capturing secretive meetings. In Her Story, it was famously easy to go down a rabbit hole of sorts on your own intuition; in Telling Lies, that tendency is mechanized in smart, intuitive ways. When it comes to good interactive mysteries, Telling Lies is among the best you can get.
  13. Aug 21, 2019
    90
    For everyone else, especially avid followers of character-driven art forms, these are performances you can really sink your teeth into.
  14. Aug 29, 2019
    88
    Telling Lies expands the concept seen in Her Story, and it does a great job. We think its predecessor did a better job overall, but if you like to feel like a detective, take notes and uncover the truth, make sure you give it a try.
  15. Aug 21, 2019
    87
    An atmospheric, brilliantly written and acted detective thriller that tells a compelling story in a unique way.
  16. Sep 5, 2019
    86
    One thing is for sure: My laptop camera will remain taped for the time being.
  17. Sep 23, 2019
    85
    In sum, Telling Lies represents a niche genre that explores interactive storytelling in a very unique way. The game’s director, Sam Barlow, evolved the Her Story formula, but at a cost. After all, what makes the game so good also reveals its flaws. The ending, for example, can feel very anticlimactic depending on how you uncover specific videos. Still, as the saying goes, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” And Telling Lies is quite a journey — hopefully, one that will inspire many more story-driven games to come. Now go, awaken the sleuth inside you.
  18. Sep 4, 2019
    80
    Telling Lies feels more like a jigsaw puzzle, with you hunting among scattered pieces. But while it can have its moments of exasperation, there are few things as satisfying as revealing the full picture.
  19. Sep 3, 2019
    80
    I’d love for Sam Barlow to add some kind of “movie” mode to Telling Lies, allowing us to see conversations happen in real time, with videos playing out in chronological order. It’s unlikely that’ll ever happen, though. As it is, Telling Lies’ compelling narrative and phenomenal acting will be enough to spur you on. Searching and scrubbing through videos can be a chore, but it’s worth it, if just for that one tiny piece of information you’ve been waiting to find.
  20. Sep 3, 2019
    80
    Telling Lies is a great investigation game that shines from its atmosphere and scenario, thanks to a really good acting performance. The player is constantly invited to rethink the plot, and discover new elements, but, on a more gameplay side, we're a bit disappointed by the user interfaces, not as cleaver as in Her Story.
  21. Sep 3, 2019
    80
    Telling Lies is an incredibly more complex project than Her Story, and this has brought with it benefits and some flaws.
  22. Aug 28, 2019
    80
    A perfect cast, strong performances and a thoughtful script offer an intimate, almost voyeuristic insight into the personal lifes of these characters, who really grew on me the longer I played. In terms of gameplay, there are ups and downs, some of which could have been avoided. I understand the directors intention behind some decisions, but I wished the game had more options in terms of video control or perhaps even a post-credit-mode that lets me combine two videos into one cohesive dialogue. But as long as you know what you are getting into, this movie-in-a-game-hybrid can be a fascinating experience, even when the overarching storyline turns out to be a surprisingly simple affair.
  23. Aug 25, 2019
    80
    Telling Lies may borrow its core mechanic from Her Story, but shifting from monologues to two-sided conversations brilliantly expands the investigative gameplay, and a pivot from murder mystery to political thriller gives director Sam Barlow a much richer set of ideas to explore. A few storytelling hiccups and awkward edges do little to detract from a thought-provoking look at the modern surveillance state—delivered not through soapbox lecture but by forcing you, unsettlingly, to participate.
  24. Aug 21, 2019
    80
    Barlow is single-handedly creating a genre out of the movie-video game combination. This story is more complicated than Her Story, which revolved around a single actress. Four more people are relevant in this tale, but the game has more than 30 characters altogether.
  25. Aug 21, 2019
    80
    The Telling Lies video game - from developers Sam Barlow and Furious Bee, and publisher Annapurna Interactive - is an engaging, interactive film.
  26. Oct 8, 2019
    75
    As a successor of Her Story, Telling Lies succeeds in delivering a deep and varied story with what is essentially the same system. However, whether that story is full of surprises or not, depends hugely on the player’s reasoning powers.
  27. Sep 9, 2019
    75
    Whether you call it an interactive movie game or desktop thriller, Telling Lies is a gratifying and authentic-feeling fly-on-the-wall experience. For the most part. Exceptional performances and an intriguing, topical story are undercut by a jarring gameplay choice that forces you out of the game when you least want it.
  28. Sep 3, 2019
    70
    Telling Lies makes great innovative tweaks to its gameplay formula, and offers a high-quality live-action adventure, but it completely fumbles merging these two elements together. A word of advice would be to try your hand at the puzzle and discovery for a while, and then eventually just watch the clips outside the game to enjoy the narrative.
  29. Aug 23, 2019
    70
    A grander take on Her Story‘s FMV database search idea, Telling Lies proves Sam Barlow is still the master of the carefully crafted reveal, even if at times this particular web of deceit unravels a little too slowly.
  30. Aug 21, 2019
    70
    Telling Lies expands on the concept Sam Barlow created with Her Story, with a web of intriguing characters and mysteries, but the more overblown aspects of its plot detract from the personal drama.
  31. Aug 21, 2019
    70
    As a further expansion of Barlow's ideas about what games can be, Telling Lies is a success. It's unfortunate that, in the end, it doesn't further embrace its interactive possibilities.
  32. Sep 7, 2019
    60
    Without a sense of feedback or progress, the rambling, leisurely narrative of Telling Lies comes across as unfocused.
  33. Aug 28, 2019
    60
    Her Story is a tough act to follow, and unfortunately, Telling Lies does not hit the same emotional highs that Barlow’s previous game did. Opting to use the same barebones video player both does not make sense for this storyline and introduces an annoyance that players are forced to deal with. The story is still intriguing, but not to a binge-worthy degree. Telling Lies is worth playing for Her Story fans, but can’t quite hit those same high notes despite its best efforts.
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  1. Aug 23, 2019
    A well-presented story told in a fresh way. Buy it if you have any interest in new storytelling forms.
  2. Aug 21, 2019
    The creator of Her Story explores its ideas further in a broader, deeper, more unruly video mystery. [Eurogamer Recommended]
  3. Aug 21, 2019
    If Her Story was a proof of concept, Telling Lies is the next evolution of what Sam Barlow can do with this new — and thus far not imitated — genre of full-motion video mysteries. Even after seeing the conclusion, I was back to searching for a few more clips, digging for just a little bit more information until I’m satisfied that I’ve seen everything. [Polygon Recommends]
  4. Telling Lies feels very much like Her Story 2, in the sense that a sequel is like the previous entry in a series but more: bigger, better, faster, stronger.
  5. Aug 23, 2019
    I love Telling Lies for the same reason I loved Her Story: everything you find is earned. Your success in uncovering the full story is based on your intuition and ability to pick up on detail. How you view things or what experiences you bring into the game will likely shape your interpretation of everything you see. There is not one simple truth because everyone has their own.
  6. Aug 23, 2019
    An uncomfortable and fascinating exploration of confession and forged intimacy.
User Score
6.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 25
  2. Negative: 7 out of 25
  1. Aug 23, 2019
    10
    Hi to everybody i just felt alone when my brother got to Canada so i waited to play this game so i can release my feelings . you know nowadaysHi to everybody i just felt alone when my brother got to Canada so i waited to play this game so i can release my feelings . you know nowadays we do not see many games which gives us stories and some kind of looking to life in other hand telling lies is a masterpiece for people like me who had much more bad moments than good moments in their life. enjoy it and i hope to see the new Silent Hill too Full Review »
  2. Aug 30, 2019
    1
    So much bugs. No new patch in steam. I dont know HER STORY WAS MASTERPIECE . This game is BRUH. When you just go forward in the video. NextSo much bugs. No new patch in steam. I dont know HER STORY WAS MASTERPIECE . This game is BRUH. When you just go forward in the video. Next videos just go so fast and you cant stop it. The game isn´t finished it. But Money Come on to my pocket. I dont care. Dont buy it. Full Review »
  3. Sep 5, 2019
    1
    Ugh. Self-Indulgent Faux Hollywood Writing you can’t escape from. Lack of basic interface mechanics that would drive any gameplayer whoUgh. Self-Indulgent Faux Hollywood Writing you can’t escape from. Lack of basic interface mechanics that would drive any gameplayer who actually focus tests this game to short-circuit the long tedious stretches (7-8 minutes of video! Add PLAY FROM BEGINNING/FAST REWIND, it’s common sense) rather than endure them. “Ending” doesn’t land properly. I liked Her Story, but that story (and definitely not this one) wouldn’t be worth it if it wasn’t interactive. Regret purchasing, should have waited for Steam reviews to roll in vs. publication critics. Full Review »