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Unheard is a detective game where you solve crimes by listening – PAX West 2019

Unheard is an interesting premise, sort of an audio-based Her Story in some ways, and I’m interested in hearing more.

unheard game screenshot
Image: Steam

When I sat down at the Unheard demo station at NEXT Studio’s booth at PAX West, I was told this game would involve a lot of listening. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, so I put on the headphones and went in with an open mind.

The premise of Unheard is creative and elegantly simple: You use some advanced pseudo surveillance system to listen to events that have already happened. In terms of gameplay mechanics, that means you get to see a blueprint of a scene and you can move around it freely.

From there, you can hit play, fast forward, rewind, and so on to playtime. You can see unidentified circles that are sound sources and it’s your job to first identify them all, then solve the crime. In the demo, it’s “Who planted the drugs in the car?”

Here’s a closer look at Unheard in its official trailer

I first listened in one room where a detective was interviewing a subject, then moved to another room to follow that detective. After that, I started over and followed the other detective. I listened a third time and eavesdropped on a conversation where neither detective was in the room.

With all of the sources properly identified, which involved correcting some initial guesses based on new information in subsequent listens, I was able to gather enough information to figure out whodunnit. It was a wild ride, that’s for sure.

Unheard is an interesting premise, sort of an audio-based Her Story in some ways, and I’m interested in hearing more. Unheard is available now on Steam (Windows and Mac) for $6.99.

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Jake is a writer and game designer in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He loves action, exploration, building, filling bars, and turning numbers into bigger numbers. Someday he'll release a video game.

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