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The Signifier

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The Signifier (2020) is a horror adventure game where you explore a murder victim's memories to discover how they were killed. As the memories you visit disintegrate you pass between the real and the badly remembered to piece together a narrative that is different each time you play.

You explore the world, passing between real and surreal existence. What starts as a story about a researcher behind an experimental deep brain scanner, soon spirals into a murder investigation. You are tasked with using the device to explore the victim's memories and discover what happened.

In each of the memories, you must walk around, explore, solve puzzles and unlock dialogue to gain more information. These range from straightforward logic challenges to more esoteric conundrums that require you to pass back and forth between the objective and subjective elements of the memory.

However, being memories, all is not what it seems. They are fractured and contradictory rather than verbatim recreations of events. This is true both of their content but also their coherence -- at times they dissolve into a mess of shapes and colours.

It sounds complex and heavy-handed, but in practice works well to draw you into the woman's memory. The scenes have a creepy air to them that is underlined not only by the distorted graphics but the way you interact with her different states of mind to gain more clues. This takes the game in some dark directions, touch on the woman's shame and fear that take shape as you piece together what happened.

It is a horror game, but one that doesn't have jump scares. What's horrific here is put to good use in the unravelling narrative of this woman's life. Along the way you find yourself questioning the implications of AI, intrusion to the consciousness, privacy, and whether we see the world as it is or a subjective creation of our minds.

The Signifier: Director’s Cut is planned for Xbox and PlayStation. This adds more narrative content, new memories, dialogue and voice-over, three additional story endings, and a new epilogue giving greater insight to key characters and choices.

Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked The Signifier 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 3 months ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to The Signifier. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Brain Game and Narrative game with Adventure and Simulation elements. This is a single-player game.

DurationDuration

Play Time: This game will take between 4 hours and 5 hours to complete.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

This game has been rated PEGI 18.

This game contains the following mature audience content: Nudity, Sexual Content, Violence, References to Sexual Violence, Strong Language, Blood, Fear/Scary Content

CostsCosts

The Signifier usually costs £16.75.
 

The Signifier Director's Cut

Steam Store PC £16.75
Steam Store Mac £16.75

The Signifier

XBox Store Xbox One -
PlayStation Store PS4 -
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 15/10/2020

Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Players: 1

Genres: Brain Game, Narrative (Adventure and Simulation)

Accessibility: 0 features documented (Tweet Developer )

Components: 3D First-Person

Developer: Play Me Studio (@Play_Me_Studio)


Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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