Video Games

A Hand With Many Fingers

Archival research gameplay


Have you ever wanted to piece together an international conspiracy with nothing but a bunch of newspaper clippings, a corkboard, and some red twine? If you're reading this, there's an above-average chance you have, in which case you should check out A Hand With Many Fingers.

This indie computer game puts you in the shoes of a researcher spending a few late-night hours alone (or are you?) in a CIA archive. The gameplay is actually just doing archival research: flipping through card catalogs, retrieving cardboard boxes from the basement, and pinning the clippings you find onto your corkboard.

The incident you investigate is the real-life 1980 death of an Australian banker, whose associates included former CIA agents and U.S. special forces soldiers. You uncover a story of Cold War dirty laundry as you use the tidbits you find to pursue new leads. The game approximates the feeling and satisfaction of doing actual investigative work fairly well. It's short enough that it doesn't wear out its welcome, and it's only $5.

For those who like to connect dots, A Hand With Many Fingers scratches that very particular itch. It even manages, with impressively minimal effort, to be spooky. You might find yourself looking over your shoulder as you play.