It’s social media day, and we wanted to celebrate, and what better way to do so than to look at indie games that emulate social media for their gameplay? Today we’re going to look at some of the best games that simulate a phone and/or social media to create an interesting or unique experience. All of these games are ones we recommend, and we hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
‘It’s been 72 hours since Hannah disappeared without a trace. Out of nowhere, her friends suddenly receive a message from the missing person’s phone. The mysterious message only contains a number… your number!’
Duskwood – an interactive thriller is a multimedia phone mystery that has you playing detective in an attempt to solve a kidnapping in a small village. You help Hannah’s friends and discover all the layers of this strange and dark tale. This game recently received it’s final and largest episode, so you can play the game in its entirety right now.
A normal lost phone
‘A Normal Lost Phone is a game about exploring the intimacy of an unknown person whose phone was found by the player. The game takes the shape of a narrative investigation: you have to search the phone’s text messages, pictures and applications, in order to learn about its former owner. Through this phone, you uncover Sam’s life, friends, family and relationships, until the evening when they turn 18 and mysteriously disappear.’
With a unique look, this one stands out a bit, this also has a sequel named ‘another lost phone’. This game has some of the most interesting and engaging characters on this whole list, and is one of the easiest to recommend, and whilst it’s one whole experience, and not episodic like duskwood (with a free episode), this is well worth the pittance price (which is currently 70% off on the steam summer sale).
A video game protagonist wakes up in an on-fire science lab with nothing but an AI and a high-tech gun to…
Bury Me, My Love
‘Bury me, my Love is a Text Messaging Adventure game about Nour, a Syrian migrant trying to find her way to Europe. Her husband Majd, who remains behind in Syria, communicates with Nour through a messaging app, advising her as best he can so that she reaches her destination safely.’
Whilst most of the entries on this list are just light-hearted mysteries, this one has a real-world message to tell. The title comes from a Syrian goodbye phrase which basically means ‘don’t die before I do’. Featuring fantastic animated scenes and great writing, this heartbreaking story is based on real world events and people.
This one is a bit of a cheat, as this is not just one game, but a series of almost ten games. This was the series that started this genre, and it has its own uniquities that make it well worth playing. Every game in this series has fantastic writing and interesting stories, and everything in the game takes place in real-time, and you’ll often have to wait for more. This series isn’t usually sequential (aside from a few examples), and acts more as an anthology, with some shared elements (the green, tunguskite, the pearson corporation) but overall exploring any setting you can think of. From the depths of space to the highest fantasy.
‘You found the lost phone of a woman named Anna. In it, you see a desperate cry for help in the form of a video message. The phone behaves strangely as you dive deeper into it. You talk to her friends and they have no idea where she is. Her texts, emails and photo gallery provides fragments of information. It’s up to you to piece it together. Recover lost files, piece back corrupted data, and retrace her final steps. Find her before it’s too late.’
If Lifeline was the game that created this genre, this is the game that exploded it. This game and it’s predecessor, Sarah is Missing, is easily one of the best you can find in this genre. It’s innovative and different in unexpected ways and there’s not quite any other game that’s quite matched what this game offers, it’s available on basically any platform and we highly recommend it.
And that’s it, the best of the best of phone mystery games, these are great titles to jump into on your phone when you’re out or sat at home, and this genre is one of my favorite kinds of mobile game. For more articles like this stay here on Indie Game Fans for the latest news, reviews and content!