Do you enjoy texting? How would you like to exchange texts with an astronaut stranded on a desolate moon of a planet orbiting Tau Ceti? If that sounds a tad more interesting than your usual mundane textual exchange, you may just enjoy Lifeline.
Lifeline is a text adventure with a simple premise: you receive communication from a stranded astronaut named Taylor, whose gender is left up to your imagination. Taylor’s ship has crashed on the aforementioned moon and he/she appears to be the only survivor. Clearly suffering from trauma and cabin fever, Taylor reaches out to you with the simple need to have someone to talk to. However, as time wears on, Taylor will relay important information concerning their predicament and implore you to help them make difficult choices. There are even points where you’re asked to find out if something is hazardous, bringing the game into the real world as players are expected to search online for useful information.
The game runs in the background on your mobile device and Taylor’s messages will periodically appear. The story pans out over the course of a number of days in real time, relying on users to check on their messages every once in a while.
It’s a well-written story and the character of Taylor is fleshed-out and believable. You’ll end up feeling sorry for him/her and feel punched in the gut if you give bad advice or the transmission finds an untimely end. This is compounded by the fact that your choices are often questioned, with the game suggesting that a particular choice will either be incorrect or against Taylor’s better judgement. It’s refreshing and suitably emotional, and well worth a try.