Wednesday App Review: Lifeline


There are some games whose stories just stick with you. I think there is a kind of magical combination of storytelling, suspense, intrigue and excitement that makes a game–no matter the platform–really memorable, and I can say with confidence that Lifeline has all of that. It has it in spades. Set up as a very clever choose your own adventure game, Lifeline is entirely text-based and involves messages from a stranded astronaut named Taylor who needs your advice and help. At various points in the game, you will have two options with the goal to try and help Taylor survive on the unforgiving unidentified planet after the crash of the Varia, a ship on which Taylor was working as a scientist. screenshotThe game itself is set up in a real-time scenario and took me about three days to get through the first time. While there is an option for “rabbit mode” to speed it up, I highly recommend not doing that your first time around. The game itself seems even more chilling and immersive when delivered a little at a time, as if Taylor really IS tromping across a moon or digging through wreckage while you go about your daily life. The suspense is absolutely fantastic, and with every message I found myself more and more invested in both the character and the storyline. Like any good choose your own adventure game, there are literally dozens of ways in which you can accidentally lead Taylor to a gruesome death (and believe me, I found many of them) but you have the option to, at any point, rewind to one of your choices and make the opposite choice. And while there are some points which are unavoidable (like exploring that ominous mountain peak in the distance) there are a lot of details which will change how Taylor reacts and what options are available. Also, as a side note, if you are ever stranded on an abandoned moon trying to survive, then the absolute last thing you should do is ask me for advice. Just follow your gut. Unless, of course, your gut is telling you not to download this game, in which case I say forget that and listen to me instead. You won’t regret it in the slightest. I can say with confidence that this is easily the best smartphone game I’ve played all year and well worth the money and time. I don’t know of any games quite like it and there is a surprising amount of replay value in finding alternate ways to get off the planet and multiple ways to be eaten by aliens. Lifeline is currently available for Android and iPhone and right now costs $0.99 on both platforms, although I believe the price was recently dropped from $2.99. Either way, I personally think that if you enjoy sci-fi stories it is well worth the money. I picked it up for a dollar, but I would happily pay $3 for a sequel or a similar game.]]>

Posted in