Buy this game here. I got this game for 0.10c on sale, its regular retail price is $2.99
There’s an interesting niche-within-a-niche developing in indie games, as a number of titles experiment with giving players fake operating systems to poke around in, in lieu of more typical adventure game settings.
‘Her Story’ is an acclaimed example, giving players a faux-Windows 95 desktop to dig around in, in an attempt to piece together a tale of mystery using disjointed interview clips.
‘A Normal Lost Phone’ is, as you’d expect, a ‘phone simulator’ that lets you snoop around a facsimile of an Android device that belonged to a stranger.
As these things always do, it starts off innocently enough; the phone belongs to a frustrated teenager, who texts their pals and grumbles about the whiney drama that teenagers typically grumble about.
Diving deeper, usually by finding passwords to various locked apps, unveils a more complex story, with some genuinely interesting twists. The game builds drama by telling you one thing occurred, as protagonist Sam recalls it to his close friends, but slowly plants seeds of doubt regarding how much he trusts them, and how honest he’s really being.
With a lovely twee soundtrack of indie tunes, the game’s tone is similar to that of Life is Strange or 13 Reasons Why, which have set the standard for teen drama in the last three years. As with those works though, expect some mild clunkiness with A Normal Lost Phone’s attempts at recreating teen patter.
With password deciphering being the only real puzzle element, the story here is thankfully interesting enough to justify the price of entry. The game is only about 60 minutes long depending on whether or not certain passwords stump you, or how much of the flavour text you want to take in. The runtime works though, offering players a simple yet satisfying hour of point-and-clicking, with some food for thought to boot.