3 Minute Games
I have mobile game ADD. I’ll play a mobile game for about a week strong, checking when I have the time, challenging my friends to beat their scores…then the thrill goes away. I’m always longing for more, deeper gameplay…deeper story. There comes a time where you need to take a chance on a paid game, damn am I glad I did.
Lifeline is a text based game where you are in contact with a scientist that has crash landed on a strange planet. That person is named Taylor. There is no real verification that Taylor is either a male or female, but in my head Taylor was a female and it fit perfectly as the scenes played out in my head. You are Taylor’s only form of contact as (she) tries to make sense of what is going on. Taylor will ask you all sorts of questions and depending on how you answer will depend on the result. The results can be triumphant, depressing, frightening, and can out right kill you. The best part about your decisions? They are in real time. Yes real time. This game you will play for about 2-3 days (if you don’t kill yourself early). When Taylor is working on something, traveling, or needing to sleep the game will state “Taylor is busy” and you will have to wait until (she) gets back to you! This is the part that dragged me in besides the story. I had sleepless nights as I kept checking my phone to see if a decision I made killed her off or if we were able to complete the task at hand. This is the selling point of the game. I absolutely fell in love with the real time. It adds to the suspense, and is a brilliant addition to the genre.
I want to make this review as spoiler free as possible so I will go over everything except the story.
The UI was easy to manage and easy on the eyes. It didn’t have me squinting or wishing for more. You get to see read the story, there are no other graphics. The menu was easy and straight forward enough. You can turn the music and sound off or on and decide if you would like to have your notifications on as seperate, or all at once. Leaving these as “seperate” will give you that real time notification effect.
The story was amazing. The writing made you care for the character who you do not know or even see. You wished for Taylor to survive through your decisions. There were times where I sat in a panic before selecting a decision for Taylor to make. It was seriously nerve wracking. You always have two decisions to make. Sometimes your soothing, other times you can be a complete dick, but Taylor will take your advice even if it’s against their best judgement…and (she) will let you know that too.
Overall there are multiple endings to the game. I’ve seen a few so far. Some are happy and some are down right devastating. There has not been a text based game pulled me in so tight and got me so wrapped up in it that I got 3 co-workers to purchase Lifeline as well. We would discuss certain things trying not to spoil the decisions the other has made..especially if you know that decision ultimately kills Taylor. Once the game has ended one way or another you can enable “Fast mode” in the menu so you no longer have to wait for Taylor to complete a task.
So far, the story and character are great and the UI is great, but is there anything wrong or something you would change with the game? Simply…yes. I did run into some close errors (Not many). I also sometimes would open the app and it would be at the very top of the text and I would have to scroll alllllll the way down to the bottom. An addition of a quick top and a quick bottom would be great. The game does get fairly linear towards the end of the story, but that doesn’t ruin anything railroading to the end, you still have choices to make. Another thing that would be awesome would be a “Hardcore mode” one where if you couldn’t answer Taylor in time it would effect the game. Making you have to look at your phone when it goes off at 2am because Taylor needs your help NOW. Do these kill the game?? Heck no. Does it make you rethink your own life choices? Yup. There’s something about the real time notifications/gameplay and the way the story is laid out grabs you early and makes you pace around waiting for the game to continue. You may hate yourself while playing for having such a simple looking game make you feel the way you do when you come to crucial points in the game.
Overall? Yes get it! It is also currently on sale in both the Android and App store for 99 cents!! It is also Apple Watch compatible!
The rating below is based on a text based style game.
Amazing story that grabs you
The connection to the character
Real time notifications/gameplay
No quick top or quick bottom buttons
Story gets fairly linear towards the end