Released on the 26th January 2017, A Normal Lost Phone is a story experience by developer Accidental Queens that sees you finding a phone & having to uncover the mystery of where the owner, Sam is.
The game opens up on the menu of a phone, one that has the form of a modern smart-phone but with a more colourful edge. Instantly you’ll see that you have 4 messages from Dad. You can select different apps but thanks to a lack of connection you’re limited at the start.
Reading through the many text messages you begin to get an idea that an event occurred that seems to have forced Sam’s disappearance but just what happened isn’t clear. This is where puzzle solving comes into play starting with the simple task of restoring internet connection so you can get online & into the phones emails.
These puzzles vary in difficulty, there is a lot of information to trawl through & you’ll have to pick up a serious amount of information. A pen & paper nearby will really assist you here. Annoyingly one later puzzle is unnecessarily difficult with there not being much reason behind the solution.
The non-linear path where you can read any message in any order does add extra trickiness to the game but it does help the bigger picture form. It also helps you get a better understanding of just what Sam has been going through.
The games strength lies in its tale with its simple gameplay hiding an involving story based around sexuality, identity and growing up. It touches on topics including coming of age, homophobia, depression and peer pressure. As you search through messages, emails & much more on the phone you will slowly start to unravel the mystery, a mystery that you won’t be able to tear yourself away from.
One of the highlights of the entire experience is the excellent soundtrack, music that really fits the story. Once you access the emails on the phone the music really helps connect you even more to Sam.
The occasional puzzle solving stops the game being incredibly short but you’ll still likely get through it within an hour. Currently priced at £1.99 on Steam & £2.29 on the mobile platform it’s not an unreasonable amount for a story that is ultimately satisfying.
A Normal Lost Phone