Save A Friend In Space With Lifeline
Lifeline is a text adventure for iOS. You play a random technician receiving messages from a stranded student after a crash on an alien moon. It’s spawned two sequels, including a direct continuation. After playing The Martian, which applied a similar conversational style, I wanted to try the game it was riffing on. It didn’t hurt that Lifeline was featured on the App Store.
What starts as a survival story gets a lot weirder, and I was pretty hooked on this game. The story is told to you line by line in a chat format. You’ll get asked to respond with a choice every so often; and the character, Taylor, will go offline for some time. It’s a unique way to tell a story, and it helps make the character feel real.
I think that attempt to make the game feel like a real interaction is the thought behind the notification system. You will have every text entry pop up as a notification if you don’t have the game open. It may mimic an actual chat conversation, but you may not want to have your game bother you in the middle of the work day. There is an Apple Watch app as well, if you’re looking to carry the simulation further.
Author Dave Justus makes an intriguing story, with a character that feels real. Text adventures may be an acquired taste, but this is more of an interactive novel. There isn’t going to be an extended search for the Babel Fish.
You can still get Lifeline on the App Store for free. Though if you miss your chance, it will only be $.99. Android Users can grab it as well, though it is still at full price.
You can check out Dave Justus’ graphic novels on Amazon.