24th Jul2018

‘Lost Phones Stories’ Review (Nintendo Switch)

by Britt Roberts

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Lost Phones Stories is very interesting concept, you are a person who has picked up a discarded phone and, by following messages and working out passwords and codes to unlock apps and email accounts, piece together the story behind the owner’s situation.The pack contains two games, A Normal Lost Phone and Laura’s Story.

I found both games to be quite simple and enjoyable, with relatable stories that unfold themselves slowly via puzzles that aren’t too difficult to work out. The genius is that the phone is so well replicated in the game and the tales so well-crafted that even if you need the help of a walk-through every now and again, it still feels satisfying when you reach the conclusion.

Whilst the games do differ somewhat (one tells the story of a teenager who has seemingly gone missing and the other is in regards to a young woman who has just started dating a new boyfriend), I have to say that I finished both in one sitting and was pretty much enthralled throughout. I played in the Switch’s vertical mode as it felt the most natural fit for the swiping, mobile-phone simulator that the game used. The game is VERY text heavy, you essentially work through emails, pictures and messages piecing the story together with the puzzles coming from working out passwords in order to progress. It’s difficult to discuss anything specific in relation to the narratives that move the games forward as their unveiling is really well thought-out and I found them to be very satisfying.

Visually, the game is pretty basic, it’s a standard generic phone screen with a few apps and folders that we all see every day. In a nice touch, both games use different models of phone to differentiate between the stories and give a sense of identity. The only issue I really had with A Normal Lost Phone was the music which was quite, quite awful. The songs play through the ‘phone’ song list but, aside from a couple of ambient tracks (which suited the game) there are couple of terrible rock songs with eye-wateringly bad lyrics that resulted in me just giving in and muting it. Laura’s Story fares much better with a softer and less oppressive sound track that gently rolls along in the background, suiting the game play far better…and more importantly, not making me want to blow my brains out.

Whilst the very nature of these games means there is pretty much no replay value and each one clocks it an under an hour, they feel special in their uniqueness and the stories tackle very important, heavy duty subjects in a respectful way. They are also technically mobile ports and so they hold the distinction of being the first mobile phone games that I’ve actually enjoyed and they fit perfectly on the Switch as a hand-held system.

A very pleasant discovery and a genre that I’ll be keeping an eye on in future, via password locked hidden folder on my mobile, natch.

Right, I’m off to erase all my phone data.

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