Also available on Android, iOS, and Windows
Review written by Stephen Deck; originally published 01/26/2022 on Teacher by Day, Gamer by Night
Lost Phone Stories is actually a compilation of two games, A Normal Lost Phone and Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story. Both games follow the same format; you find a lost phone and, as one does, invade the owner’s privacy by rutting around through the phone’s contents and trying to deduce passwords to facilitate further privacy invasion. It’s basically like an NSA agent simulator.
A Normal Lost Phone has you invade the privacy of Sam, a normal kid stuck in a conservative and podunk small town. Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story, as the title suggests, has you invade the privacy of Laura, a woman trying to balance her work life, her social life, and her love life. I’m not going to say anything else about these characters or their stories because the entire point of the game is to piece together what their lives are like based on text messages, emails, and the like that you find in their phone. As such, pretty much any other details would spoil the games.
Like Bury Me, My Love, the whole game is a phone screen. Being the sequel, Another Lost Phone has a nicer looking and more intuitive interface, but both games are pretty simple to figure out. You’ll start off with a phone that has text messages, emails, a few apps that require passwords to access, and no internet access. You’ll need to figure out the password to the open wifi network to access some of the emails and whatnot, and you’ll need to figure out the passwords to the locked apps. These passwords can be deduced by investigating the messages to which you do have access. As you read through these messages, you piece together not only the passwords to the locked apps but the lives of the people whose phones you have and the secret struggles with which they’ve been dealing.
There’s more I’d like to say about A Normal Lost Phone and Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story, but unfortunately, doing so would spoil major parts of the games, and since the “big reveal” in each game is pretty impactful (albeit easily predictable in Laura’s case), I’ll end my review with this – play these games. They’re short at about two hours each (less if you’re better at figuring shit out than I am), and they’re well-worth the playtime and cheap cost of admission. They may not knock your socks off, but I was thoroughly impressed with how so simple a game concept could have me so quickly get sucked into this character’s life and wanting to know more. It’s not “exciting” per se, but it is quite interesting, so if you’re into more thought-provoking games with good social messages, these are probably up your alley.