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A Normal Lost Phone

by Dear Villagers

Slice of life

Web Site

(based on 2 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

A Normal Lost Phone is a game about exploring the intimacy of an unknown person whose phone was found by the player.

Through the interface of a mobile phone, the player must discover what happened to its owner, Sam. Digging through secrets scattered among apps, text messages and photo galleries, the player-voyeur starts witnessing the emotions of Sam, and behind the apparent light-heartedness of a teenage story, their questioning on coming of age, homophobia, depression or the search of oneself.


* An immersive and intuitive way of introducing the narrative through a fake smartphone interface.
* A game that bridges the gap between reality and fiction by letting players act as themselves. The game asks a simple question: if you close the app but still think about the game, have you truly stopped playing?
* A relatable story that helps build empathy with the characters, allowing to explore difficult topics such as identity, gender binarism, individuation and privacy.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: January 26, 2017
Current Version: Unknown
License: Commercial
Development System: Unity
IFID: Unknown
TUID: kka48g4xa1uh2t4


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Number of Reviews: 1
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Important theme, yet derivative game design, September 11, 2020
by deathbytroggles (Minneapolis, MN)

While the premise of looking through someone else’s phone is intriguing and the backstory you discover is important, I was nevertheless not terribly impressed with A Normal Lost Phone despite all of the awards it was nominated for.

The entire game is just manipulating a cell phone UI and this is implemented fairly well. However, the puzzle design is tedious, essentially boiling down to figuring out passwords based on contrived clues dropped by other people in texts and e-mails. While the passwords served their main purpose (pacing and story reveal), they were neither interesting enough nor easy enough (in a couple of cases) to give them a pass.

The highlight of the game, however, is the focus on LGBT and abuse issues. To that end the game does a really nice job of introducing them in an empathetic and digestible fashion. Nothing about the plot or the character interactions feels trite or exaggerated, and the teenager writings feel mostly real.

The game only takes a couple of hours or so and the background music is pleasant, unobtrusive. However, unless you really are looking for a basic education on LGBT matters, the story is too short and disjointed. In my case, I learned nothing new from playing and I wasn’t terribly moved by this character.

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The following polls include votes for A Normal Lost Phone:

Games which take place in chat messenger systems or on a digital interface by grimperfect
Specifically, works where the main mechanic is either exploring a in-game digital interface(ala Secret Little Haven) or communicating using a type of chat/text messenger system(think Emily is Away).

This is version 1 of this page, edited by autumnc on 11 September 2020 at 5:21pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item