A Normal Lost Phone

by Dear Villagers

Slice of life

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Number of Ratings: 2
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- autumnc, June 25, 2021

3 of 3 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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