Mar 3, 2017This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I bought this game because it had positive reviews, it was cheap and I have no issue with reading a bunch of text/experiencing a story rather than playing a game. I also found the concept of unravelling a story through the use of looking through someone's phone to be an interesting one. If this also sounds like you, then go ahead and buy it. Now, onto the real part of the review.
I was really not expecting the story to take the turn it did. If you're observant, which I wasn't, you'll see the warning at the bottom about homophobic themes. When reading through everything, I expected the worst. I thought maybe Sam had been kidnapped or had genuinely gone missing. It's not until you start digging that you realise that Sam is actually a trans-woman. Maybe I'm exaggerating but I think the way the game reveals this is perfect and once you figure out what's going on, everything fits together really well. The game does a brilliant job of making you feel like a detective.
I know a lot of people will be turned away from the themes of this game, but **** 'em. Yeah sure, "SJW" themes are somewhat overdone in games these days, but I couldn't care less. This game does a brilliant job of highlighting the problems that trans people, or even just the LGBT community, go through and also the issue of coming out to a family that might not accept you for who you are.
That said, I have a few issues with the game that stop it from being perfect. The first issue is that the music player doesn't really serve a purpose and is honestly more distracting than anything. Trying to read large walls of text with music getting progressively louder in the background is really difficult for me. It also served no purpose when it comes to puzzle solving. The second issue is that, while I appreciate it, a lot of the posts on the "Be You" forum seemed repetitive and not worth reading. Most of the posts there had nothing to do with the story, and while I do find it interesting to read about the LGBT community, a lot of the stuff there could've easily been compressed down. My third issue was the puzzles, some of them are a tad too cryptic. I feel like most people will need a walkthrough. And finally the ending. I'm not a fan of it. Maybe I'm bad for sympathising for Sam's parents... but I do. For all they know, their son/now daughter is completely missing. Possibly dead. But no. Sam just ran away from home without telling anyone. I know they are bigoted scumbags, but I feel like everyone should be treated with respect. Even bigoted scumbags. They have a right to know what happened to their child. In my eyes, Sam should've come out to them. The worst that could've happened would be them disowning her. Which, at the end of the day, is what she supposedly wanted anyway, because she ran away. I'm not sure how I feel about the ending. I'm usually a fan of bad endings, but this ending just makes the main character (Sam) unlikeable.
But honestly overall, I enjoyed this experience. While it has its shortcomings in polish and storytelling, I feel as though it does a great job of telling a story in an interesting way. Well worth the £2, heck I almost spent 3 solid hours playing this.
May 10, 2019A Nomal Lost Phone is a difficult game to categorize. It isn’t an adventure game, a visual novel, or even a puzzle game outright. It has shades of all of them though. It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting but that’s not meant as a negative statement.
You get thrown right into the phone interface. You have just found this phone and can choose to go into different menus and apps. ByA Nomal Lost Phone is a difficult game to categorize. It isn’t an adventure game, a visual novel, or even a puzzle game outright. It has shades of all of them though. It certainly wasn’t what I was expecting but that’s not meant as a negative statement.
You get thrown right into the phone interface. You have just found this phone and can choose to go into different menus and apps. By doing this you can figure out what is required to progress. That’s the puzzle aspect. You not only have to find the info required but also have to find out what info that is even needed. Nothing is spelled out point blank and I like that. You are rewarded for curiousity and reading through the various emails, text messages, etc. Every bit of info you find may be what you need to get to the next. It may sound complex or difficult but it really isn’t. Most of the puzzles are pretty straight forward.There was one that gave me trouble but in hindsight it was me overthinking it. The story is really the payoff. It is well done and worth the effort.
I played A Normal Lost Phone on Linux. I got my copy from Itch.io. It never crashed on me. It did have a couple issues. It opens on the wrong monitor. Even if I set it to open on my main monitor in the preference file it always opened on my right monitor and had to be manually moved over. There were also no options in game to adjust things such as audio volume. The soundtrack was great except for it was very loud and I had to make sure to adjust my system volume before launching the game. I would have used Alt-Tab but it didn’t work with this game which was another issue. It does save every time you exit the game but it would have been nice to have a manual save option. That being said the game can be finished in an hour so it’s not the biggest deal. I paid $2.99 USD for the game and that feels like a fair value for what you get.
If you enjoy games such as Her Story or The Infectious of Doctor Dekker than you may enjoy this as well. The story is worthwhile, the puzzles are decent, the soundtrack is decent and the negative issues are minor.
My score: 7/10
AMD Ryzen 5 2600X | 16GB DDR4-3000 CL15 | MSI RX 580 8GB Gaming X | Mesa 19.0.3 | Manjaro 18.0.4 | Mate 1.22| Kernel 5.0.9-2-MANJARO… Expand
Mar 25, 2021An interesting take on the "walking simulator" genre, except that instead of walking, you're digging through a phone. Ostensibly this would be to find the owner's contact information and return it, but you're artificially limited in what you can do. You can send email drafts, and receive emails and texts, but not write new ones or send texts. You can send one specific message in an app.An interesting take on the "walking simulator" genre, except that instead of walking, you're digging through a phone. Ostensibly this would be to find the owner's contact information and return it, but you're artificially limited in what you can do. You can send email drafts, and receive emails and texts, but not write new ones or send texts. You can send one specific message in an app. Mostly you're entering passwords (the phone's owner is shockingly bad at choosing them).
I would say that if you enjoy other voyeuristic narrative games, especially Gone Home, you would enjoy this--except that this game and Gone Home, and a lot of other recent indie games, such as Mission: It's Complicated, have a -lot- in common. I got major "been there, done that" vibes.
It's a cute idea but the novelty wears off quickly. It's a stale sandwich in fresh bread. Well-done, but well-trod.… Expand
PC GamerApr 15, 2017There's a good story here, but it's marred by carelessness. [May 2017, p.89]
CD-ActionApr 5, 2017A Normal Lost Phone is neither terrible nor thrilling. It doesn’t offer a truly interesting story, an engaging gameplay or a fresh outlook on the matters it touches. I feel I wouldn’t have missed anything, if I had never played it. [04/2017, p.55]