Game: Somewhere

Time to Play: Multiple Days (Over 5-10 minute periods)

Today, I’m going to mix it up a bit, and look at a game that isn’t available on PC. In fact, it’s currently only available on the Google Play store (and will be released on iOS soon). It is still free though, so if you have an Android phone, or an emulator like BlueStacks, then you’re still good to go.

Somewhere is an adventure game, where you’re not doing the adventure. No, instead, the person that you’re texting is on an adventure, and you have to help them out. The game takes place over a few days actually, so I’d recommend installing it now, as you then will dip into it over the following week.

The premise, is that you’re randomly receive a text out-of-the-blue. The person on the other end is in danger, and they’ve been given your number in case of emergency. What do you do? Do you help this person, and get weaved into a tale of international espionage? Or do you just ignore them and hope they go away?

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It’s a fun little narrative game, as yet unfinished, but offers a fascinating proof of concept. There are many games like this, most famously Lifeline and the recently released Bury Me, My Love. They take the format of a phone UI to tell fascinating stories that you can’t help but be immersed in.

They interrupt you on your daily schedule, with the notification often coming at an inopportune time. But that’s part of the fun. The game dictating the pace of your experience can draw the player further into the immersion of this ‘real’ story.

Somewhere will also challenge you to complete tasks outside of the game too. The game will sometimes ask you questions that can only be answered via some online research. I won’t spoil it, but it’s a brilliant way of bringing the story to life.

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I love the general concept for these type of games: one that inserts itself into your daily routine. Much like the person on the other end of the phone, it makes me feel like a low-key superhero.

Questiuns:

  • How highly do you value immersion in a story?
  • Does the idea of a game dictating its own pace, with little the player can do, sound appealing? Are there any other examples of this you can find?
  • Do you have an iPhone and as such you can’t play? (I’m sorry)