Imagine crash landing on a distant moon with your ship in pieces, your crew members dead, and only desolation around you. That’s the scenario for Taylor, the protagonist of the new iOS game Lifeline. Your job is to guide Taylor around the moon with a choose your own adventure style set-up with forking decision trees. Lifeline is first and foremost designed with the Apple Watch in mind, but it’s still fully playable and enjoyable on any iOS device. The game is designed for Apple watch, because it’s all about time as though Taylor’s life is playing out in real time.
Lifeline definitely comes across as innovative as you’re given a series of text messages, and it’s almost like you’re having a text conversation with an astronaut. The game is made to fit into your life, and that’s why it fits so well on an Apple Watch as a notification will come in, and then you can read messages right on the watch, and choose one of the two answers. It’s a passive gaming experience at the start with a few decisions here, and there and a lot of waiting as Taylor is actively doing something in this fictional universe. For example, you may tell Taylor to head to the crash site of his ship, but it’s about a mile walk. You leave the app, and then about an hour later an incoming message will appear as Taylor has completed the walk and is ready to chat again.
What really makes Lifeline stand out is the writing, which establishes the scenario, and makes you care about Taylor. There’s a ton of personality involved as Taylor reacts as you would expect in trying to survive a crash landing on a distant moon. As the story develops, you will reach adrenaline filled sequences in which you’re anxiously reading through the text bits to see what happens. It’s such an immersive experience for a series of texts, and the app does a great job of getting the player to understand that Taylor is relying on you. Lifeline is reminiscent of 80 Days in the delivery of compelling text, as well as Mayday! Deep Space, where you guide an astronaut through trying situations. There’s so much to like in Lifeline with so many forking pathways that keep you restarting even after uncovering one of the multiple ways Taylor can die.
Lifeline ($2.99, Universal) delivers a compelling adventure that is a must have experience with such a great story that is provided through an all new form that fits your daily lifestyle. Lifeline is a great example of Apple Watch gaming that is still great to play on the iPhone.