A Normal Lost Phone challenges your compassion, respect for privacy, and sleuthing skills [GAME REVIEW]


A phone game about losing a phone — that’s a line that would make Xzibit smile quite a bit. That’s the premise of a new game that hit Google Play in recent days, though.

It’s called A Normal Lost Phone, and the game’s premise immediately tugs at anyone with even a slightly enthusiastic interest in smartphones. The game essentially makes you the recipient of a phone which was lost by its owner, and the idea is to find out whose phone it is so you may return it to them.

Upon starting the game up, I immediately felt “at home.” There was a home screen with icons to access various “apps,” including a music player used to control the various in-game music tracks (a collection of alternative jams that I personally found annoying enough to replace with my own, but hey, it isn’t my phone) you can listen to, and even a calculator, web browser, and gallery.

There’s also the messaging app which serves to drive much of the game’s peculiar narrative. You’re expecting to find some sort of address or something that’ll help you get the phone back to the owner known as Sam, but what you’re met with is a disturbing fact: he seemingly fell off the face of the planet on his 18th birthday.

This is where the game lets your curiosity take hold to explore Sam’s life through his various talks with family and friends to discover who he is and where he’s gone. You’ll take on the role of a PI, essentially, and use any clues you find to dig deeper and deeper.

Yes, there’s a dating app, too.

But first, you’ll also have to wrestle with whether you’re OK with violating someone’s privacy. You want to return the phone, but you have to pry hard to do it. If you were in that situation, would you just leave it where it sits? Reset it and keep it? Or do what you have to do to save some poor soul $500 on buying a new one?

I don’t want to talk about too much more to avoid ruining an interesting narrative and experience that we can all relate to in some form of fashion, whether that’s the fear of losing your phone without it having proper security or the stresses of life which caused this Sam guy to disappear.

The game is $2.99 and only lasts about an hour if you’re not stumped too long by the game’s few puzzles. Is that worth it? I dunno. I can tell you it’s not a game you’re likely to play more than once.

I used $2.56 worth of Google Play credit earned through Google Opinion Rewards toward buying it and I was able to finish it over a short meal of lasagna, but I walked away smiling and happy to have paid the fare to the developers for such a unique experience and a story that hit close to home in more ways than one. If you’re looking for something a little different then give up a cup of Starbucks’ finest coffee for one day and check it out for yourself.

Buy A Normal Lost Phone at Google Play

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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