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The Rise of the Found Phone Thrillers

We live our whole life in our phones — they’ve become main storages of all our secrets, relationships and even fears, and that’s why they’re the perfect setting for telling difficult, personal stories and building unique narrative experiences. These games are all about the horrors of mobile technology in the digital era and they give the voyeuristic pleasure that one gets from prying into someone else’s personal life.

Sara Is Missing

Developed by a small video game studio from Malaysia, this mobile thriller game became an instant Internet hit: there are literally hundreds of videos and reactions of excited users. And the recipe for success is pretty simple. Inspired by the formula that was earlier introduced by Replica, the developers of SIM took it to the next level with improved and more realistic graphics, bloodcurdling story and intuitive interface similar to modern smartphones. However, core mechanics remained the same. Search for clues by investigating missing girl’s personal messages, emails, notes, photos, and videos while trying to figure out why she disappeared.

Simulacra

Being a spiritual sequel to Sara Is Missing, Simulacra develops the ideas of the original game while maintaining the overall mood and suspense. In accordance with the characteristics of the screenlife format, action takes place entirely on the screen of a mobile phone. This game is a unique horror experience that combines point and click adventure games, found footage videos and various apps.

A Normal Lost Phone

Another bright representative of the found phone genre. The developer team is wondering: if you close the app but still think about the game, have you truly stopped playing? Using a standard set of tools, the game broadcasts a strong message and explores difficult topics that aren’t discussed very often in video games in general.

Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story is a follow-up from the creators of A Normal Lost Phone. In this narrative investigation, you must piece together different elements of a young woman’s social life in order to uncover the mystery of her disappearance. The story, which seems trivial at the beginning, results in something truly frightening but unfortunately familiar to many of us.

Both games are perfect examples of how screenlife can be woven into the storyline.

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