Gaming

“Lifeline” Isn’t Really A Game…

Welcome to Mobile Mondays at DANamic.ORG!

So mobile games have quickly taken over a large portion of the gaming industry and here at DANamic.ORG, we recognise that people like to spend their lunch breaks on games available on their phones.

We’ll be showcasing games from the App Store (and Google Play) that we find interesting enough to capture your attention.

Let’s get started with Mobile Mondays!


Science-fiction is one thing I never seem to have any interest in. Maybe it’s because I’m terrified of suffocating in space (though it’s more of decompression with your blood boiling). Or maybe it’s because I’m cheap and every sci-fi game I’ve come across required me to fork out more than $10 for it.

lifeline1

Now, if you love sci-fi novels (don’t worry, no “Star Wars” spoilers here) and have a penchant for giving advice to friends who never listen to you anyways, “Lifeline” might be the game for you.

The gameplay: You are on the receiving end of a transmission panel and Taylor, the survivor of a crashed starship, enlists your help in surviving the unknown planet he has landed on. Taylor will usually ask you for your opinion after explaining the situation, and your replies are usually a disproportionately casual “Yeah, go for it” or “No, that’s a terrible idea”.

Sometimes, your decision gets Taylor killed, which leads you to restart from the beginning. Other times, he survives and finds even more trouble to get into, which leads you to giving him even more advice. While you go about your own daily life with your phone in your pocket, Taylor will occasionally pop up on your notifications to tell you he’s done being busy.

It might be disappointing to hear that the game has absolutely no visuals aside from a simple mechanical panel, with nothing but words and your two options. Taylor’s tasks mean no notifications, which leaves you with a chunk of free time. To some, it might not classify as a game at all, it can be seen as more of a very long conversation.

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Instead of impeding the fun, these factors combined to provide one of the most realistic experiences I’ve come across in the mobile market. I do feel as though there is a world of starships and alien beings on the other end of the conversations and Taylor’s dialogue has charm, wit and descriptiveness that pulls me into his world, leaving me excited to know what’s going to happen next each time as I await his next check-in.

When he does die, I get frustrated at how stupid Taylor is, and then go on to try and get the best ending. It’s quite astounding how nothing but mere words and buttons can do all that. If you couldn’t call it a game, it’s a damn well-written and well-designed story.

Criticisms are basically that it’s way too short. The game took me about 2 days to finish on first try, but with fast mode, a version that skips all the pauses between each choice and lets Taylor move on instantaneously, it took me about an hour to finish the game. There is replayability, but only if you’re not sure how someone survives on a planet. It’s probably worth skipping out on this if you’re not one to read long dialogues.

lifeline3Overall, Lifeline has one of the most charming dialogue and the waiting time mechanic, descriptive dialogues and the simplistic visuals weaved together realistically. The downside is that it’s not free: The price tag is about $2 and there’s a direct sequel called Lifeline: Silent Night for the same price as well. An indirect sequel called “Lifeline 2” was released but it has nothing to do with Taylor and ditches the sci-fi genre entirely.


Get Lifeline on the App Store and Google Play for S$1.38+.

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Wesley Tay

Wesley here. When I'm not too busy being trapped in a basement, I'm usually playing video games about war, death, suffering and cupcakes.

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