Mystic Messenger

Mystic Messenger and the power of texting games

If I have learned anything from Mystic Messenger, it’s how astonishingly easy it is to get emotionally invested in a chat with a fictional character. Forget the Turing test, I discovered that I’m happy if my talking partner can pass a Turing quiz. MysMe, as it’s commonly abbreviated, is a mobile dating simulator that takes place almost entirely via text messages, chat rooms, and phone calls. The game is designed to look like a super-secret app that’s used by a super-secret organization called the RFA, which throws super-secret parties to raise money for vague, unnamed charities. Through a series of…


Videogame invites you to discover someone through their lost phone

You find a phone on the ground outside. You look around, but there’s no one in sight. Hoping that there will be some information to help you contact the owner, you turn the phone on. This is where the preview for A Normal Lost Phone starts. Immediately, four messages pop up on the phone, sent over the last couple hours from the owner’s dad. “Where are you?”; “Where did you go?” Accidental Queens, the collective that created A Normal Lost Phone, list Her Story (2015), Gone Home (2013), and Life is Strange (2015) as their main inspirations. It feels most strongly…