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Lifeline Plus Crash-Lands in Apple Arcade

In this game, you're a cosmic crash survivor's only hope of getting out alive.

Zachary McAuliffe Staff writer
Zach began writing for CNET in November, 2021 after writing for a broadcast news station in his hometown, Cincinnati, for five years. You can usually find him reading and drinking coffee or watching a TV series with his wife and their dog.
Expertise Web hosting, operating systems, applications and software Credentials
  • Apple software beta tester, "Helps make our computers and phones work!" - Zach's grandparents
Shelby Brown Editor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
  • She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
Zachary McAuliffe
Shelby Brown
2 min read
Lifeline+ title card showing a single person standing in a dark ravine

You can play Lifeline Plus in Apple Arcade now.


Lifeline Plus, a text-based adventure game, dropped from space and landed on Apple Arcade on Friday. If you subscribe to Apple Arcade ($5, £5 or AU$8 a month), you can play this game free of cost, ads or in-app purchases.

The title was developed by 3 Minute Games, a studio that's been making what it calls "texting adventure" games since 2015. These games resemble group chats or text chains you'd find on your phone, rather than a traditional 2D or 3D game.

Text bubbles for the game Lifeline Plus

In Lifeline Plus, you might receive a response from Taylor immediately, or you might have to wait a few hours.


In Lifeline Plus, your goal is to ensure the continued existence of Taylor, a survivor from a spacecraft crash on a distant moon. You don't play a character in the game; you are the character. Taylor is sending messages to you, and you're sending messages back. You're a bit like a 911 operator, advising the person on the other end about what to do. 

The game's real-time response is interesting. If you advise Taylor to do something, and the response is that it'll take an hour, you won't hear anything from Taylor for at least an hour. Then you'll get a notification when Taylor messages you again. There's no speed-running this game. 

The real-time response approach also adds a layer of tension. When you choose what Taylor should do next, you have to wait to see what happens. Did you just inadvertently send Taylor into danger? I found myself constantly checking my phone for notifications to see if Taylor made it to safety... or if I unwittingly sealed the poor creature's doom.

Apple Arcade adds new games and updates every week. If you're interested in trying Apple Arcade, you can get a three-month free trial when you buy a new device, or one month for free if you're signing up for the first time. Open the App Store and tap the joystick icon at the bottom of the screen to launch the service. 

Watch this: What You'll Find on Apple Arcade