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