Lifeline: App of the Week

Each week, I am always eager to see what Apple will release for their free App of the Week.  This week, the featured app is a text-based adventure game called Lifeline, which can be played on one’s iPhone, iPad and even the Apple Watch!  My favorite part about this app?!  All buttons are clearly labeled, making it accessible to all players–even those with visual impairments!

In Lifeline, acclaimed writer Dave Justus weaves a “gripping interactive story through the aftermath of a crash landing on an alien moon.  Taylor is stranded, the rest of the crew are dead or missing, and Taylor’s communicator can only reach you.”  Throughout the story, you’ll be asked to make life or death decisions to help navigate Taylor through the storyline.

I have played many games on my iPhone, but so far Lifeline is proving to be a very unique gaming experience.  For starters, it’s played in real-time, meaning it progresses in actual real-world time.  Oftentimes, text might read: [Taylor is busy].  When this pops up on the dialogue, you’ll have to wait indefinitely to continue the game.

If notifications are enabled, the game will send you notifications throughout the day to make decisions about where the storyline should go.  You can respond directly to the notification on your lock screen–or even from your Apple Watch!  Note: though the gameplay is in real-time, you don’t need to respond immediately.  There are no punishments for catching up at a later day or time–unlike our cute little Tamagotchi pets who demanded every minute of our lives in the 90s!  (*Enters blissful state of profound nostalgia…*)

Now where was I?  Oh, right.   If you’re looking for a game to sit and play all the way through in one sitting, this is not the game for you.  This is a game that can be played little by little, over multiple days.  (When I first downloaded the game, I didn’t know this and thought the game froze or crashed, but after researching for this blog I now know I need to be patient and enjoy the game in small intervals!)

Other Features of Lifeline:

  • Developed by 3 Minute Games, a Big Fish game studio in Oakland, California.
  • All buttons on the game are labeled and thus compatible with VoiceOver.
  • For VoiceOver to work properly, you have to wait until the Morse code sound stops when new text appears.
  • Once you complete any single path you can unlock the mode where you can jump back to earlier parts of the story to see what happens if you make a different decision.

To learn more about Lifeline and accessibility, visit AppleVis, or check it out on iTunes!