Lifeline (2015 video game)

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Lifeline
Developer(s)3 Minute Games
Publisher(s)3 Minute Games
Platform(s)Android, iOS, Windows, Macintosh
Release
  • WW: 2015
Genre(s)Adventure
Mode(s)Single-player Edit this on Wikidata

Lifeline is a text-based adventure mobile game developed by Three Minute Games for iOS and Android.[1] The player guides the main character, Taylor, through a texting conversation, to survive an unknown moon after their spaceship crashed.[2] Lifeline was written by Dave Justus and published in 2015.

Gameplay[edit]

In the game, players interact by choosing from two different responses to help the main character progress in the story.[3] Taylor responds in real time, taking a regular amount of time to respond after telling the player they are going to sleep, for example. Taylor takes time to complete tasks, and the player has to wait for their response, only seeing the text: [Taylor is busy]. Some decisions require looking up additional information, and if the player makes a wrong decision, it can cause Taylor to die.[4] In the event that Taylor dies, the player can rewind to a past decision and try again. Once the game is completed to any ending, Fast Mode is unlocked, which removes wait times between messages.

Plot[edit]

The plot follows Taylor as they try to find a way back home after crashing on a foreign planet that turns out to be inhabited by hostile, hive-minded parasitic lifeforms known as the Greens. Taylor must overcome natural and unnatural elements in order to manipulate the structures of the planet and call a spaceship to come rescue them.[5] The game is played in real time as Taylor explores, sleeps, and interacts on the planet, so sometimes the player is left waiting for hours before they will hear from the main character again.

Characters[edit]

Taylor is the main character of Lifeline. Taylor is a sassy science student from Earth, acting as a Cadet of the recently crashed Starship Varia.[6][failed verification] Taylor is resourceful with the material around them, and when in a stressful situation, resorts to quips and humour. As a part of the game, Taylor's gender is left ambiguous, leaving the player to decide.

The Lifeline is the character the player plays. The Lifeline is in constant communication with Taylor throughout the game. The player must decide whether to let them die or attempt to save them, using valuable resources.[6][failed verification] The Lifeline is connected to Taylor through a signal from their EVA suit.

Captain Aya is the former captain of the Starship Varia. Taylor finds her in critical condition after the crash.

Sequels[edit]

  • Lifeline 2: Bloodline (2015)
    • Lifeline 2: Bloodline follows a teenage witch, Arika Lanphear, who is trying to rescue her younger brother. Through the plot, Arika finds many magical objects to assist her in her mission. The Lifeline is connected to Lanphear by blood magic.
    • Lifeline 2: Bloodline was also written by Dave Justus.
    • This game introduces the feature of being able to give the player a name. Arika will respond in certain ways if a specific name is entered. Another difference from the first game is that when a player selects an option in the game, the actual message sent to Arika is different, sounding more natural and allowing the fictional conversation to flow smoothly.
  • Lifeline: Silent Night (2015)
    • Lifeline: Silent Night takes place shortly after Lifeline, following Taylor in another adventure fighting against the Greens. This game was released around Christmas time, and has a very slight Christmas theme.
    • Lifeline: Silent Night was also written by Dave Justus.
  • Lifeline: Whiteout (2016)
    • Lifeline: Whiteout follows another character, V. Adams, who awakes in the middle of a frozen wasteland, with the Lifeline as his only form of communication. This is one of the two games as of current to not involve the Greens.
    • Lifeline: Whiteout was created in collaboration with Eipix Entertainment.
  • Lifeline: Crisis Line (2016)
    • Lifeline: Crisis Line takes place in Austin, Texas, following Austin Police Department Detective Alex Esposito. Esposito is investigating the murder of Jason Leder, which leads him into a load of trouble. The Lifeline is connected to Esposito through a mobile app called HelpText.
    • Lifeline: Crisis Line was written by Lilah Sturges.
    • This game requires more external efforts than prior games, which would only require one or two internet searches for information. Alex requires the player to visit an external site and a fake Twitter page to find information for him.
  • Lifeline: Flatline (2016)
    • Lifeline: Flatline follows a medical patient, Wynn, as she tries to escape from the hospital that she's trapped in. Unlike the other games, this story plays out more like a horror story. The Lifeline is connected to Wynn telepathically.
    • Lifeline: Flatline was written by Daryl Gregory.
  • Lifeline: Halfway To Infinity (2016)
    • Lifeline: Halfway To Infinity is the third installment in the Taylor series, taking place shortly after the last two games. This time, Taylor is stranded in space, taking on a strangely familiar foe.
    • Lifeline: Halfway to Infinity was also written by Dave Justus, and was the last story in Taylor's chronology to be written by him.
  • Lifeline: Whiteout 2 (2017, partial release)
    • Lifeline: Whiteout 2 is the mostly unreleased sequel to Lifeline: Whiteout, following V. Adams in another adventure, shortly after his last. The Lifeline Library app allows for a part of the game to be played.
    • Lifeline: Whiteout 2 was created in collaboration with Eipix Entertainment.

Other Media[edit]

  • Lifeline Jump
  • Lifeline Library
    • Lifeline Library is a mobile app designed to give users "exclusive first access to news, updates, and new stories."[8] Users have access to artwork relating to the game, and access to Lifeline: Silent Night, Lifeline: Whiteout, and the first chapter of Lifeline: Whiteout 2.
  • Lifeline Official Twitter
    • The Official Twitter account promotes the upcoming and existing games and stories. On certain occasions in the past, Twitter users could converse with one of the Lifeline characters via the Twitter account. A special Twitter-only interactive event took place called Lifeline Float. Rather than an individual player making decisions in the app, many Twitter followers would interact with the character, Arthur, through Tweets and replies made on the twitter page. After a change of management on the Lifeline Twitter account, most of these events and occasions ceased, including their previous retweeting of fan art. For awhile they were strictly promoting Lifeline Universe, but as if June 2018 that too has ceased.

Lifeline Universe[edit]

After the release of Lifeline: Whiteout 2, Three Minute Games introduced a new app, Lifeline Universe in 2017. This app hosts all previous Lifeline stories, and all new ones, as released. The new installments are written by established authors and contributors from the "Author Program", who have applied and partnered with the company.[9] These new stories vary from being continuations of past series, to original stories. Stories are hidden behind micro transactions. So far, the app has only been released on the Google Play Store, and has a rating of 3.6.[10] Interest has declined in the series after the release of Lifeline Universe, with users accusing the company of selling out, and claiming the stories and app have worsened in quality.[11][12] Replies to the Lifeline Twitter account are often negative, wishing for the series to return to the old characters and the old style, or asking for a release for the App Store.[13] The Lifeline Universe Twitter and Instagram have been silent since June 29, 2018. On August 15, 2018, Big Fish Games has noted in a Zendesk that they are still working on new content for players.[14] However, they soon followed up with another notice, announcing that the Lifeline Universe service would come to a close early November of the same year.[15]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic77/100[16]
Review score
PublicationScore
TouchArcade3.5/5 stars[17]

Lifeline received 3 and a half stars on TouchArcade, which said the game, "Manages to create an emotional connection to Taylor is a fantastic writing achievement".[17]

The game received 8/10 on Pocket Gamer, praising it by saying, "For a few brief hours I cared - really cared - about the fate of a completely fictional character. I don't think any other game I've played has made me feel that way before."[18]

Metacritic gave the game a score of 77/100.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ d4. "Lifeline". Three Minute Games. Big Fish Games. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  2. ^ Games, Bareghost. "Lifeline Gameplay Playthrough Part 21 - Connection Terminated (The End)(iPad)". Youtube. BareghostGames. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  3. ^ Hudson, Laura. "I've been texting with an Astronaut". Boing Boing. Boing Boing. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  4. ^ Hudson, Laura. "I've been texting with an Astronaut". BoingBoing. BoingBoing. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  5. ^ d4. "Lifeline". 3 Minute Games. Big Fish Games.
  6. ^ a b Lofgren, Krista. "Behind the Curtain – Three Minute Games (Lifeline) Interview". Big Fish Games. Big Fish Games. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  7. ^ "Lifeline Jump: A Lifeline Platformer". www.bigfishgames.com. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  8. ^ "Lifeline Library: Choices Are Yours + NEW Episodes on the App Store". App Store. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  9. ^ "Interactive Fiction Games - Lifeline Universe | Big Fish Games". Interactive Fiction Games - Lifeline Universe | Big Fish Games. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  10. ^ "Lifeline Universe – Choose Your Own Story - Apps on Google Play". play.google.com. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  11. ^ "r/lifelinegame - Upset about this new app". reddit. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  12. ^ "Lifeline Universe – Choose Your Own Story - Apps on Google Play". play.google.com. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  13. ^ "Lifeline on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  14. ^ "Are you making more Lifeline games?". Lifeline Universe. Retrieved 2018-08-30.
  15. ^ Lifeline Universe https://lifelineuniverse.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360010969113-Where-is-Lifeline-Universe-going-. Retrieved 2018-11-07. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ a b "Lifeline... for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  17. ^ a b Dotson, Carter (8 May 2015). "'Lifeline' Review – Taylor, You Are Way Too Needy". TouchArcade. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  18. ^ Thrower, Matt (29 April 2015). "Lifeline... review". Pocket Gamer. Steel Media. Retrieved 23 February 2016.