I Killed An Astronaut In The Only Apple Watch Game Worth Playing

[connection lost]

That's the message I woke up to on what was my communicator link with a marooned space cadet named Taylor this morning. His ship had crash landed, and he had reached out to me for help. And I killed him. He died because I gave him the wrong advice on how to survive the night on the desolate planet he had crashed on. I'm still staring at my Apple Watch in shock because of what this game has made me feel.

This is Lifeline.

On the weekend I was playing around with the Apple Watch I've been lent to review. It's pretty nifty for getting stuff done and keeping me off my iPhone for longer, but surely there are some games for this thing, I thought.

After a bit of a scroll through the Watch App on my iPhone, I found a fun little game called Lifeline by Three Minute Games. The blurb took me by surprise, mostly because it sounded fun:

Lifeline is a playable, branching story of survival against all odds. Using your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch, you will help Taylor make life or death decisions, and face the consequences together.

After parting with my $3.79 for the app, I got going.

"Hello?"

"Is anyone there?"

It was Taylor: the space cadet who had crash-landed on a strange planet calling for help.

My help. It was instantly personal.

He trusted me immediately, and I wanted to help him. Whether I could help him survive or even help him escape the cold planet he had crashed on remained to be seen, but I felt an immediate attachment to a fictional character pinging me from a strange galaxy to my wearable.

The choose-your-own-adventure RPG puts you in charge of Taylor's actions and ultimately, his survival. He asks if he should sleep or search for food. He asks if he should check on the crew or find an offworld distress beacon to get him rescued. He jokes with you, and tries to keep his sense of humour

His first question took me a bit by surprise. Ultimately, he wanted to let me know that he was heading over to the crashed wreckage of his ship to see if anything could be salvaged. Once I agreed that it was a good course of action, that was it. He dropped out of contact as he trekked towards the plumes of smoke he assumed were coming from the crash site. The whole game happens in real time.

*ping* went my Apple Watch as a communication from Taylor came in a few hours later. He had arrived, and wanted to know what to do next. He was taking orders from me now, and I was charged with his safety. I broke his trust, and now he's dead. This game will test your decision making skills.

I think what roped me in about Lifeline was the fact that I'd never had that experience on a wearable before. I've reviewed plenty, but I've never used it to play an engrossing RPG before, and that tickles me. It's like having a Tamagotchi that makes you feel when you kill it.

Taylor's fictional body is lying in the broken hull of the crashed ship Varia now. He'll never be found, and we'll never speak again because I let him down. The next time someone reaches out to me from that distant planet, I'll think twice about their safety.

WATCH MORE: Tech News


Comments

    That is very clever use of the tech, I like it.

    So it's a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure on the Apple Watch?

    I've been 'playing' it over the weekend. First game in years that has had me checking on it during the night when I should be sleeping.

    Taylor's survival is paramount to me now. As the game progresses, his personality has really evolved and every time I need to make a decision, I wory about whether I've made the right one or not.

    Can't hurt being written by the same scribe as the awesome 'The Wolf Among Us' either.

    So I have been playing this for a couple of days, first couple of goes I went with what I thought would be best, needless to say I wouldnt survive very long if it were me stranded.

    Then I decided to just try going with all the right option no matter how much peril it put Taylor in. At this point I am 39 choices in with only 2 of those picking the left option (I appeared to be stuck in a loop, go explore get halfway, turn back, go explore get halfway, turn back) and this is the longest play through I have had (not saying he will live and make it off this rock). This makes it feel a little disappointing, esp when some of the options are very much a please pick one, oh no I dont want to do that ill go the other way.

    Overall the story is great and as the article above said you really start to connect and feel for the little guy. During my current play through the right option has often made me say out loud sorry buddy as I have to pick things like human food (left) or rat food (right) to eat... sorry buddy...

    Well worth the money if you are looking for something different

    Woot! Won the game on my FIRST try! So proud. *wipes away tear* That game was intense! Those long pauses made me want to bang my head against the wall (lots of anxiety) Everytime he abruptly cut off or went to sleep I was freaked out that I killed him/her. "They had to make such a relatable character. (Why couldn't they stick with the norm robot, couldn't imagine it was person even if it sneezed on you, protagonist?) You just liked him so much his death would have been so sad. Great game with an awesome plot! Bravo to all the creators! I enjoyed my ending and can finally put this game down (even though I'm playing it again) with peace of mind.

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