App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
The amount of personal data that we store on our phones is pretty astounding. Replica is a game where players find out just how much you can discover about a person just by poking around on their phone for a few hours. It's a novel concept that mostly works, even despite a few standout issues.
The entirety of Replica revolves around your interactions with a phone interface that looks and behaves a lot like phones we all carry with us today. You learn pretty quickly though that this is no ordinary phone and the world of Replica is no ordinary world.
To avoid venturing into spoiler territory--since Replica's story is its main driving force--let's just say that the game world you inhabit is a pretty scary and dystopian one. Following every discovery you make in the game, you learn a little more about the world and game characters, and the picture that the game paints is one that does not particularly value civil liberties.
Slide to steal identity
The phone in Replica mimics phones today in a way that makes the whole experience intuitive, but also kind of eerie. You start stuck on a phone's lock screen and have to use some logic and context clues to figure out the passcode to get in.
From there, you can and will find yourself going through phone photos, logging into social media accounts, and even making clever use of phone settings to find out the secrets that Replica has to hide.
The phone navigation in Replica is so clever and well implemented on mobile that it's hard to imagine that the game was actually originally released on PCs. That said, the narrative that unfolds in the game stumbles a bit in terms of its delivery and design.
This is partially due to the game's writing. Despite setting up a cool dystopian setting, sections of Replica's dialogue ruins it by being a little unclear at some times and even downright silly at others.
Another issue with Replica is that it's not very good about saving your progress in the game. If you have to leave the app for any significant period of time, it's likely that your any progress in your game may reset. Replica is a small and tight enough package that having to redo sections of the game doesn't take a huge amount of time, but it is awfully annoying.
The bottom line
The idea of snooping through a phone to tell a story is a great one.Replicahas some issues in the execution of this idea, but still manages to mostly stick the landing. Even though there are some writing and design issues, it's still a pretty strong game that's worth playing.