Suppose you're bored, flipping through your phone, when you're contacted by someone who thinks she's reached her brother. But this is more than just a misdialed text message. She says she's contacted you magically. That there's a whole underground society of magic users in the world, practicing their craft in secret. That some of the more untrustworthy sorts of mages killed her parents when she was a kid, and inexperienced as she was at the time, she accidentally sent her brother to another dimension while trying to keep him safe. Now Arika's out for revenge, and though she's searched for ten years, she still holds out hope of getting her brother back. And she could use a friend and confidant as she tries to collect magical artifacts she needs, if you're willing. Maybe she's crazy, maybe she's not. Either way, get ready to make some tough choices in Lifeline 2, an engaging fantasy text adventure by 3 Minute Games for Apple Watch and iOS.
While you're reading the story, every so often you'll have a choice as to how to respond. And it's these choices that determine the outcome of each situation as it arises. As in the first Lifeline game, the story proceeds in real time throughout your day, and as before you can choose to get notifications when she's waiting for you. If Arika needs a nap, you're not going to hear from her for an hour. If she's in the midst of exploring a creepy monastery, she may want you there every step of the way. This again conjures the illusion that you are actually interacting with a person, rather than just reading a story. Dave Justus keeps up his stellar storytelling throughout the different quests Arika undertakes. She is a likeable character who enjoys peppering pop culture references into the conversation as she confides in you, which is a nice reminder that the story is taking place here in our world, and not in a fantasy realm somewhere. Soon you'll be invested and may have a hard time waiting to see what is going to happen next. After you've played through once, you have the option of starting completely over, or perhaps from a checkpoint (depending on circumstances) with the added ability to skip back to choices you've made to change your selection. And though the game doesn't recommend it, you can also turn on fast mode, which disables the real time feature. The fantastical story is long, with multiple paths to travel and different endings depending on the choices you make, plus it has a nice original soundtrack. If you don't believe in magic, this just may convince you to start.