What would you do if you found a phone and the last image of its owner showed they were in danger. Would you drop the phone or would you jump down the rabbit hole in pursuit? That is the question posed by Sara is Missing.
Genre(s): Adventure | Horror
Developer: Monsoon Lab
Publisher: Monsoon Lab
Release Date: Nov 2016
Played: Full game, 1 ending (so far).
Source: Got it from the App Store
Last year I had the pleasure of playing the unique adventure game Her Story, in which you search through a Police database for interviews about a missing person investigation. It’s a phenomenal and innovative game, one where you must pay attention every word spoken as it may have a crucial clue in the investigation, which in turn leads you to another interview and closer to the truth…or to confusion.
It’s not a typical adventure by any means and I thought it would be the only game of its style that I would play in a long time. So, imagine my surprise when I find Sara is Missing, a game where you find a missing person’s mobile phone and must piece together what happened to the titular Sara, the phone’s owner.
But you’re not on your own. You have the game’s version of Siri, Iris, an AI advanced enough to want to find its owner, and with the ability to restore corrupt parts of the phone’s memory and operating system.
As you read through Sara’s private messages, emails and read her notes, if something catches your eye, you can tap and hold on the screen and tell Iris that you’ve found something potentially interesting. Of course, not every term is relevant and often you’ll just hear a buzz, forcing you to try again, and again, and again. It can sometimes get a bit frustrating.
It can take a while to get to that next crucial clue, but soon enough you’ll be diving into the real mystery, almost drawn from the creepiest of creepy pasta you can imagine. What you discover, what you see happening and even the phone’s behaviour become freaky and disturbing. The phone will ring, you will receive calls where you just hear groans on the other side and even more strange happenings.
I’ve already cleared it once, with a less than stellar result. I’m now trying my second playthrough, hoping to not only get a different ending but perhaps dig deeper into the mysteries, as I ended with very few answers. There were some crucial answers tied to specific choices that I didn’t make, and in fact, my lack of choice led to the most disturbing and frankly awesome moment.
Have I mentioned one of Sara’s emails has perhaps one of the most awesome analyses of Ghost in the Shell and the implications of cyborg bodies in human development, both on a biological and societal level? It’s riveting stuff.
If you’re into creepy stories and investigative games, you should play Sara is Missing. You can find it on the app store or on the developer’s sites with a price tag of “whatever you want.” Some parts of the game will genuinely screw with your head. It’s on the short side for an adventure, but it’s still impressive.
4/5 – Exceptional!