SIM

[Review] Simulacra (PC)

Here is another phone simulator-type game – Simulacra  – available on Steam! I am really digging these types of games as it allows you to safely be a snoop without guilt. Simulacra is the spiritual successor to SIM: Sara is Missing and does many things very well.

You find a phone that belongs to Anna. In it, several apps are available to open and read their contents. Some of the files are corrupted, and upon recovery, you find a shaky fuzzy video Anna pleading for help. Several apps are available, including a browser app, a messenger app (Jabbr), a dating app and an Instagram type app. Through these apps, you learn more about Anna, her family and friends, and what she has been up to. You also interact with some of her friends to get answers or to recruit help in locating her. You suspect one or more of her contacts are responsible, and your interactions with them could have a lasting effect on the outcome of the story. And let me tell you…that ending…

Simulacra is considered a jump-scare horror game, but it is a lot of fun. Really, it is very well made and has re-playability. Unfortunately for you all, my screenshot program wouldn’t work with this game – but all the more reason to just buy it on Steam and try it out yourself! Great game!

5/5

Simulacra
Kaigan Games
2017

[Review] S.I.M: Sara Is Missing (PC)

After I played A Normal Lost Phone, I got chuffed enough to look into other “phone simulator”-type games, and came across S.I.M.: Sara is Missing, a short free-to-play found-footage horror game developed by Malaysian developers, Kaiju Games.

You find someone’s iPhone and immediately it prompts you to restore its corrupted data. From there, IRIS, the phone’s mobile assistant, texts you and knows immediately you are not Sara. IRIS asks that you return the phone to Sara, but you don’t know Sara and where she is. IRIS reveals she is missing, and judging from the last video she recorded, it appears she is in danger. From there you explore Sara’s phone messages, emails, videos and photos to figure out what happened to her.

While perusing her phone, you learn Sara is a student with common problems of a 20-something: boyfriend troubles…a mom who doesn’t understand her desire to become a para-psychologist… From the messages, we learn the evening she disappeared, a friend of hers had arranged for Sara to meet someone who shares her interests, and from there she vanishes. What happened to her?

Sara is Missing is a unique horror game that does a lot very well. From first blush, you are staring at an iPhone interface and interacting with it like everything is real. Texts between you and others are canned responses, but the game is steered depending on what responses you choose. You are free to look at everything on the phone, but are frequently reminded to keep on track by IRIS. Overall, the hand-holding was ok (it was mostly ignored by me), but others might find it tedious.

The subject matter of para-psychology is where the horror element enters and permeates videos, photos and text messages. It’s been a while since I’ve played a horror game at all (since Fall 2017…), but it felt good easing back into them with this lil’ game. It’s a good time if you are into gore. Sara is Missing does have some good replay-ability too, as there are multiple endings to the game.

Highly recommended!

5/5

S.I.M. (Sara is Missing)
Kaiju Games