In this edition of The Download, we’re celebrating the month of spooks, chills and thrills with a creepy little mobile game called S.I.M.: Sara Is Missing! It’s a deceptively simple game that uniquely delivers found-footage horror elements using the familiar comforts of your phone’s operating system.
In S.I.M., You are playing as yourself as you pick up a strange smartphone that apparently belongs to someone else. The game starts as you unlock the device and start to root around the different files and folders. You can glean much of the original owner’s personal backstory by reading the various email chains and text messages and going through the various files and folders. You can also snoop around the phone’s Photo Gallery to see various pictures, videos and images that this person has taken, getting a glimpse into their world.
And yes, that sounds super creepy. In fact, a big part of the creep factor that you will get from playing SIM is through that dirty feeling that you have when you pry into this other person’s life. The photos in the Gallery look and feel like authentic smartphone photos taken during a night out or an afternoon with relatives. The videos range from documenting random moments to full-on, stare-into-the-camera vlogs. The messages in the inbox play out like actual conversations between friends and acquaintances. It all works together to paint a believable picture of this person’s life and it feels downright filthy to intrude upon.
A Glitch in the System
But being a Nosy Ned isn’t all that there is to S.I.M. Without spoiling too much, there’s a whole narrative that delves into the occult that unfolds as you pry and snoop through the phone. As you begin to piece together the clues, you begin realize what happened to the original owner of the phone.
The game also jumps into the real-time at a certain point, as it puts you in contact with the original owner’s friends, relatives as well as other people who might know her whereabouts. You can interact with these various contacts through dialogue choices that pop out like text messages. Some even ask you use certain features of the phone or find a specific photo during these interactions. Your responses will change how the narrative goes and how different people will react to you. However, these choices will only help color your view of the world and not really drastically affect the final outcome of the game.
There’s a lot to like about the S.I.M. Sara Is Missing, there’s the masterfully, minimalist world-crafting, the brilliantly casual writing and devilish simplicity of the controls. I personally adore the way it takes advantage of the familiarity and personal attachment we have with our own phones and turns it against us as a medium of horror. Everything about the game feels very real and familiar, we know how to navigate this device, how to extract information from it and we know its capabilities and limitations. S.I.M. capitalizes on that attachment and uses it to deliver a unique brand of horror straight to the palm of our hands.
All-in-all, S.I.M.: Sara Is Missing is a frightening, visceral and visionary take on the found-footage horror genre. If Spooktober has got you in the mood to play some scary mobile games download S.I.M.: Sara Is Missing for free on IOS and Android. If you have played the game, or have suggestions for other scary horror games, please let us know in the comments below!
The Download will be back next week with another mobile game spotlight! For more updates, please like the GG Network Facebook Page.
Till then, for the best of cool and quirky mobile games, keep it on The Download!