July 8, 2016 2:16 AM | Jeremy Ooi
Replica is a point and click game developed by solo dev Somi from South Korea. You play as an investigator of sorts trying to solve a terrorist-related mystery about the owner of a mobile phone in your possession. The entire game takes place on the interface of said phone. You can pull down the status bar from the top, tap on icons to access apps, look through the contact list, and make and receive phone calls. Your mouse basically simulates a finger where you can swipe and tap on buttons when needed. Using all these tools, you have to find evidence that a potential crime has been committed for another investigator.
The "phone interface" is done in 8 bit graphics, so you are still reminded that you're playing a game. This aesthetic ties in quite nicely to the interface. For instance, the background music is actually the phone's music player, which you can toggle on or off or switch tracks. If you need to get some context to what's going on, just read the text messages. If you need to check your progress, not to worry; there's an app for that. It's a cleverly designed to-do app that also serves as the game's objective list. Even when receiving text messages, you can see the "typing" label right at the bottom when conversing with another character. While the phone calls are not voiced, the pace of the text simulates a phone conversation fairly accurately, along with the relevant beeps and rings.
The immersion definitely works and sometimes I feel like I'm actually using a phone. Which is a huge shame because I think this game definitely deserve a mobile release. Her Story works because it simulates a 90's computer on a PC, and I think this game would benefit greatly if it could be simulated on a mobile phone. That voyeuristic experience of looking through one's personal life through their messages and pictures will be enhanced by tenfold. The game is also pretty short even for a point and click game. However, with 12 different endings, there is a lot of replayability.