Sender Unknown Review: Be A Hero In This Thriller Type Mobile Text Adventure

sender unknown the woods mobile game text adventure horror thriller iOS android review
Sender Unknown is a new mobile text adventure that makes you the hero of your own thriller type story. iTunes

Living in the internet age where everyone’s connected, it’s not that uncommon to find yourself chatting with someone you’ve never met in real life. But imagine if one day, while checking your Snapchat messages, you discovered a cry for help from a stranger? This is exactly the position game writer Lisa Brunette puts players in in her debut mobile text adventure, Sender Unknown: The Woods.

The game begins as your character is signing up to try a new social network application called Chatter. Chatter allows people to chat with and send pictures to anyone on the network. A few seconds after you’ve set up your account, you receive a request to connect from a user labeled as “Sender Unknown.” As soon as you accept the invitation, a young woman named Morgan begins texting you, saying that she is in trouble and needs your help. According to Morgan, she and her friends were on a camping trip in the Ozarks when things went awry. Now she’s trapped in broken RV, with a pack of wolves chewing through one of the taped up windows of the RV.

The story sounds unbelievable and you struggle with whether to believe her or think it's all just a hoax but eventually she convinces you that what she’s said is actually true. As the story unfolds you discover a dark and sinister plot behind what’s happened to Morgan and her friends who mysteriously disappeared.

sender unknown the woods mobile game text adventure horror thriller iOS android review
Choice you make in Sender Unknown affect your stats which can determine how successful future decisions are. Photo: Player.One

Sender Unknown: The Woods incorporates many of the typical elements of text adventure games. As you chat with Morgan, you are given the opportunity to respond in a variety of different ways that impact the direction the story goes. But your decisions have other effects as well. The game incorporates a group of five stats: Trust, Intelligence, Logic, Willpower and Empathy. Depending on how you respond to Morgan, your stats may go up or down in different areas. As you play the game, you’ll sometimes run into decisions or situations at which you will succeed or fail depending on what you stat levels are for that particular challenge. As a result, it’s important to think through the decisions you make to determine how they might affect your stats, while also considering the best way to help Morgan.

sender unknown the woods mobile game text adventure horror thriller iOS android review
Decisions you make can have life and death consequences for Morgan and her friends. Photo: Player.One

Sometimes making decisions is easy but other times it can be tricky. At various places in the game you’ll be confronted with puzzles or riddles you’ll have to tease your way through in order to make the best response. If you choose poorly or your solution is incorrect, it can have devastating effects for Morgan, in some cases, even death. If a decision you make leads to Morgan’s death or her becoming permanently disconnected from you, then you have the option to restart the game at the beginning of a chapter or at the last major decision you had to make.

In order to give everyone the opportunity to try the game, the developer has offered the first chapter for free on the app store. If you play through the first chapter and decide you’ve enjoyed it, unlocking the rest of the story is just $1.99.

As I played Sender Unknown: The Woods there were moments where I found the dialogue kind of corny or that the conversations were a little pointless but, all throughout the game, it did keep me wondering what would happen next. For those who enjoy thrillers or tales of horror and suspense, Sender Unknown will be a satisfying offering. Sender Unknown: The Woods is currently available exclusively on the Apple App store until October 4, when it will presumably make its way to the Google Play store as well. You can download and try the game, here.

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