Adventure games are typically played at a leisurely pace, but what if time was of the essence? This is precisely the case in indie French studio Norseman Interactive's Somewhere: The Vault Papers, a mobile-exclusive interactive text thriller with real-time elements that's available now on iOS.
Somewhere follows the travails of a journalist named Cat, a "whistleblower under fire as her investigation threatens to uncover a major conspiracy." Now in danger from "insidious forces" threatening to silence her, Cat turns to you for help, which you can only provide via remote text messages. Over the course of several days, players will be called upon to "find clues on the web and help Cat make the right decisions as she digs deeper and comes closer to uncovering the truth."
Presented largely as a text-based gamebook with branching choices that significantly impact the story (the consequences of which can lead to multiple possible endings), player involvement isn't limited simply to making narrative decisions. Instead, gameplay involves active participation including "web searches, Google maps, and real-time text conversations." Given the dire circumstances for Cat, time is an important aspect of the game, though it isn't imperative that you answer every notification right away. In fact, if you're not happy with your choices you can even rewind time in places in order to "experiment with different story outcomes." Still, the experience works best if you immerse yourself in the simulated real-time scenario as intended.
Available now on the App Store for iOS, Somewhere: The Vault Papers is also due out next month on Android devices. (If you really can't wait for the latter, you can download the beta version now, though Google Play warns that the current version may be unstable.)