Top Critic Average
As Found Phone games go, Simulacra is one of the better ones. The dialogue is well implemented, the puzzles all play on the players in-built knowledge of how mobile phones work and there’s this disconcerting atmosphere to the whole experience.
Simulacra is a horror game about finding a missing girl using her phone.
If you’re looking for a unique take on the ‘found footage/phone’ horror genre, SIMULACRA is perfect for you. The puzzles you need to complete, in order to descramble and reveal messages and photos, are fun to solve and interesting to read/look at. Although I wish there were more FMV sequences and meaningful choices which changed the narrative more dramatically as the story progressed, the quality of the videos and writing were both top-shelf.
An interesting and in many ways strong FMV adventure title, but one somewhat let down by middling acting (at best) and a lack of attention to streamlining the gameplay for consoles as part of the porting process.
[...]I cannot recommend playing the Switch port, especially if you have any vision issues that may prevent your ability to read the screen properly. Do yourself a favor and download this mysterious story on your phone instead.
The phone user simulator with a horrifying twist. Now you can browse your phone and play video games at the same time!
Simulacra is an enjoyable experience, even if it is not the best example of the genre. You’ll find an interesting but ultimately rather shallow story. The concept could have been taken further, with more exploration surrounding what it means to broadcast your identity through a device which fits in the palm of your hand. A device which can be lost or compromised and used against you. In spite of this, I had a good time with Simulacra, and I give it the Thumb Culture silver award.
The puzzles aren't ridiculously difficult, but aren't always easy either. I would like to return to the big question I've been asking all along: is it reasonable to play found game on a console with a controller? It works well enough, minus my gripes about small icons and the annoyance of typing text.
Despite its issues, Simulacra still kept me hooked for the duration of my playthrough.
The studio clearly sees potential in the format as a storytelling platform, and I definitely want to see them refine it in the future.