Replica is an immersive phone hacking simulator developed by SOMI and published by PLAYISM
By: Stewart Leadingham (StewThePoo), on 13/11/2020.
Replica Nintendo Switch Version Release Trailer
Replica is a newly released title on the Nintendo Switch. Its been available o steam since 2014 but this new release tidies up some of the script and has intuitive touch screen controls. It handles well with a controller also.
Its a modestly produced title with a miniature price point and a short playtime for your first run, likely an hour.
The game has you awakening in a dark cell holding a a cell phone, being forcible coerced into hacking a suspected teenage terrorists mobile phone. The graphics are low resolution sprite artwork. For the entirety of the game you'll be looking at a monochrome hand holding a phone screen. Most of the visuals are in the form of a simulated phone operating system. And on that note, its very authentic and believable.
The lo-fi style of the game does the job. Text is sharp and readable and the background doesn't distract from the core task at hand. Its a little unremarkable, but the grim palette does enforce the oppressive atmosphere.
The audio of the game is modest and serviceable. The lack of voice acting is unfortunate as it could have added a lot to the atmosphere. The phone sound effects are convincing and do the job.
Background music can be cycled between a couple of tracks by using the phones built in `music` app which helps keep you engrossed in the game world.
The bulk of the gameplay is deduction from observing texts, news stories on social media apps and selecting points of interests on text messages. The realistic phone operating system helps to immerse you in the feel of the world.
The variety of gameplay keeps fresh for the duration and its highly inventive the ways it asks you to mess around with the phone. You'll be doing things like resetting passwords and connecting to bluetooth devices. Everything behaves like how a real phone does and its the games strongest aspect in my opinion.
I wont go into detail on the later half of the games story as its quite interesting and rewarding to discover it on your own. But the starting premise is that your being strong armed into performing surveillance and hacking on some commie kids phone. Your told to snoop around for incriminating evidence (suspect texts, photos, scheduled events etc) and to ignore phone calls from distressed friends and families looking for the imprisoned kid in question.
It's a strong setup, and all the endings feel consistent with the game world. The only small issue I have, is that the government agent is a little too villainous and hammy.I achieved ending 4 on my first playthough, but I was desperate to hop back in. Your first time through will definitely leave you with answered questions.
Subsequent playthoughs will be substantially shorter when you know what your doing, and write down key passwords.
There's 19 different endings (or more specifically, ways to end the game) and to get them all you'll need to have a very keen eye for details and clues. Players who like to mess around and experiment will get a kick out of some of these.
Given how quick a playthrough can be, this is a fantastic game to play on the go and is perfectly suited for switch.