A teenager named Sam vanishes on the eve of his 18th birthday. You have never met Sam in your life, of course. You only know about this because you've just happened upon a lost smartphone, one currently blowing up with text messages from Sam's concerned father.
Who is Sam? Where did he vanish to? Why did he leave so suddenly? Well, you do have a phone full of conversations, photos, and emails to sort through. Maybe you can puzzle out an answer.
A Normal Lost Phone takes the shape of a narrative investigation: the player must search through the phones text messages, pictures and applications in order to learn about its former owner. Bit by bit, you will put together a picture of Sam's life, friends, family and relationships, and try to solve the mystery behind his sudden disappearance.
A Normal Lost Phone was developed by Accidental Queens and programmed by Diane Landais. It can be bought on Itch.io, Steam, and the Google App store. A version for the Nintendo Switch was released on March 1, 2018.
On September 21, 2017 the developers released a Spiritual Successor in the form of Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story. The game is similar in format to A Normal Lost Phone but with a new cast of characters.
A Normal Lost Phone provides examples of the following:
- Abusive Parents: Teo's parents kicked out his older brother Erik, when he came out of the closet and lied to Teo and Sam about it, claiming he was the one who left for some sort of cult.
- Deconstructed with Sam's parents: They do love her, but being very anti-trans and anti-LGBT really hurts her and what prompts her to move on with her life. Judging from the text messages, they regret it afterwards.
- Beauty Mark: Sam has a noticeable mole that helps the player identify her photo when she's presenting as female.
- Biker Babe: Sam at the very end of the story when she takes the motorbike her father gifts her for her 18th birthday to run away to Covonia to begin a new life.
- Bittersweet Ending: In a final email between Sam and Alice the player learns that Sam took her new motorbike to run away to Covonia and start living life as a girl. She has to leave her family and everyone she knows in Melren behind, but she clearly sounds like this has taken a great weight off her shoulders, and the tone is optimistic.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Melissa is very, very vocally jealous of how close Sam is to Alice.
- Driven to Suicide: Melissa tries to kill herself after Sam breaks up with her on New Year's Eve. Her attempt fails, but Sam is left stunned and shaken by the news.
- The Hero's Birthday: The game takes place on Sam's 18th birthday after she decides to start her life over in Covonia.
- Innocent Blue Eyes: Sam has very noticeable blue eyes that she lists as one of her most noticeable traits on both her internet dating profiles. Her blue eyes is one of the things that helps the player identify her photo as transpride.
- Mentor in Queerness: The older members of the Be You forums become this for Sam.
- Slut-Shaming: Poor Helen tells her dad about Sebastian taking things way too far and almost raping her at a party and his only response is to remind her that he warned her about the dress she chose.
- Sobriquet Sex Switch: In a slight variation on this trope Sam is always just "Sam" to everyone, but to her boarding game club (and later her "book club) it's short for Samira, not Samuel.
- Supreme Chef: Sam's mom bakes a dessert for Sam's book club every week and judging by Sam's recounting of their reactions she's a great chef.
- Transgender: Sam is actually a transgender girl who has recently tried presenting as a girl in some spaces, her board games club in particular. There's also the members of the Be You forum that Sam goes to for guidance.
- Trans Tribulations: Most of Sam's problems stem from the fact that she's a trans girl who presents as a girl to some people but is still in the closet in regards to most people she knows. For example, the big reason she can't introduce her best friend Alice to her girlfriend Melissa is that Alice knows her as Samira, not Samuel. There's also the fact that her parents are openly homophobic and obsessed about Sam "being a man."
- Several members of the Be You forums vent to each other about the things the transphobia they regularly face.
- Phil, the guy Sam connects with on her dating app, tells Sam about how a trans friend of his often deals with complete strangers asking intrusive questions about their body.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: In her profile picture you can see Chloe from the boarding game club. To a lesser extent, Sam's wig is partially blue.