“Lost Tracks” will get you back on track


Bethany Berg, Photo Editor

Have you ever sat alone on a train, in the hallway, or even in class, and suddenly felt this urge to talk to someone new, but can’t bring yourself to do it? Students from The Animation Workshop at VIA University College in Denmark took that internal conflict, and made it into a game for your iPad or iPhone.

“Lost Tracks” is a short, immersive game that can be easily completed in 20 minutes. It’s relaxing, distractive and incredibly intriguing. It has the aesthetic elements of Silent Hill’s hipster brother, while still not giving you nightmares to look forward to after you’ve finished it.  

“Lost Tracks” has three parts: Look, Listen and Speak. Each emphasizes the mechanic of the sense they portray. In “Look” you search for train posts in a puzzle. In “Listen” you navigate a sandstorm where your only guide is the 3D sound an object is making and in “Speak,” you have to – guess what – speak into the microphone, and follow echoes in a puzzle. After each segment, the screen fades to black and begins a new sense until the end of the game.

Element wise, the game’s graphics are simple and nice to look at. The colors and shadows bring the animated world to life before your eyes. Control wise, “Lost Tracks” takes a bit of getting used to. To run around, you hold onto the screen, while tilting your phone left and right to circle direction, or swiping left or right to change direction instantly. Easy enough to do with one hand, but not the usual “run of the mill” controls, giving the game another unique feature that some may find difficult.

The best part about “Lost Tracks” is that it’s a puzzle game that, if you look closely enough, could mean a variety of different things. Reviews have labeled the story about everything from social anxiety, to experiencing autistic qualities, to a literal out of body experience. The game developers describe the game’s storyline by saying: “In this poetic art/adventure game you are in the pursuit of courage and try to mend your conflicting self. A journey through your subconscious world makes you deal with the fears and doubts that hinders you from talking to the stranger.”  

If you’re like me, you have always been a little disappointed in story-rich games made for phones and the dynamic behind them. Why play an immersive game on a small screen, for small increments at a time, when you can find a better, higher quality version on Steam or other locations online on your computer or television? There have only been a few game apps I can say have been enjoyable and replayable. Fortunately for me, “Lost Tracks” has joined that group.