I’ve heard about Sara is Missing quite a few years back but never played it until now! At this point, the game is 4 years old, but I think it still holds up very well.
Best of all, it’s actually free on itch.io! I played it on my desktop, but I think the best way to experience it would be on a mobile phone.
I’ve always loved story-driven games. I remember having lots of fun with Her Story and I was told this would invoke similar vibes. Overall, I did enjoy the experience. Below is an intro and my thoughts—spoiler-free!
The game starts you off on a lock screen of a phone. Upon unlocking it, you’ll see there’s only one app on the phone called IRIS. IRIS seems to be akin to SIRI (and indeed, is SIRI spelled backward) and as an artificial intelligence assistant, its primary objective is to make sure its owner is safe. In this case: Sara.
IRIS soon realizes you’re not Sara, but recruits your help to figure out what might have happened to its owner. The rest of the phone’s contents has been corrupted and are not accessible, but IRIS tries to restore what it can for you.
As you go through the various text messages, emails, and photos on Sara’s phone, you start to put together the life of this girl. Making note of the dates of each piece of info was super helpful for me. The mental timeline I had created helped to string together the story quite well.
The things happening within the story seemed believable. Especially since going through the phone did feel intimate enough. I felt I was taking a pretty good look into Sara’s life. That said, some parts caused me to raise an eyebrow and I had to push extra hard to suspend my disbelief.
I found Sara is Missing to be a little too short (my run-through of it took 2 hours), and the ending was also not quite satisfactory for me. But that said, there are still really great aspects to it. Just a word of warning: there are a few jump scares (around 3 total). The eerie mood of the game was already keeping me on edge, but I was still caught a little off guard with the jump scares.
If you’re looking for a relatively short, but interesting indie game to try I’d suggest this. Especially since you can get it for free!