You fire up a new app, and press the single button on the main screen to start everything up. It turns out that button is a one way ticket to the future that doesn’t look kindly upon time travelers from the past. At least, that’s the case in the new game One Button Travel that presents an interactive story to go through one decision at a time. The game presents a real time story that contains 55,000 words with forking pathways as you’re given choices to direct the main character that you connect with from the future.
One Button Travel is instantly familiar with a set-up a lot like Lifeline as you’re given a story presented as though you’re texting back and forth with the main character. The major difference is the storyline is set in a distant future, and you’re given the perspective of a person locked down and ostracized due to where he comes from. One Button Travel gives you short snippets to then ask you a question, when you’re given two or three choices to respond, and that response often dictates the path forward. It’s a compelling story that offers a lot of intense situations as the main character is rushing against the clock trying to help you from being sent to his terrible future, and suffer the same fate. The ultimate goal is to enter the cancellation code of your trip, and that same screen allows you to enter a speed up code (in the App Store description) to reduce the real time wait between messages, but that takes away part of the appeal of the app.
One Button Travel presents a narrative that can stand on its own, and the similar set-up can last through multiple games. With that said, the more you have played Lifeline, the less appealing One Button Travel is. That’s mainly because Lifeline is simply a better experience due to the Apple Watch integration, and even if you don’t have an Apple Watch, you can respond from the lock screen. One Button Travel always requires you to open to app to respond, and then the game often pushes you away very quickly leaving you with “no new messages” quite often. Lifeline, and especially Lifeline 2 has long sequences of back and forth interaction, while One Button Travel has very short snippets, and then the character is busy. Also, One Button Travel takes less time developing the character for you to actually care about his survival as compared to the characters in the Lifeline series.
One Button Travel ($2.99, Universal) delivers an engaging way to read a story that is worth picking up, but the existence of Lifeline 1 & 2 lessen One Button Travel’s appeal.