Texting games (text-based games) are some of the oldest computer games. Many remember old text RPGs like Zork. Mobile gave the genre a chance at a rennaisance and there are actually a bunch of good ones. It comes naturally on a smartphone. You text your friends and family on your phone. Why not text a fictional stranger to help them live? In any case, these games are usually pretty simple. You get a bunch of choices, choose the one you want, and the game continues down that story branch. You keep going until you fail or beat the game.
This genre also spawned a whole new sub-genre, the lost phone. Instead of answering text prompts, you root through a fictional phone to find out what happened to its owner. We have a little bit of everything on this list. Here are the best texting games for Android! We’d also like to recommend Zarya-1 as an honorable mention.
A Dark Room
A Dark Room is a fairly simple and straight forward texting game. You start in a cold, dark room. Players build a fire and then kind of go from there. It’s a bit slower than we would normally like and there aren’t a ton of options starting out. However, a little patience nets you a fairly entertaining game. You slowly build a shelter, traps, and other stuff to survive. It won’t win any awards for aesthetics, even for a text game. On the other hand, it only costs $1.99, has no in-app purchases or ads, and it plays perfectly fine offline. It’s a good place to start for texting games.
Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story
Price: Free / $0.99-$5.49 each
Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story is a mystery text game where you find a phone and try to find its owner. Players look through a phone, all of its texts, and all of its photos in order to find clues as to the owner’s whereabouts. It’s technically a sequel, but the first game doesn’t seem to be around anymore. There is also Bury Me, My Love, Chroniric and Somewhere, two games formerly by the same publisher as Another Lost Phone that split off. They are somewhat standard adventure text games with engaging stories and some other fun game play elements.
Price: Free to play
BitLife is a text-based life simulator. You create a person, write their entire lives, and make decisions on their behalf. The game features a lot of choices, including a bunch of jobs, various life paths, and you can even adopt a bunch of pets. Players can attend college and find a good job or drop out and sponge off of their parents. It’s all up to you. This is among the most popular life simulator games. AltLife is another strong option in this space.
Delight Games titles
Price: Free to play (usually)
Delight Games is a developer on Google Play with a few decent text games. A few of the options include an Oregon Trail style game, a D&D style game, Your Choice, Wizard’s Choice, and a few others. All of these games have very similar mechanics, looks, feel, and style. The games tell a bit of story, give you a choice, and then continue based on your choice. The only downside is the free versions require you to watch a bunch of ads between chapters in some of the titles. You can, of course, buy the coins and continue forward instead. These are reasonably good for how vague all of the names are.
King of Dragon Pass
King of Dragon Pass is a texting strategy game with a fantasy theme and RPG elements. It uses more graphical elements than most texting games. However, it ends up being useful for keeping track of all the stuff you accrue over the course of your adventure. You gather goods, trade for stuff, go on adventures, and slay mighty beasts. It’s a lot deeper and longer than many text games we tried. All of that awesomeness does come at a price, though. The game costs $9.99 and honestly, that’s a hard pill to swallow even for a full graphical game. We’ll leave it up to you, but the game is really good. It’s also free if you have a Google Play Pass subscription.
Price: $1.99-$2.99 each
The Lifeline series is an older series of text-based adventure games. There are about half a dozen games in the entire franchise and all of the stories are a little different. However, they all revolve around the same premise. You receive messages from people and decide what to do about it. Those decisions have impact in the story. You can lose the game if you make bad choices. The earlier games are a little bare in the features department but still tell great stories. The later games add more game play elements, fast forward modes, and the ability to backtrack. They are old, though, so test them inside of the refund period to be sure they work on your device.
Price: Free / $2.99
Magium is a simple choose-your-own-adventure game with some RPG elements. You play as Barry, a normal guy who wants to become a mage someday. Players enter a tournament, improve Barry’s stats, and try to make all of that happen. Your decisions have impact on the story and it can even cause you to die and lose. This game is in active development. There are two whole books to play through with a third in the works already. It’s a nice little pickup if you want something that’s going to take a while. The game is also free on Google Play Pass if you use it.
Price: $2.99-$3.99 each
Reigns is a series of text games with card game and strategy elements. There are three games in the series. The first has a king, the second a queen, and the third one lets you play as characters from Game of Thrones. It’s a simple series of games, really. You are presented with a scenario on a card and you choose yes or no by swiping the card left or right Tinder style. The game tells you the results of your decision and then you make another one. Players keep going until they lose. They are inexpensive games with no in-app purchases or ads. They aren’t the deepest texting games on mobile, but we they are still quite fun. All three games are available on Google Play Pass if you use that service.
Simulacra and Simulacra: Pipe Dreams
Price: Free / $4.99
Simulacra and Simulacra: Pipe Dreams are two newer text games. The first is similar to A Normal Lost Phone. You find a lost phone and must find its owner. However, Simulacra adds some horror and thriller elements as well. It also has five endings, various puzzles, and even a voice-over cast. Simulacra: Pipe Dreams is a spin-off from the main game. You play as Teddy and you find messages you didn’t send. Cue the adventure from there. Both games are excellent. You don’t have to play the original to enjoy Pipe Dreams, but it does help add to the story a bit. Pipe Dream is free and the original game goes for $4.99.
Price: $4.99 each
Sorcery! is a series of text games. There are four games in the series at the time of this writing and they are all pretty decent. They have heavier graphical elements than most text games, but that’s perfectly okay. You basically move around the game world and engage with it with narrative text and decisions. The story forms around your decisions and there are just a ton of different things to do. This is closer to a narrative game than a pure text game, but it has elements of both. The Sorcery series is excellent. It’s also a little expensive at $4.99 per game for a total of $20 for the whole series to date.
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If we missed any great texting games for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!