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!
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.
Facebook Messenger is a weird entrant on this list, we know. However, it does let you play games over text with friends or by yourself. The games are rarely texting games. However, they are games you can play while texting and we’re fans of thinking outside the box on some stuff. Some of the options include Tetris, Galaga, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, and some other arcade games. Facebook Messenger is free as are all of the games. It’s not a great platform, but tons of people use Facebook and it’s usable as an SMS app as well. Why not use it and play some games while you message people?
InstLife is another unique texting game. You see the game icon, right? You basically live a whole life from the very beginning. The game gives you a life that starts at birth. You grow up and decide what to do with it. That includes relationships, school, career, and other pursuits. It’s not too bad as far as life simulations go and the lack of graphics helps the developer add even more options than you would normally find. Plus, this one is entirely free with advertising and no in-app purchases. There are some translation errors and the UI is a bit clunky, but it’s otherwise a great free game.
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.
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.
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.
Playdius has some of the most unique texting games anywhere. Some of their titles include A Normal Lost Phone and Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story. Players find a lost phone and must figure out where its owner is. You then have Bury Me, My Love, a tragic romance about a refugee texting her husband as she tries to make it to Europe. Finally, you have Chroniric XIX and Somewhere, two somewhat standard adventure text games with engaging stories and some other fun game play elements. Literally nothing this studio does is bad and we recommend any of their games. They usually go for $1.99-$2.99 each with no additional in-app purchases or ads.
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.
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.
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.
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!