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 renaissance 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. There was a minor resurgence of the genre in the late 2010s, but most of them don’t get regular updates these days. There are only a few great text games left and here they are.
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.
The best texting games for Android
- Alter Ego
- A Normal Lost Phone
- Delight Games titles
- King of Dragon Pass
- Knights of San Francisco
- Lifeline series
- Reign games
- Sorcery! games
Price: Free / $2.99-$9.99
Alter Ego is an excellent text game for Android. The game revolves around two main mechanics. You tap on EGOs to collect it and use it to progress through the story. The game features multiple endings and your decisions change the course of the game. Additionally, there is an element where it tries to analyze your personality based on the choices you make. Most players find it to be fairly accurate. Between the idle clicker mechanics and text mechanics, it’s a solid overall game.
See also: The most relaxing games for Android
A Normal Lost Phone
A Normal Lost Phone is a puzzle text game. You wind up a person and must dig through their phone to find out who they are and what happened to them. You can read their texts, scroll through their photos, and even check out what apps they have downloaded. The game is a bit heavier on the narrative element than the text or puzzle elements, but it’s generally a pretty good game overall. It’s also free via Google Play Pass if you use it. There is another game in this series, Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story (Google Play). However, it hasn’t had an update since 2017 so it may or may not work on your phone.
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.
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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.
See also: The best strategy games for Android
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Knights of San Francisco
Knights of San Francisco is the newest text game on the list as of 2021. It pays homage to the text games of old where you literally dictate almost every action in text format. The game is only about 90 minutes long. Luckily, it’s not very expensive and there are no in-app purchases. The game centers around a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, now a ruin. There are ogres and dragons to fight and a story to play through. The best part of this game is easily the combat system. You can target individual body parts to swing the battle your way. It’s surprisingly fun for such a short game.
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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 them. Those decisions have an impact on 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 gameplay 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 an 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.
See also: The best adventure games for Android
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.
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.
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!
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