One Button Travel ($2.99) by TheCodingMonkeys is an interactive fictional adventure about a one-way trip to the future. While this sounds like a dream come true, sometimes things are just too good to be true. If you enjoy a good fictional choose-your-own-adventure type of game and like TheCodingMonkey’s previous work (Rules!), then you will love One Button Travel.
Back in the days of my childhood, I would always love going to the local library and checking out some books to read in my spare time, and I had plenty of those choose-your-own-adventure books. You know, the ones where you are presented with several choices at the end of a chapter, which may or may not lead to completely different conclusions by the end of the book. These were always one of my favorites because it gave me a choice to determine how the story ends, and honestly, who doesn’t like having that power? So naturally, when I heard of One Button Travel coming to the App Store from the same guys who brought us Rules!, I was intrigued and had to check it out for myself.
Even though this is not necessarily a game (it’s more of an interactive storybook), I’m impressed with the art that TheCodingMonkeys have gone with in One Button Travel. Minimalists will appreciate the simple, flat designs of the various shapes and objects that you’ll come across, and the colors (splashes of teal, pink, and beige) are bold and vibrant, standing out nicely against the plain black background. Since One Button Travel revolves mostly on reading and making choices, TheCodingMonkeys also used a pleasant sans-serif typeface that is easy to read and goes well with the rest of the aesthetics. There is also an atmospheric soundtrack that is soothing to listen to and the sound effects add a nice touch to the story, making it feel more realistic than it should be.
In One Button Travel, the first thing players are presented with is a single button on the screen, which you’ll just press without thinking too much of it. However, the story will begin to unfold after you press that button, as a stranger will contact you and inform you that what you just pushed was a button that takes you into the future, but there is no way to get back since it’s a one-way trip. While this sounds like fun at first, you’ll discover that people in the future don’t look to kindly on tourists from the past, and this is bad news for you. The story is revealed through a long series of text messages with this person who is trying to help you out (they are stuck in the future), and after each thread of messages, players will have a few choices of responses to what they just read. Depending on what you pick, new information will be divulged to you to help you get out of the situation, which is solely dependent on finding your trip cancellation code that is buried somewhere in your email that you don’t have access to.
Another unique thing about One Button Travel is the fact that this all plays out in real-time, so when the stranger you’re talking to says they will get back to you in a few hours about something, they mean a few hours. While this may seem annoying or inconvenient for some, I thought it was a pretty cool way of pulling you in to the story, as it makes the experience more realistic, rather than just everything unfolding in an hour. One Button Travel has optional push notifications that will let you know when there are new messages awaiting you, which can be convenient if you don’t mind another push notification alert.
I haven’t gotten into a lot of the interactive story type games on iOS (like Lifeline and Timecrest), but so far I’m liking One Button Travel a lot. The visuals in the story are wonderful, the music is pleasant, and the sound effects with real-time events make this fictional sci-fi tale just a bit more pragmatic, even if it is a bit far-fetched at this point in time.
I recommend giving One Button Travel a try if you enjoy interactive fiction or are just a fan of TheCodingMonkeys. One Button Travel is on the App Store as a universal download for just $2.99.