Missing: An Interactive Thriller

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Missing: An Interactive Thriller Game Poster Image
Unfortunately short but engaging live-action crime thriller.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Investigating mysteriously vanishing people, saving them from an unknown villain. Short length of episode makes it hard to determine what overall message of game is.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Two main characters -- the detective and the kidnap victim -- presumably good people, but episode doesn't offer enough information.

Ease of Play

Mostly a live-action movie with a few interactive puzzles thrown in. Everything done by clicking; puzzle solutions fairly obvious; fast reflexes needed for some quick-time events. 


Violence implied rather than shown. An unconscious kidnap victim wakes to find himself handcuffed in an industrial complex. At one point, he's also under threat by a network of bombs. 


This episode is extremely short; to find out what happens you have to pay for each subsequent chapter. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Missing: An Interactive Thriller is a downloadable interactive live-action detective drama involving kidnapping and psychological persecution. Though no violence is shown, a victim is chained inside an industrial building peppered with bombs. Players don't run into objectionable content in this episode, apart from attempting to save the kidnap victim. But users need to know that to fully explore the mystery of Missing, they'll need to pay for the rest of the episodes whenever they're released.

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What's it about?

MISSING: AN INTERACTIVE THRILLER is a two-pronged story that involves a man who's kidnapped and trapped inside a remote industrial building and a veteran detective investigating a series of disappearances. It's not revealed in this chapter whether the two stories connect. The game is essentially a live-action movie with some interactive puzzles and quick-time events that will require fast reflexes to successfully complete.

Is it any good?

This live-action crime drama draws upon the late-'90s legacy of FMV (full-motion-video) games, but its length is very disappointing. The game consists of a series of short videos triggered by the resolution of various puzzles, and most of the plot involves freeing a young man named David Newcastle from a warehouse where he's being held by an unknown kidnapper. Tension is high as you progress through the building, discovering disturbing messages and photos of David's family, not to mention encountering things such as arcane-locking mechanisms and a collection of time bombs.

Between escape sequences, you're taken to a second story line involving a police detective on a missing-persons case. The world-weary Detective Lambert is the epitome of the veteran cop: sharp, cynical, and bent on getting his man. As in the warehouse parts of the game, events progress through short videos triggered by puzzles (in this case, searching for and gathering evidence). Both narrative threads are interesting and occasionally involve making quick, knee-jerk decisions at the appearance of timed, on-screen prompts. Accompanied by jazzy, moody crime-drama music, it's all very absorbing -- for about half an hour. Unbelievably, Episode 1 clocks in at a scant 30 minutes, which is a big let-down, especially considering there's as yet no ETA for Episode 2. Though Missing: An Interactive Thriller lays the groundwork for a clever mystery, its brief amount of play separates this only for the serious thriller or FMV fan.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about police work. How would you go about looking for a missing person? 

  • Discuss how detectives are shown on movies and TV. What do detectives often have in common? 

  • Think about the differences between real police investigations and how they're portrayed on TV. Do you think the real-life ones are as exciting? 

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $3.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Zandel Media
  • Release date: May 25, 2015
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: NR
  • Last updated: August 24, 2016

Our editors recommend

For kids who love solving mysteries

Themes & Topics

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