Buy Game Redeem Key

What if the game was real?

You get a text from someone you don't know. They say they've been kidnapped, and they need your help to escape. Do you trust them? Do they trust you? Will they make it out alive?

Subtext is an Alternate Reality Game (ARG). The game plays out in real time through actual text messages, phone calls, emails, etc. that you receive from characters. Along the way, you'll need to solve puzzles, break into systems, and use social engineering to unravel the story of a mysterious research facility and a person who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Play the Demo
"I loved how it freaked out my family... you’ll find yourself questioning what’s real and what’s part of the game."
"If you’re interested in learning more about Subtext, play the demo. Even if you don’t think you’re interested in the full experience, play the demo: it’s that good."
Finalist - Arts Herndon Tech Arts


Why do you need my phone number?

Subtext plays out mostly through real SMS messages that you receive on your phone. We will never share your personal information with anyone except in cases where doing so is required either by law or due to the nature of the game itself.

What is Extended Contact?

When you sign up for Subtext, you can choose to enable Extended Contact to allow Subtext to use additional information that you provide (such as your home address) to enhance your experience. You may, for example, receive items in the mail or be contacted on social media. These interactions should be seen as an extra bonus, and not part of the core game, since they will vary from player to player depending on many factors, and may not occur at all.

What's this thing? is a marketplace for digital content. Subtext uses Itch to process payments. After completing your purchase, you'll be sent to a page where you can retrieve your Subtext key.

I live outside the U.S., can I still play Subtext?

Subtext can currently only send messages to players in the U.S. and Canada. The best way to make sure your phone and plan will work with Subtext is by trying the demo.

How do I stop/pause the game?

You're free to wait as long as you want to reply to messages, so you can play at your own pace. That said, you can pause the game at any time by texting PAUSE to the system number (the one that you used to verify your phone). You can also use the link that was emailed to you when you signed up.

How long is it?

For most people, Subtext plays out over 2-4 days, about 3 hours of which will be spent directly interacting with the game.

I don't have a phone/SMS is expensive for me. Can I still play?

Subtext only supports SMS right now (other messaging platforms may be added in the future). That said, you can use a VoIP service like Google Voice to receive SMS on any device with internet access.

My question wasn't answered here

You can email with any questions or comments you may have.

A game by William O'Connell
Privacy Policy