Get Lost in Anonymous Conversations on a Distant Shore

Distant Shore (AppStore Link)
User Reviews
Distant Shore
Developer: Brandon Bogle
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store

distant shore iphoneGetting lost in anonymous conversations or just expressing random thoughts is the premise behind the entertainment app Distant Shore.

Brought to us courtesy of The Blimp Pilots, the developers behind Koi Pond, Distant Shore puts a new spin on social networking. This app places a shoreline on your iPhone/iPod touch that you are free to wander about and while wandering, you can find bottles washed up on shore containing messages written by other users. Collect enough sea shells while walking the shore and you can send your own messages out to sea.

The concept behind Distant Shore is clever and the graphics are high quality. Ambient sounds of seagulls and rolling waves are the perfect accompaniment to the general scenery and are seamlessly blended in, serving as a background noise rather than a distraction. By tapping the screen, you can direct your footprints to wander the shore as you pass by random beach balls, lounge chairs, and other objects. Just as you begin to feel alone on your abandoned virtual beach, you happen upon a bottle. Each bottle contains a random message from someone else in the world.

Obviously, with Distant Shore you get all kinds of messages — from the random pick up line to the random proverb to the casual introduction or question. If you choose, you can reply to a message and engage in a conversation with a complete stranger — in complete anonymity.

Along with the ability to find bottles, you will also find seashells in Distant Shore. When you’ve collected five, you are awarded an empty bottle of your own. The empty bottles are stored in your beach bag inventory and by tapping the beach bag icon in the lower left of the screen, you can write your own message and launch it to sea where it will wash up on someone else’s Distant Shore.

Replies to your own messages are received by a tiny turtle hanging out behind your beach hut.  In Distant Shore there is a beach hut icon in the lower right hand corner of your screen that will display a star when you have received a reply. Tapping the icon takes you directly back to your beach hut where you can retrieve it. Reply messages can go back and forth for as long as each party participates.

There is said to be a correlation in Distant Shore between the number of messages you send and the number of bottles you will find. With having only sent a few at a time, it’s difficult to say how closely linked one is with the other, but within the first 15 or 20 minutes of wandering my own beach, I did find a few bottles had washed up.

If you send out random questions, for instance, “Red Wine, or White?” or “Dark or Light Chocolate?” chances are a good natured recipient will reply. Replies are surprisingly quick, but it can become a bit daunting to manage your inventory as you only have eight spaces for storing messages. An increase in the number of spaces is said to be forthcoming, but it is easy to delete existing messages and make room for more. (Simply drag the message from the inventory screen out into the ocean or into a nearby bon fire.)

While the whole point to Distant Shore is to send and receive anonymous messages, it would be pretty cool to be able to interact with other objects, like the beach balls or to be able to change views to see the horizon. Yet for the price, Distant Shore provides a unique experience for iPhone users who like simple, social entertainment. An iPod touch will require a wifi connection to use Distant Shore.

Image Gallery: Distant Shore

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  • Simon Stuart

    ... rather liking Distant Shore for the iPhone -- -- but wondering how long it can sustain my interest

  • Anna

    I myself LOVE this app. It appeals to the romantic in me to be able to talk to a complete stranger that may live in the UK, or Canada, or even China!

  • http://DistantShore Loopey Linda

    I have recently acquired this app and I think it is great and like a previous comment I too think more interaction with the beach balls would be great (I would happily pay for an upgrade). I do find that I send out way more message bottles than I find on the beach. Whilst it is great that I get lots of replies and chat merrily away with people all over the world, it would be nice to tap into a chat thread that someone else has started. Oh well I'll keep trying.

  • Chase

    Of all of the apps that I have downloaded for my iPod touch, This is the ONE I keep coming back to again and again and again. Although it has only been updated once since it came out early this year, it is still my favorite app to go to. I often find myself getting wrapped up in philisophical and religious talks, talk about movies, or life. I am often sending out bottles that say "It's okay, I'm here.. tell me your problems." Often times, I don't even respond. I just let the return sender get whatever they need to off of their chest. Like Anna says, there's an indescribable romantic quality to this app, one that really just can't get old.

  • Hooker

    I love this app!!! I cant get enough of it. This is the only app on my phone that i WONT let my kids play....i dont want them deleting my messages....or getting my mail from squishy the turtle. THANK YOU to the publishers!!! i have to have my distan shore fix every night!!

  • Drew

    Distant shore was my favorite app, I've had it well over a year & I've used it nearly every day. Buy in the past few weeks there's been a glitch that prevents me from recieveing any replies. I've contacted blimp pilots support to get this resolved, but after repeated inquirys they havnt emailed back. Does anyone reading this have any advice on how to get distan shore working?

  • thomas

    Unique app and concept! Everything over the minimalistic would ruin the experience. Only thing I would like is a little variation of shores, like a gravel rainy shore, for suiting one or the other mood.