Trope Workshop:Metaphysical App

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Just another mobile game preying on another innocent user.

A Metaphysical App is a smartphone app that has a supernatural function that can affect on a person or the world compared to mundane apps. It's usually found in Urban Fantasy, where it is a major part of the plot or just another aspect of the setting.

Whether those apps are Magic From Technology or the newest version of Magitek may vary according to the setting. Be careful that a Technopath doesn't put their hand on a phone that contains one of these.

Examples of Metaphysical App include:

Anime and Manga

  • Darwin's Game (as pictured above) is the titular game that gives participants a Sigil, which is a power randomly bestowed to each user. The players in the game occasionally have players battle to the death or some other form of deadly challenges. There also events where players are teleported to different areas in order to play, such as clans gaining territory and defending it for 30 minutes.
  • Ingress The Animation is the Animated Adaptation of the same mobile phone game. The app is a cover for the two factions of the Enlightened and Resistance to wage their battle through the public. It is used to collect XM or 'eXotic Matter' that comes from another dimension. People called Sensitives have abilities that can be amplified by it, especially in a Control Field of their aligned faction. They can be, however, dampened or negated if they are near an enemy Portal and Control Field.
  • Real Account has the titular app which is also called Re-aca is a popular social media application. It was a normal app until it was used where people's minds are transported to a virtual space, and their real bodies lay unconscious. They are then forced to participate in a game that depends on the number of followers they may have. If the participant dies during the game, the person dies in the real world along with the followers. They can also die if their follower count falls to zero, but then the followers won't die.
  • UQ Holder have magic apps in the setting where magic and technology have advanced to the point that people can use a program without the need of training and talent.
  • The Yuusha System App from Yuki Yuna is a Hero is used by the Hero Club members. The app has different features a chat function, transfer a user to the Jukai, a radar to locate the heroes and Vertex in the other world, giving superhuman abilities, Fairies that can give weapons and other powers to the user, and seal a Vertex in order to defeat it.
  • The smartphone app which can hypnotize people is a common device in Hentai manga.
  • Ratman has the hero, Neo, who uses a smartphone-like device to transform into his Powered Armor as an app. He also has access to other apps that gives him different powers and equipment.
    • There is also the Hero Booster Program that can give a hero more power. In truth, the application can give an upgrade a hero's powers and equipment but causes them to get into a berserk state.
  • Gacha wo Mawashite Nakama wo Fuyasu Saikyou no Bishoujo Gundan wo Tsukuriagero has the app, Girls Corps which is a Gacha mobile game where players gain girls and train them. Heihachi Okura played and paid the game to the point he got an item that sends him to a fantasy world. While in this new world, he still has access to the app summon girls to become part of his party. It can also summon items with different powers and food. There is a limit to how many girls he can summon based on his level. When he plays the gacha, he has the chance to get more girls and items but needs magic stones. Some of the items he gets are other apps that have their special abilities like seeing the status of other being through the camera. It also has events much like a mobile game with increased probability for rarer units and equipment
  • S Rare Soubi No Niau Kanojo has Encircled Grimzelia, which is promoted as a popular smartphone app where you train the warrior, Yurina. In the game, she can equip different weapons and outfits that can augment her abilities. These weapons and outfits are gained through a gacha, which usually needs to be paid with real-world money. When the main character uses the app, it summons the female warrior into the real world but also deploys a 'Quest Area' where a monster will appear that she must defeats. Others who use the app get possessed by a monster that only Yurina can kill. There is an exception where if a person is a friend of the protagonist on the app, they can equip outfits and weapons much like Yurina.
  • Dragon Collection - Ryuu o Suberumono has the game, 'Dragon Collection, presented as a game where you are an adventure that can gather treasure and get Monster Cards to summon monsters for battle. Another version of the app has been released to 100 people that can connect the world of Dragon Collection to the real one. The app can be used to summon real monsters and treasures from this other world.


  • The web novel, Pet King, has a supernatural app that can capture animals and even magical ones. The main character uses this to run his petshop and increases his business.

Oral Tradition, Folklore, Myths and Legends

Video Games

  • Devil Survivor 2 has the Demon Summoning App where a person can make a contract and summon demons while also be able to fuse them. The analysis of the app by JPs states it simplifies the rituals. There is also Nicaea β ver. which gives a video of a user's death along with videos of friends.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV and Apocalypse has the people of Tokyo use smartphones with the Demon Summoning Program loaded on it. It was released before the Ceiling in Tokyo went up through the internet, but no one knew why it was created and distributed. A phone equipped with the program is usually awarded to people who become an official Hunter.
    • The Metaverse Navigator or MetaNav from Persona 5 is an app given to him by Igor that allows the protagonist to go to the Metaverse. It can also be used by others that the protagonist allies. To use the application, one would need a keyword(s) to enter the Metaverse.
    • SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI Liberation: Dx2 has a mysterious program that certain people have downloaded onto their phone. It allows them to summon demons with another space called a Decoherence Fields to fight other demons.
  • Tokyo Afterschool Summoners has the app called SUMMONS, which gives a user that power of Summoning. Summoning is the act of an entity being brought to a world from another through a pact. It can also grant an item called a Sacred Artifact that has a unique power called a Rule. The App can also be used for communication, track other users, and make a guild with other app users. There are also App Battle where users fight each other in a Battle Zone. These Battle Zones allow for the use of Sacred Artifact's Rule. Once the Battle Zone is terminated through forfeits, loss, or turning off the app, any damages made from the battle within the area are undone.

Web Comics

  • In DICE: The Cube That Changes Everything, Dicers gain an app that allows them to allocate their Dice Points and get notifications on quests where they can get more Dice. There is also a store that can be Dice Point to buy items like potions, temporary stat boosts, or even items that can affect an area.
  • Emily (or Emile in other translations) from Tower of God is an intelligent chatting bot that was made by the Acorn Workshop. In reality, Emily is what's left from an experiment, and the ultimate goal is to use her for controlling people. It has the capacity to learn information by chatting or by analyzing structures surrounding the user and can display a map of the area. It can also manipulate people to go onto different paths and create artificial ones that can connect to a natural one, which creates a new path. It can also use Shinsoo to track an individual movement once they contact her.
  • The Great Labyrinth Era from The Gamer is an app that acts like an average mobile game, but when a person falls asleep, they are transported spiritually to the actual labyrinth. In the location, they are in a dungeon-like area where they can increase their level, stats, and gain items by defeating the monsters inside.
  • Warble has the titular app sent to the past in order to help humanity's survival. People who use it are sent to the Underworld to kill Demons and absorb Aether Crystals to level up. Once a person reaches level 10, they become one of the Awakened, which comes into 4 types; Reinforcement, Ability, Combined, and Special. Reinforcement Types can augment their bodies. Ability Types are rarer than Reinforcement Types have some sort of power like a psychic ability or magic. Combined Types are rarer than Ability types and have a combination of the two prior types. Special Types are rarer than Combined and have superhuman powers without transforming their body while also having a unique ability compared to Ability types. The app gives automatic notifications to its users based on Warble-related activities around them even in the real world. They can also gather Aether, items, and even Demons that can be stored on the app. It also gives quests with rewards such as equipment or Karma.
  • Miracle Appstore is another titular app where a person can buy different items with each having their own unique power. The items can only be purchased through the app and need to use real-world money and the more potent items cost more money.
  • An example of a titular app from the webtoon, Mode II, gives people unique superpowers when in use. That person and no one else can use the power granted from the app. An example would be the main character, Ye Qiu, can only hear the thoughts from people's hearts through the phone and even with the app activated; no one can hear them but him.

Other Media