Most games dealing with a distant, distressing journey full of danger, misery and treachery gives you a sword or a gun. Bury Me, My Love suffices with your mobile phone and will not even send you on that trip. You will stay at home in war-ravaged Syria while your wife is trying to get to Europe, where bombs will not be dropped. It is sometimes sad, sometimes cheerful, all the time a human story.
Pilgrimage to the Cell
Majd (he) and Nour (she) are a young Syrian couple who would normally earn a living on a common life by learning at school or working in a hospital. But the last few years in Syria are all but normal circumstances, so the family one day collects all the money they have earned and sends Nour away. To Germany, France, Italy … it does not really matter. Especially if it is not the smoldering wreckage of the city of Homs
This begins with a long and lonely journey across Asia and Europe. But he is not so lonely yet. Your wife, Majd, is accompanying you every step of the way with a WhatsAppu-style chat application that features the entire game interface. Here you write, send smileys and photos, here you can see where Nour is in. And here you are helping her too
Most of the time you get a simple reading – a girl lost somewhere in Istanbul, on Lesbos Island or on a ferry going to Britain, tells you what’s going on and how it feels and Majd answers her automatically. From time to time, however, you can choose from two different variants of the answer that can have a huge impact on the story of the 19th end.
A game like Bury Me, My Love stands and falls with the force of its script, and the conversation with Nour, available in five European languages, is written in great English. It is not hard to believe that the real person from the flesh and bone is writing to you at the other end of the screen. Which is also the fact that he does not listen to you occasionally
The fact that Nour’s head is up and down and just trying to cross the Macedonian border, even if you have clearly written that you consider it a completely stupid idea, makes the atmosphere of real wonder. Suddenly you do not play a little unusually stylized gamebook – suddenly you are a Majd, stiff with a horror and sense of helplessness, while your wife breathes tear gas somewhere in the Balkans
The result is a strange paranoia. We found Nour advising to behave much more carefully than if we were the hero of the story ourselves. “You’d better have a nandy veil, no matter what,” we mused when the unmasked march in a completely male refugee crowd. “Do not try to jump over that barricade!” We demanded, as she was already talking. Sometimes the voice of reason was paid, sometimes its boldness. And sometimes it did not pay one
There are a lot of horrible things going on during the wandering, which would be inspired by many real cases from the game (the writers especially snap out the story of Syria Dana, known by Lucius Soullier, journalist), somehow awaited. Refugees on the shabby hut, basically tramping each other, terrible conditions in the camps, the selfishness of other refugees, the hatred of some Europeans. The horrors are lurking at every corner and every turn
“Povece se, lásko”
But there’s plenty of fun and smiles – maybe more than you’d expect. When two people are writing together, they love and know for a long time, they will have fun and comfort in the most critical situations. Internal jokes, spontaneous expressions of tenderness, a smartly chosen smiley, a funny tangle (“Hang in tree!” Is a bit of morbid encouragement). Thanks to the tangible chemistry between Majd and Nour, you will occasionally feel like you are witnessing some innocent roadtrip
Nour from time to time, in addition to text, it also sends pictures and, even though stylized in cartoon, it helps a lot in anchoring the plot to a specific place and time. When Nour passes somewhere in the Alps, he can not know for a long time, you slowly start to worry, and suddenly you will land a goat that looks absolutely ridiculous to the camera – try not to sneeze
Pěkná, slzavá procházka
That’s why we are not afraid to recommend a re-pass through the game. If it was a big gray depression, it would probably be hard for anyone to find out where the story would go if Nour then went to Calais instead of Munich, to Smyrna instead of Cairo, to Zagreb instead of Budapest. But he is most of the time a really pretty experience.
When you notice that Nour started writing, she deleted it, started it, deleted … and you already know she is writing something you do not like. The fact that in such moments the heart inevitably fell to his pants, something tells about the skills of the screenwriters
And that skill does not only apply to Nour and Majda. During the trip, Nour can encounter a lot of different people and gradually builds up a mosaic of refugee reality – and that reality is not black and white. For every Greek neo-Nazis, the French lady finds herself sleeping on her Nour farm when she helps her ingesting her goats in return. Every assisting Iraqi is a refugee who Nour steals the bag of documents without stasis
Two real, sympathetic people, one real, not very sympathetic world. And one unforgettable story. You get the impression from Bury Me, My Love, and some weaker pages do not mess with it – English is a bit worse at the end, as if the proofreader did not count so far, and maybe it would be better to play a game similar to a mobile than a desktop PC (also released on iOS and Android)
These are quite a bit of a thing. The only real problem was the lack of emotional impact of some severe events. If your Nour is sailing with the same waters as ours, the Mediterranean will, for example, become something of a terribly terrible thing that we will not disclose here, but what it would be hard to mentally observe for every person
Nour is shaken for a while, but then he returns to his usual charm and joke. It is said that the situation is balanced by his own, and who are we to say that he can not? In fact, we’re not a Majd, we know her a few hours, not a lot of years. It was one of the few moments when we did not really believe it really was
But the rest of the time we believed and we love it. It would be easy to try to gamble the refugee crisis superficially, throw some archetypes into it and bet that people attract an unusual theme. Bury Me, My Love handles complex and sensitive issues and creates so many living, real characters that we would like to meet Majd and Nour elsewhere than in rafts and camps. Maybe in another, happier and more peaceful game. Or somewhere for coffee.