An app game inspired by Syrian refugees seeking asylum in Europe was named the top title of the Google Play Indie Games Contest in London on Tuesday.
In “Bury me, my Love,” you play Majd, who is trying to support and guide his wife Nour to safety using their only means of communication: a smartphone messaging app.
By default, the events within the game play out in real time, sometimes leaving you waiting for hours to find out the consequences of your advice.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, indie French game designer Florent Maurin of Paris-based The Pixel Hunt said, “I am completely positive that our game is political, but the statement we are trying to make in the game is that migrants are humans. Which should not be considered as a political statement, it should be considered as a human being statement.”
According to the app’s official website, the game’s title comes from the Syrian goodbye phrase that roughly means “Take care, and don’t even think about dying before I do.”
“This phrase takes on a deeper meaning as players take on the role of Majd, who is forced to stay behind and can only able to communicate with his wife through their smartphones,” the site states. “By reading instant messages and choosing response options, players help Nour overcome the hardships she will encounter, with the story featuring multiple endings.”
There are reportedly 19 different endings and around 110,000 words of possible dialogue between the two main characters.
“Bury me, my Love” was one of 20 finalists created by developers invited to the Google’s Playtime event from 12 different countries. Attendees voted for the Top 10 and a jury panel selected the Top 3.
The Top 3 games were awarded vouchers for digital marketing, social media, influencer marketing and promotion campaigns as well as premium placement in the Google Play store.
Coming in second place was “Old Man’s Journey” by Broken Rules Interactive.
The whimsical “soul-searching” puzzle adventure allows you to uncover and reflect on the past stories of an old man’s life.
In third place was the free app “Yellow” by Bart Bonte, who is known for making simpler games like “Where is cat?” and “Always with the magnets.” The goal of “Yellow” is to make the screen entirely yellow in each of the 50 levels. Last month, Bonte followed “Yellow” with his new game “Red.”
“Bury me, my Love” is available on iOS and Android devices for $2.99. “Old Man’s Journey” is available on iOS and Android devices for $4.99, on PC and Mac for $7.99, and on Nintendo Switch fro $9.99.
Catherine Wong is a Eureka resident and an avid fan of Blizzard, Bethesda and Square Enix games. She is the night editor of the Times-Standard and can be reached at 707-441-0503.