The award-winning mobile game Bury Me, My Love, from French developer The Pixel Hunt, comes to PC and Switch in early 2019.
Based on the real-life experiences of Syrian refugees, Bury Me, My Love, follows the story of a Syrian woman named Nour, on her quest to reach Germany and find her husband, Majd, who keeps in touch using a messaging app to offer support and guidance.
“I think games as a medium are powerful, and it’s even stronger when you try to make a game about reality, about real-life events, and that’s definitely what we tried to make with Bury Me, My Love,” said game designer Florent Maurin, speaking to the YouTube channel Android Developers.
“When I first read this article in the French newspaper, Le Monde, it was by Lucie Soullier, a French journalist, about a young Syrian migrant named Dana, and how Dana was able to stay in touch with her family thanks to her smartphone. Nowadays, most migrants have a smartphone, for them, it’s not a luxury. They use it to stay in touch with their friends and family, exactly the way I would talk to my friends or my mother. This was super powerful, and I definitely thought it would be a strong basis for a reality-inspired game.”
Taking the role of Majd, players engage in simulated chats between with Nour as she makes the treacherous journey, vicariously experiencing the trials and pain she faces. The mobile version of the game offered a compelling experience, always running in the background, with notifications and messages coming through over the course of minutes and hours, allowing the player to respond with words of advice and hope. The real-time nature of the experience means that players do not always hear back from Nour immediately, adding a sense of tension to proceedings as they wait patiently to hear how she is doing.
“Did she find a place to sleep? Did she reach her destination safely? Those lights she told you she saw before she abruptly went mute, what were they? As you wait for your phone to vibrate with a new notification, you make up scenarios in your head and thus get a glimpse at what it’s actually like to worry about a migrating friend. I think this feeling is something we would not have been able to generate with any other art form than a mobile game,” said Maurin, speaking to Pocket Gamer, in April this year.
Published by Playdius and produced at a cost of over €200,000, Bury Me, My Love represented Pixel Hunt’s first ever full-scale independent game. The title has won numerous awards at ceremonies such as the Game Awards, the GDC Awards, the BAFTA Game Awards, Google Play Indie Games Contest, and IndieCade Europe. Bury Me, My Love is the culmination of nearly six years worth of work for Maurin, who quit games journalism in 2013 to found The Pixel Hunt with the goal of making games inspired by reality.
Bury Me, My Love is scheduled for release on Nintendo Switch and PC on January 10, 2019.