You are stuck in Syria, looking after your family, while your love makes the dangerous journey to a safer land. The only way you can communicate with her is through your phone, texting her, and waiting patiently for her reply.
Bury Me, My Love is a narrative mobile game which plays out much like a text conversation. After you install this game onto your mobile device, you will hear the backstory of, and then start texting, Nour — your love. You are able to reply with pre-written texts or a variety of emojis, but much like real life texting, a lot of the game is spent waiting.
You know that feeling of anxiety when you are waiting for an important reply? Each word Nour sends you — each check in, gives you this same feeling from the moment she has embarked on her journey. She clearly isn’t on a safe path and you must do all you can from back home to support her.
Instead of following the action directly, you have to wait until Nour has texted you — you are unable to check in or send the first text while she is busy. Nothing that happens is happening directly to you, but instead is happening to someone you love dearly. Being trapped, far away, and powerless is a huge feeling while you play the game. Waiting on texts, advising based on small clips of information, and trying to provide moral support while far away is super challenging — both mentally and emotionally.
The journey from her home in Homs to Europe is a long one — full of challenges, danger, and bad people. As her plans change you can see new destinations in your map, as well as images she has sent you at those locations. This map creates a trail of where she has been and where she is hopefully going, all to seek refuge in a better land.
Her decisions and how well she listens to you depends on her feelings at the time — which in turn are heavily affected with how you have communicated with her. Nour is your love, but she depends on you for guidance and advice. She has limited money, time, and items that she could take along with her. Along the way a lot of this gets used up or lost. Like most people going through harsh times in a new place, constantly fighting to survive — life for her isn’t pleasant at the moment.
In many ways, Bury Me, My Love really focuses on being realistic and forcing you to understand and relate to the situations which migrants are facing. Nour feels like a real person, reacts like a real person, and your decisions feel weighted with meaning. The amount of time you need to wait during the game and the way new days work as chapters in the game bring more realism to what is going on.
When I first played this game at EGX Rezzed, the messages in the demo came at a much quicker speed — giving me quick replies to what is going on. Now that I have downloaded the game on my phone, I am waiting more — wishing I had a reply. As I am typing this out, Nour is somewhere in the middle of a country she didn’t originally plan to go to, mad at me for my poor advice, and I am just waiting for her reply.
Bury Me, My Love hooks you in, showing you a story that you want to be apart of all while making you wait for your chance to make more decisions. This game is truly wonderful and you can download it and play it for yourself here. See where Nour takes you, what advice she finds useful, and if she can make it all the way to Europe safely.
If you are interested in downloading the game for your mobile device, you can find it on their website here.