Bury me, my Love – Phone in Hand

Bury me, my Love sounds like a psychotic murder mystery at first, but it’s full of heart. This is a common saying used in some countries when your loved one goes on a trip they might not come back from. Whether it’s an unstable country, a warzone, or the game awards, it’s said with much love and confidence that they will be fine. It means you will be the one to bury me, not the other way around. So you’re saying their journey will be very safe. It’s beautiful. You die first… no you die first… no you! This game gives a great look into the life of a couple who want to escape a dangerous home in Syria and start a new life.

The entire game is text-based, meaning you only ever see this phone and the things associated with it. You can view a map, scroll up and down, and change settings. It’s very much a game you just sit there and read. Some answers are scripted, but you are also given choices when Nour messages you unsure about what to do.

Your choices will determine which location she goes to, how much money she has, and how healthy she is. It’s not completely one-sided though and maintains a bit of realism to the conversation. A lot of times she’ll disagree with you and you just gotta go along with it and hope that she’s safe. Most of the messages are just checking in on each other, describing their day and saying hi. You also get to pick different emojis and send pics to each other.

The messages are sent pretty much instantly in the Switch version of the game, but in the mobile version (I haven’t played) you have the option of getting texts in real time. In real time the game would take several weeks to finish, on Switch however you just go forward through time and keep going day by day. I found it so engaging that I went through days of messages at a time. There’s always a bit of concern over your safety so it’s addictive in that sense of wanting to know what’s about to happen. Overall the game took 2 hours or slightly more I would say, but it feels a lot longer when you’re just reading. There are dozens of possible endings and different locations you can visit depending on your choices.

The game is presented the best way it could be really, nice and simple. It just throws you into the phone straight away with no main menu. There’s a few options on the phone itself for font size and accessibility but this is very much a refined experience you have to go along with. I loved this approach, but I wish it told me somewhere that the game saved often. I was scared to turn it off because it never indicated how it saved your progress. So just to help anyone playing it in future, don’t worry about saving. It saves after every dialogue you input. You can close the software and resume from the same place, in fact it loads instantly.

This is a short game that’s actually being given away for free on Switch right now, if you own one of the publisher Plug In Digital’s other games (list of games here). That’s how I got to play it but I still think it would have been worth a few dollars. There are other “phone stories” like this on Switch I’m a bit more interested in trying now. It was more engaging than I expected and easy to follow. A game like this is very reliant on the quality of writing but they did a fantastic job with this. You really start to feel for these two people and some of the decisions made me sit there and think for a bit.

This game gave me the valuable experience of being immersed in the situation and struggles of a refugee with loved ones. It offers a strong perspective on how different the world can be in other countries on a very personal level, as if you are experiencing it yourself with the same technology we use to talk to our friends. Definitely an engaging few hours if you’re not afraid of a bit of reading. You can say this is not a “real” game but I disagree. This is definitely the best way this story could have been told.

One thought on “Bury me, my Love – Phone in Hand

  1. Yeah the writing is key in these sorts of games. I played a text adventure on my Apple Watch for the novelty value but the writng was atrocious and I hated it.
    Giving this a go now, I don’t like Nour’s chances.

    Like

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