12.20.12

The first North Korean English-language video game is the best indie game of the year

Pyongyang Racer is the first game made in North Korea for Western consumption, and it is a brilliant critique of the tropes of overblown AAA racing games. It's not fun at all. It's like the game Bennett Foddy has been working towards his entire life. Instead of a decadent supply of unlimited fuel, you have to collect barrels of the black stuff to avoid getting stuck. Instead of weaving your way through hideously neon cosmopolitan backgrounds, you slowly crawl your way through a desperate Soviet skeleton city. Instead of slatternly card girls spilling out of their bikinis, there are stern-looking, schoolmarmish road guards. Instead of alternating between the thrill of the straightaway and the agony of the slowly-taken or crashed-upon turn, you just basically go the same midldling speed the entire time. Instead of licensed top-40 electro the game serenades you with the finest revolutionary marches. Pyongyang Racer will make you question your love for games. Avant garde!