Before this week I'd not heard of Bury me, my Love, a text messaging adventure game which has a dynamically changing story based upon meaningful choices you make throughout the experience with your wife. However, after playing through the entire experience twice and coming out with completely different outcomes, I'm beyond happy to highly recommend this title to everyone who loves genres such as Visual Novels, Narrative-heavy titles, and games which get you emotionally invested in the outcome.
Developed by The Pixel Hunt, Figs and ARTE France back in 2017 on mobile devices, Dear Villagers published the title earlier this year on Steam and Plug In Digital brought it to the Nintendo Switch at the same time.
In Arabic, “Bury me, my Love” is an expression that means “Take care”, “Don’t even think about dying before I do”.
You are Majd, a Syrian who recently lost his father, looking after both his mother and grandfather as without him, they wouldn't make it. However, although he is stuck here in the middle of a warzone, he wants the best for his wife, Nour, so she leaves in hopes of getting to Europe and starting a better life so that Majd can join her in the future.
With nothing left to lose, due to her sister becoming the latest casualty in their family, Nour sets off with a backpack containing a few necessities, all of their savings, and a smartphone so that she can communicate with her husband. What happens next all depends on you...
Although based loosely on a real story of a girl named Dana back in 2015, in which she travelled from Syria to Germany whilst keeping in touch via Whatsapp the whole way (Full story HERE), this story is fictional. Well, it's fictional in that it's a story created from many sources and the things other people have been through whilst trying to perform the same actions we're trying to do within the game. It's a story not only of those who made it and fled the country, it's also about those who didn't and those who died trying.
I always make this reference when I talk about games with choices but I believe it answers a lot of concerns in one statement - the choices you make in Bury me, my Love are far beyond anything you did in Telltale games. In those games, a 'choice' meant picking which character will live a little longer or maybe how you'll react to a certain person, even if they won't remember or change their narrative in the next scene.
In Bury me, my Love, Nour remembers how you treat her, whether you're being nice or become jealous when she starts sending you pictures of her out drinking with her new smuggler friends. The narrative also drastically changes, offering you not only up to nineteen different endings but the actual route she takes and destination she arrives at is vastly different. This is because her moral, how she feels about you, the money she has available, and what pieces of information she has heard, all adjust and change her options moving forward.
In my first playthrough, I was playing the part of a guy with multiple personalities, sometimes I'm nice to my wife and other times I was a bit of a dick. However, I tried to do what I felt was best for her, manipulating her into saying certain things and acting a certain way when presented with choices such as how to go about crossing the border. Sometimes she listened to me, others she didn't because she was in a mood with me! A lot of events happened on our journey, a journey which ended with her being locked up in a camp with no means of either coming home or making it to the safety of Western Europe. It wasn't a very good ending.
However, What I loved was that once you completed your story (and it is YOUR story), you're shown the map and the route you took as well as pinpoints of all the locations you 'could' have gone. This is why I started playing it again straight away, there were routes all over the place, pins in all directions of the compass, and possibilities I clearly missed as I pushed forward without thinking solely of her safety.
Didn't you say it was free?
Up until the 31st December, Plug In Digital are giving away this amazing game for FREE on the Nintendo Switch - with one condition. Just like the other free promotion currently going on with Qubic Games (more info HERE), you must own at least one title from the Plug In Digital library on the system. Here is a list of all of the games currently available on the Switch from this publisher:
Indie Games Bundle - Explosions Edition
Kill the Bad Guy
Knights of Pen and Paper +1
Knights of Pen and Paper 2
Knights of Pen and Paper Bundle
Lethis - Path of Progress
Lost in Harmony
Lost Phone Stories
Momonga Pinball Adventures
My Arctic Farm 2018
My Exotic Farm 2018
My Jurassic Farm 2018
Old School Musical
Old School Musical Bundle
Old School RPG Bundle
Shape of the World
Skettle: A Giant Party!
Steredenn: Binary Stars
Super Rocket Shootout
The Last Door - Complete Edition
The Next Penelope
Yono and the Celestial Elephants
Zombie Night Terror
If you don't own any of the above, I own the fantastic Last Door so I was covered, then Bury me, my Love is currently on sale with a whopping 80% off! At the moment, that means you can pick it up for a measly 89p - to put it into context, my first playthrough took around four to five hours, there are nineteen endings to try and uncover...
Although this article started out as a PSA to the free game, as I've not seen many people mention it, it turned into a mini-review as well.
I've recently reviewed another phone-based game which is about as far from this game as you can get, even though the mechanics are similar. SIMULACRA is the game I covered a few weeks ago, a horror-based game around finding a phone and then tracking down the owner by using the various apps and contacts you find within the device itself. Bury me, my Love is purely a narrative adventure, you listen to your wife, choose what you wish to say in response to the obstacles she comes across, and mould the story in whichever way you feel. Two similar games in terms of mechanics, two very different games in terms of content.
Also, as I've been looking at the website in order to confirm a few details, I noticed there's a free prologue to the experience which you play directly through your browser. The link is: http://burymemylove.arte.tv/prologue
The developers recommend playing the prologue via your phone, as it will operate as if you're using a chat app on your phone, but running if from a desktop gives you a great impression of how it runs on the Nintendo Switch in Landscape mode (you can also play it on the Switch in portrait mode, like a big phone).
Bury me, my Love is an emotional narrative-driven adventure game which leaves you thinking about things long after putting your Switch down. You'll come across a lot of situations and events which seem rather horrific and abusive, yet the most horrifying thing is that a lot of the events are based upon real accounts from people who have travelled this path in real life. As a game, there's so much content, nineteen endings, multiple journey pathways, and many different branches along the way, it's an experience you'll play many times and still find something new.
Whether you got the game free or bought it after the offer expired, this is a game which is worth more than the RRP it sells for on a daily basis - don't miss out on this experience. Also, If you fancy picking it up on mobiles, due to the nature of the experience, I've read that in those versions, if your wife goes off to do something, you have to wait up to a few hours for her to come back to you. The Console and PC versions skip time to make it more streamlined.
Bury me, my Love is FREE on the Nintendo Switch (until December 31st 2019) + Mini Review£8.99
- - Emotional story which you are almost fully in control of
- - Nineteen endings and multiple paths and destinations
- - Really cool art design and sound
- - You'll be thinking about your experience long after putting down your Switch
- - Touch Screen in portable wasn't the best as I couldn't get it to fully work, meaning even in Portrait Mode I had to use a Joycon