Bury Me, My Love is an indie game that pushes a lot of boundaries. There’s a lot of text adventure games through many mediums, but this is the first one I’ve played based on a Syrian refugee. For a limited time, it was free for Switch Players but on other mediums, you can get the game for less than a fiver. I picked up the game not just because it was free, but because I found the concept and plot interesting.
The objective is to guide Nour across Europe through her husband. They communicate via a messenger app similar to WhatsApp. The gameplay itself is easy and requires a lot of reading, but the story can be hard to swallow. The developers of the game did a lot of research into this game and the developers even had the help of real Syrian refugees to help make the story more realistic. There were at times where I didn’t feel like I was playing a game but watching a real-life conversation between a man and his wife. It’s clear that Nour and Majd really care about each other through odd selfies and banter.
There’s no walkthroughs and no videos that show every ending available. There are some that show some but not all. There’s also no way to go back and there are no save points so you have to play the game all over again to discover a different route. I don’t know if this was done on purpose to make it more realistic. Whilst it would have been nice to have to save points to go back to, I can see why there not here.
I think the game intended it to be that way. In the mobile version the messages were set in real-time whilst I've not played it on the phone, I can see it is a strange experience. The lack of save points and the inability to go back to certain routes highlight the dangers of Nour’s journey and how it can go horribly wrong. It also shows both the really good and really bad sides of humanity like the nursing, the police brutality and the effects of war.
Nour and Majd feel very human. Both have their flaws and bicker as any couple would. Nour has great nursing instincts but can be too impulsive at times. Majd says some unkind things about Africans in one of the routes. There are constant thread and paranoia. There are plenty of other characters but they don’t get a strong mention, it mainly focuses on the couple which makes it realistic in my opinion. I felt attached to Nour and wanted to know where she would end up next.
I loved the scenes when Nour became attached to Yara and wanted to do her best to save her mother. It's really satisfying to see Nour be able to save her life and heartbreaking when she can't. I gotta say though, it's amazing how someone can both text and perform an amputation at the same time. With the choices, you can see that Majd's choices made have a huge effect on the game. Sometimes Nour will listen to you and sometimes she won't, just like a human being.
There's also other parts of Nour which I wasn't too fond of. I didn't like the route where she steals an Italian lady's purse with her ferry ticket and passport. She ended up being caught which I found satisfying. I was frustrated at this playthrough as well because how all the character development and how I grew to like her it went away in the route she stole from the lady. I think if I end up on this route again, I will make her hand in the purse and see what happens.
The game's strength lies in its storytelling and details. It lets you put yourself in the shoes of a Syrian refugee and her worried husband. There's a lot of pressure on both sides. The voice message at the end of each playthrough adds a really strong effect on the game which makes me want to play more to see where it goes.