Pyongyang Racer: North Korea's first online video game

This is a video game from North Korea. Like the regime itself, it's a bizarre mix of bad graphics, soulless emptiness, and thinly veiled self-absorbed terror. Yes, you should absolutely go play it right now.

Pyongyang Racer was commissioned by Koryo Tours (which will take you to North Korea if you want to go), and is reportedly the first domestically produced online video game intended for Western audiences. The game is described thusly:

This game was developed in 2012 and is not intended to be a high-end techological wonder hit game of the 21st century, but more a fun race game (arcade style) where you drive around in Pyongyang and learn more about the sites and get a glimpse of Pyongyang.

You will drive a long journey through Pyongyang. On the journey there will be special sites that you can see, but you should also collect the items that appear close to the sites! Don't forget to collect enough gasoline during your journey! If you drive recklessly there will be a Traffic Girl to direct you and if you get too many warnings.......

We assume that "......." means "you'll be made to watch propaganda films until your eyes bleed."

Here are some interesting things that we noticed in our playthrough that may or may not have anything to do with the fact that the game was developed in North Korea:

  • Fuel is sometimes found in oncoming traffic. This would be a problem if the oncoming traffic moved, which it doesn't.
  • If you deviate in the slightest from your assigned route, you disappear. You then reappear, which may not be how it works in real life.
  • You are told that you have much more control than you do in practice.
  • The Traffic Girl is kinda cute, but she can probably have you killed if you get uppity.
  • The music is horrible. And relentless. And then suddenly it's somehow amazing and you want to invade America. And then it's horrible again.
  • It's easier to crash into something and start over than it is to attempt to steer.
  • This game is actually really, really hard.

We spent a solid half hour failing to complete the course for the honor and glory of the dear leader, for which we have brought unending shame upon DVICE, and the fact that some skill is required (more than we possess, apparently) means that Pyongyang Racer is still better than Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing.

Barely.

Pyongyany Racer, via Business Insider

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