Top Critic Average
Developers: Sometimes You, Outlands
Genre: Interactive Story
Dealing with the issue of the contemporary refugee crisis while at the same time being deeply rooted in a classical cyberpunk atmosphere à la Blade Runner, NORTH features a dark synthpop soundtrack, a sprawling mega-city and weird monster-like inhabitants.
The gameplay is very straightforward and mostly consists of exploration and simple puzzles. The main difficulty is to understand what you have to do in order to get asylum. You've come from an foreign land in the south and find yourself lost and confused - a confusion you convey through letters to your sister back home. An important part of the gameplay, these letters help you understand your tasks while at the same time moving the narrative of the game forward.
NORTH is short (20-40 min) and comes with a full soundtrack (8 songs).
Itch.io - North
NORTH is not a video game, per se, at least not in the traditional sense. It is an interactive piece of electronic art one can choose to indulge in order to better understand the plight of refuges. As such the messages might escape those who are too young to understand the real-life parallels or those who are too old and with prejudice to care. If you like cyberpunk science fiction and don't mind experiencing simulated oppression, give this a shot. There is certainly nothing quite like it on the eShop and for the asking price and a mere moment of your time will give you modern society conundrums that will haunt you for years. The experience is so subjective we have no choice but to leave the score for each individual to settle on their own. The biggest tragedy here is not that number on the bottom of the review, but the fact that if this ‘interactive art piece' was released 100 years in the past or a century in the future, the lingering topics would and will surely still be completely relevant.
NORTH is a special experience that, despite the lack of a proper gameplay and its short duration, succeed to make the player feel what it means to be an immigrant in a foreign country, hostile and far from the dearest loved ones. A nice experience with a futuristic cyberpunk style and an excellent soundtrack.
Review in Italian | Read full review