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North Korea Creates Its First Video Game

12/20/12 7:00pm
tl;dr

Click the link to play the first North Korean video game ever made. (Note that it may take some time to load.)

You can find the game here. (Note that it may take some time to load.)

Yes, this is not a joke. British-run and Beijing based tour company Koryo Tours has teamed up with the North Korean "Nosotek" to bring you the first ever North Korean produced video game.

There have been other Nosotek ventures, all of which have been mobile games. If you're interested, you can also check out Bobby's Blocks, Big Lebowski Bowling, and Men in Black: Alien Assault. But Nosotek was basically developing ideas for foreign studios on those cases. Here, you're witnessing something that had little to no foreign direction, and was wholly domestically produced.

The premise of the game is the ability to drive around North Korea's capital freely, something which tourists are unable to do. Unfortunately, you're reduced to a certain track. Attempt to go off-course and your car will automatically be placed back where it should be.

The game itself is hilariously bad. There's this eerie orchestral music in the background that intends to be cheery, but only succeeds in sending chills down your spine. The famous Pyongyang traffic cops constantly tell you how terrible of a driver you are, regardless of how bad you're doing. Your car turns perfectly regardless of speed, which maxes out at about 50 mph. The streets have literally almost no cars to hit, which makes for an accurate representation of the real-life city, but an extremely dull racing game. Gathering oil cans and sightseeing stamps are supposed to make the game more of a challenge, but with one coming up only every 20-30 seconds, they're not hard to miss. Worst of all, once you finish the 7-8 minutes of driving, the game doesn't even have a high score system. You're forced to print screen your score and send it in via email.

In the end, it's clear that the game was intended as more of a sight-seeing simulator than it was a real racing game. But with graphics that were outdated in 1995, this is more of a curiosity than anything else.

Having American things made in North Korea is nothing new, though. They've been a major player in helping to produce animated films. In the past, they've helped animate cartoons such as The Lion King, Pocahontas, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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