It’s good to end the working week with a bit of gaming fun so I was glad to find out about a new car racing game called Pyongyang Racer. This is the first game I’ve seen from North Korea and it’s “fully playable” online. Appropriately for communist creative output it’s not a demo of a commercial version of the game and doesn’t integrate any F2P shenanigans. However there aren’t that many other good points to the game.
Pyongyang Racer is the creation of game developer Nosotek and was commissioned by Koryo Group, a British travel agency that specialises in taking people to North Korea. If this was a publicity stunt by the travel agency it’s not doing them any favours, at the time of writing, because the web site is down “taking too long to respond”. This is possibly due to unprecedented bandwidth demands; last night before I could “enjoy” a drive around virtual Pyongyang the game took taking ages to load...
The game is simple and the car handles as you would expect from its basic appearance. Cursor keys control your accelerator, brakes and steering and the spacebar beeps the horn. The rules are “Collect petrol barrels to keep your car full of fuel. If you don’t you will run out of petrol and the game ends”. To collect the fuel you run over the petrol barrels. Other than that the streets are very empty.
Kotaku describes the game as similar in appearance to something contemporary to the Sega Saturn but that’s being generous. However the Kotaku writer had more stamina than I because he completed the course using about 12 minutes of his life. I never finished the “race” because I was interested in driving off the main roads to have a look around the back streets – a police lady stubbornly refused me going off the pre-planned route.