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North (Nintendo Switch) Review

 

Review copy provided by Sometimes You

Sometimes games exist to make statements. Here’s one of them, called NORTH. It’s less a game and more of a message putting you in the shoes of a lowly person moving into a new world. But we review games here, so let’s look at this as one.

NORTH is set in a dark dystopian world. You are a guy heading north to escape the South, going to a place known as the Asylum. You got no contact with anyone else besides your sister. And you have to make do in this place. The story’s actually pretty interesting, so don’t go into it spoiled.

This game is a walking simulator, of all things. Walk around, do small tasks, discover new areas after doing certain tasks, repeat. You do have to send letters to your sister to progress, so it’s not mindless, as these letters more often than not have your next directions on it somehow. The game’s got a fairly good pace in spite of this, all things considered, so it’s not dragging on for an eternity.

Though it might feel like it drags on for an eternity because of one trait the game has: it has to be finished in one sitting. There’s no pause button, no options menu, nothing like that. Sure, soft turning off the Switch is technically an option, but they really want you to do it all in one go. This is debatably a negative depending on the kind of playstyle you prefer, but the game is also roughly an hour long, so this isn’t impossible.

Fitting with it’s theme of being a message, NORTH has some dark environments. Everything looks bleak, lifeless and decrepit, probably how a lowly man would imagine themselves in a dystopian world. The music’s pretty decent as well, but the lighting is a bit off. Sure, that’s probably the intention, but some locales are way too dark for their own good, requiring me to turn up the brightness on my television. Minus that one gripe, NORTH’s got some nice presentation.

And yet it’s a weird game to rate. An okay walking simulator with short length, a small price tag and decent presentation. It attracts a specific type of crowd; if you don’t like walking simulators, don’t bother. If you want to get into or already enjoy them, then you’ll find some value out of this one.