Bury me, my Love is a game for iOS and Android designed to look like a WhatsApp chat. It follows Nour and Majd, Syrian refugees created to represent the millions that have fled their home country. Though the characters themselves are fictional, their stories are an echo of countless real struggles.
Since 2011, the Syrian conflict and ensuing refugee crisis have continued to grow and devastate lives. More than 5 million Syrians have fled the region, settling in countries including Turkey, Lebanon and France. The crisis is not only one of the largest of its kind, but also perhaps the most dehumanising. In many countries, the refugees are mere statistics relegated to encampments like the controversial Calais Jungle, looked down upon for fleeing a warzone.
Much like Lifeline, another mobile messaging-themed game, Bury me, my Love takes place over the course of a few days with realistic passage of time. Nour will frequently go offline for a few hours as she travels or sleeps, returning with a notification when the story can progress.
Where games like Lifeline can feel overwritten and wordy, BMML is strikingly believable. It hits with raw emotion and genuine, believable dialogue that is more effective at conveying the devastation of the Syrian conflict than any journalist’s report.
The history between the characters is obvious. Whether Nour and Majd are sassily joking with one another or the former is panic-texting amidst some chaotic event, the writing does a fantastic job conveying their personalities. You really feel the gaps between the conversations, too—especially as the story twists and turns in dangerous directions.
Your choices as Majd offer emotional support or practical advice, depending on the situation. Nour might turn to you asking which route she should take or how she should spend her time, and how you decide to respond can have a profound impact on her journey.
Littered throughout the story are some beautiful pieces of art and snippets of music that help contextualise the events without getting in the way or being too “gamey”. The developers have fully embraced the mobile aesthetic, and I’m glad they didn’t compromise on it.
Bury Me, My Love isn’t just a heart-warming story of human connections and struggles, it’s a startlingly hard-hitting and educational spotlight on real issues. Fantastic writing, beautiful art and a perfectly-realised interface make this the most intriguing, must-play mobile game I’ve ever downloaded.