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1979 Revolution: Black Friday review for Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also On: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: Digerati
Developer: Ink Stories
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: M

Now that Telltale Games is dead and gone, it’s reasonable to wonder who’ll fill their old niche. After all, their brand of narrative-heavy adventure games were fairly popular, and their abrupt exit from the marketplace means there are bound to be plenty of people wondering where they’ll get their new fix of episodic story games.

With 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, Ink Stories make a good case for filling that void. While the subject matter — based on historical events — is nothing like the usual Telltale fare, everything else here feels like it could have come straight out of The Walking Dead. You have short chapters in which you subtly direct the action via your dialogue and your choices. You wander around small areas searching for clues to help flesh out the story. People around you remember the decisions you make. There’s the odd (annoying) quick time event. Even the graphics have more than a hint of Telltale’s, er, telltale visual style.

On top of that, they seem to have figured out how to adopt many of Telltale’s good points without the bad to go along with it. The gameplay here seems to be bug-free. Likewise, the load times may not be great here, but they’re nowhere near the abysmal, eternal waiting that was a given in many of Telltale’s games.

Obviously, though, the big difference between 1979 Revolution: Black Friday and The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones is that this game is based on real-life events. What’s more, they’re based on events — the 1979 Iranian revolution — that seldom get much attention in Western media. They provide an interesting insight into a period whose reverberations are still being felt today, and, at a time when some people are pushing for war in that part of the world, it serves as a good reminder that no country (especially one with a population as huge as Iran) should be viewed as a monolithic whole.

The unique story is just a part of what makes 1979 Revolution: Black Friday such an interesting and worthwhile game. The bigger part is that it shows that Telltale’s formula will live well beyond that old company’s demise, and it shows that the next generation of adventure game developers may have found a way to improve on an already strong base.

Digerati provided us with a 1979 Revolution: Black Friday Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A-