North Korea is in UR Cell Phonez, Making UR Gamez

A screenshot from the 2007 North Korean-developed cell phone title "The Big Lebowski Bowling"

The Big Lebowski Bowling: who knew Kim Jong-il had such good taste in selecting movies to adapt to cell phone games?

It seems like hardly a week goes by without Kim Jong-il rearing his oppressive, dictatorial head. This week is no exception, as Bloomberg is reporting that Kim’s crack team of North Korean computer experts created not one, but two movie-based cell phone games for what’s now News Corp.’s Fox Mobile. According to the article, this has some people up in arms. Taking a look at the games, though, we see no reason to worry.
The first game created by the North Koreans for decadent capitalist consumption was, hilariously, “The Big Lebowski Bowling.” As much as we love The Dude, we can’t say we played or even heard about this game when it came out in 2007, and sadly any press it may have garnered has long vanished into the ether. We’re guessing that even in the long tradition of shoddy, movie-based cell phone games, this is no great loss. That said, if you have a compatible phone, a quick Google search may or may not set you up with a copy of the game to review yourself, assuming of course The Dude abides.

The other game those wacky North Koreans managed to create was the only somewhat-less-prestigious and perhaps equally ironic “Men in Black: Alien Assault.” We’re sad to admit that we’ve played a couple of movie-based phone games and though we might have speculated that the developers had never seen the film in question, we could never prove it until now. Since there are no western films released in North Korea (there’s barely electricity), there’s no way the North Korean programmers who created the Men in Black II game had ever seen the film, which is lucky for them considering how terrible it was.  The good news is that according to this review, they actually managed to create a totally average, forgettable action game. Sure, the reviewer notes that “there’s just nothing here that you haven’t done before — on games that are over two years old,” but considering the tremendous disadvantage they’re at North Korea’s cell phone game developers should be proud they’re only two years behind. After all, their game earned a “Passable” 6 out of 10 rating and no one suspected they were behind it.

Let’s just hope the North Koreans’ cyberwar skills are far worse than “passible.”

This entry was posted in Movies, Video Games and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.