Raise your hand if you remember classic side-scrollers like Contra and Rush’n Attack. Now raise your other hand if you always wished a game company would take it upon itself to create a new title that lets you play as a unicorn-riding, basketball-slamming North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Wait, come back — where are you going? The satirical game — entitled Glorious Leader! —puts players in the shoes of the dictator as he battles his way across seven levels filled with U.S. Army troops, “imperialists,” and other assorted enemies who dare to stand in his way.
Moneyhorse announced the game in an over-the-top propaganda-like press release that should give gamers a clue as to what they can expect: “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea commands you to know that the capitalistic pigs at Moneyhorse LLC, are developing Glorious Leader!”
The game is in the 16-bit retro style of Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo titles from the early ’90s. Like past classics, Glorious Leader! will feature a variety of environments and different big bosses (the Statue of Liberty appears to be one) to defeat before the player can move on to the next level.
Jeff Miller, CEO of Moneyhorse, told Pocket Gamer that he originally planned for the player to control a North Korean soldier “and fight the Americans with a little help from Kim Jong-un here and there.” But when he shared some early screenshots with friends, “everyone got really excited by Kim Jong-un,” so he became the star of the show.
Miller told Pocket Gamer that he is attempting to “find the right balance with the satire.” He said, “The tone of the game must remain fun, so I am not going to tackle the really horrible human-rights abuses. I don’t want to ridicule anyone per se, but just amp up the ridiculousness that already exists on all sides.”
Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).