Hitcents is bringing fake news, reality TV drama and families divided by a wall with its upcoming release of Ministry of Broadcast. In this 2D platformer, players fight for their lives in an absurd reality TV show sponsored by a controlling Regime.
- Price and Platform: The game is releasing January 30, 2020, for $14.99 on Steam (offering a 10% discount the week of launch) and through the Utomik PC gaming subscription platform. In Spring, it will be releasing on the Nintendo Switch (digital and retail).
- About the Developer: The game is developed by Ministry of Broadcast Studios, a group split between the Czech Republic and Serbia. Motivated by their own lives in Eastern Europe and some of the absurdities they’ve seen and experienced, the group created a game offering a satirical examination of prevalent sociopolitical issues – groupthink, privacy, fake news, consumerism, and more.
- Awards: Ministry of Broadcast has been nominated and won several awards for its unique gameplay and art at Indiecade (Santa Monica, CA), Game Connection (Paris), and Game Access (Brno, Czech Republic).
- Inspiration: In the spirit of classics such as Prince of Persia (1989) and Oddworld: Abe’s Exoddus, Ministry of Broadcast revives the gameplay of classic cinematic platformers where players need nimble run-and-jump reflexes to avoid mortal dangers, and a sharp mind to discern the real-life parallels.
- Orwellian Influence: No other narrative-driven cinematic platformer so adequately represents the current cultural zeitgeist; Ministry of Broadcast is the hybrid manifestation of Orwell’s 1984 with modern reality TV, and the release is perfectly timed to honor the 70th anniversary of Orwell’s death.
Story and Gameplay
The Wall divides both a country in two, and a man from his family. To see them again, the game’s ginger-haired protagonist has become a contestant on “The Wall Show”, a Regime-organized TV show allowing competitors the opportunity to escape to freedom on the other side. However, as he progresses from day to day, the contestant soon realizes exactly how the Regime and the show operate. To reach freedom and family, you must lead the protagonist through each of the Arenas while under the ever-watchful lens of the Regime. Encounter the requisite variety of hazardous, dilapidated obstacles (leg-shattering drops, flaming barrels of garbage, inconveniently placed spike pits, hanging steel beams) along the way, but bear in mind: the promise of freedom is not exactly what it seems. The realization that truth is interpreted by those who would share it hangs heavy on your mind. What, or who, do you sacrifice?