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Koryo Tours Pyongyang Racer and Travel Tips
December 19, 2012 5:38 PM   Subscribe

Welcome to Pyongyang! "Koryo Tours commissioned a DPRK (North Korea) gaming company to develop a racing game that lets you drive around Pyongyang in a locally made Pyonghwa Motors vehicle, see some of the sites and compete for a good race time! Collect fuel along the way, avoid the attentions of Pyongyang's traffic ladies, and try not to crash into any of the local cars, or the DHL vans! This unique game is currently online exclusively on Koryo Tours' website (do note that it may take some time to load properly - so do stay patient before starting)."

Koryo Tours Pyongyang Racer is a small racing game developed in the DPRK (North Korea). This game was developed in 2012 and is not intended to be a high-end techological (sic) wonder hit game of the 21st century, but more a fun race game (arcade style) where you drive around in Pyongyang and learn more about the sites and get a glimpse of Pyongyang.

An "online computer racing game" from the Socialist paradise of North Korea. A friend who recently spent some time in DPRK forwarded this gem, a game sponsored by a Beijing travel agent. I have no ability at such things, and merely veered across the (empty) streets of Pyongyang, but I know others here will appreciate the game, the lively music and the fact that you can post your times to the Top 10 Championship List. Also, you can friend Koryo Tours at Facebook
posted by condesita (36 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Collecting fuel along the way would make it ultra realistic. Do the fuels include wood and garbage?
posted by oneironaut at 5:43 PM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Drive straight on. Don't stare at me, I'm on duty!
posted by pravit at 5:54 PM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I got to the Ryugyong Hotel and then ran out of fuel. Is Kim Jong Un at the end?
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 5:57 PM on December 19, 2012


shame the game doesn't allow for horn-honking and steering at the same time.
posted by slater at 5:57 PM on December 19, 2012


...a DPRK (North Korea) gaming company...

Maybe I shouldn't be surprised that there are North Korean gaming companies, but I am. My WTF meter is pegged.
posted by mosk at 5:57 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Stay tuned for the second song. It's better.

Watch out for cars hidden behind fuel barrels. Game Failed. :(
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:01 PM on December 19, 2012


For bonus level you enter password to email and bank account!
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:10 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nine minutes, ten seconds. You don't lose a life for going off the road, only for hitting cars. No spectacular end, just an add for Koryo. And the other cars don't move, so you can creep up on them. Let's be clear, the graphics are terrible. It does show many of the sights, and more-or-less in geographically accurate relationship (for at least the ones I know the locations of offhand).

A note to people on US government systems: since the code was written in the DPRK, it's possible you may get in trouble for running it on an office computer.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:12 PM on December 19, 2012


Why was she telling me to not look at her because she was on duty? Would it be ok to stare at her when she was off duty?
posted by TwelveTwo at 6:16 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just want to say that this is exactly what I come to MetaFilter for. Thanks, condesita! This is fascinating.

Also, Pyongyang is such an architecturally interesting city; so many of the landmark buildings are beautiful in a giant monotone monolith kind of way that dwarfs the actual human life that's going on there. Given what's known about the DPRK's culture and internal problems, I think that's interesting.
posted by byanyothername at 6:16 PM on December 19, 2012


The horn is absolutely broken and so is the engine judging by how it sounds. Even in glorious North Korea car salesmen are assholes.

Why is there a traffic officer every five meters when there are only six of us on the entire road?

At least fellow citizens have put fuel barrels on the roads so that I can set the car and myself on fire.

How the hell did I manage to get lost when there's only one road in the entire city? Goddamn Apple Maps.

Ok, found a Starbucks. Someone please pick me up at the Starbucks on Pyongyang Main Road 100. I'm next to like twelve traffic officers and a shitload of fuel barrels.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:16 PM on December 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, a game I don't actually suck that bad at! Thank Dear Leader the streets are completely empty so I can drive wasted and still pass my test! I want to go there and drive my large black car in the shiny city!

If anyone wants some black-market petrol, let me know.
posted by wallabear at 6:18 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I kept trying to drive off into the big parking lots lining the road so I could see the REAL North Korea, but every time I was magically plopped back into the middle of the track. I ended up getting stopped for bad driving because I had this subconscious urge to ram my vehicle into the few other fellow motorists I met on the empty road. Perhaps it's the same nihilistic urge that drove a truck driver to crash into the only tree in the middle of the Sahara, or perhaps I'd just watched that driving in Russia video too many times.
posted by pravit at 6:29 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why is there a traffic officer every five meters when there are only six of us on the entire road?

Well, do you see any traffic jams? Pyongyang has a marvelous low accident rate too. Witness the miracle of juche vehicle code enforcement.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:29 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Do the fuels include wood and garbage?

I think in a pinch you can burn all your aspirations and hope to go an extra block.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:31 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why is there a traffic officer every five meters when there are only six of us on the entire road?

It's a totalitarian state. Somebody has to assist with all that.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:36 PM on December 19, 2012


"Take a screen capture of your score and send it to us for championship ranking!"

You... you don't really understand how the Internet works, do you?
posted by fatbird at 6:44 PM on December 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


And people say EA is a hard employer ...

Send them a screenshot where the on-screen map is a route from one of their labor camp prisons to Seoul.
posted by zippy at 7:17 PM on December 19, 2012


True totalitarian regimes don't include mute buttons.
posted by NoraReed at 7:34 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Every time I veer off the road I disappear, then mysteriously show up again years later looking haggard and about 50 pounds lighter with no explanation of where I've been.
posted by xthlc at 7:47 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, a hundred years from now when the DPRK has ceased to exist and the full truth of the horrors they've committed are known, we'll all feel really bad about these jokes.
posted by xthlc at 7:53 PM on December 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


If I'm still hovering around in a hundred years worrying about jokes I made on MetaFilter, I'm worse off than I thought.
posted by wallabear at 8:05 PM on December 19, 2012


Why is there a traffic officer every five meters when there are only six of us on the entire road?

They don't have any traffic signals. Electricity is expensive, snappily-dressed young ladies are cheap. And it doesn't hurt to have an eye on the movements of vehicles.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:23 PM on December 19, 2012


G.T.-Juche
posted by deathpanels at 9:09 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, a hundred years from now when the DPRK has ceased to exist and the full truth of the horrors they've committed are known, we'll all feel really bad about these jokes.

I seriously doubt I'll be feeling anything about anything in a hundred years.
posted by Edgewise at 9:14 PM on December 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


My my calculations, this car uses about 16 gallons/mile or 37.5 L/km. Truly an engineering marvel.

Assuming the car has a 20 gallon/75L gas tank and game won't allow you to exceed the posted speed limit of 80 km/hr (~50 mph). You can drive about 90s on a single tank.
I'm being somewhat charitable, because the game implies your car holds about three 55 gallon drums of gas, which would give it a 165 gallon tank, which would mean the car's mileage is too horrible to even contemplate.

posted by cosmic.osmo at 10:10 PM on December 19, 2012


My my calculations, this car uses about 16 gallons/mile or 37.5 L/km. Truly an engineering marvel.

Conspicuous consumption is the hallmark of a truly advanced society.
posted by OHSnap at 10:27 PM on December 19, 2012


Will someone please tell me where the Moranbong Band (모란봉악단 | Ансамбль Моранбон) is performing? That chick in the uniform is nice and keeps smiling and all that, but she is pretty useless when it comes to specific directions to places where I can find a ticket scalper. Plus, these shows sell out so fast, its ridiculous.
posted by lampshade at 11:49 PM on December 19, 2012


How long will it be before someone takes the digital assets and turns it into a real game? Need For Speed? Grand Theft Auto? Or maybe just integrate the data into Google Earth so I can do a good fly-by of all the landmarks?
posted by CG at 12:16 AM on December 20, 2012


I would like to thank you for this post, if only because it has made me aware of the existence of Pyonghwa Motors. A car company that's a joint venture of the North Korean regime and Rev. Moon's Unification Church, what's not to like about it!?
posted by Skeptic at 12:23 AM on December 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you try to turn around it's very ominous - "drive straight on, or else...". I got scared and kept going straight.
posted by olya at 12:39 AM on December 20, 2012


A car company that's a joint venture of the North Korean regime and Rev. Moon's Unification Church, what's not to like about it!?

IMHO, the Moonies are more scary/evil than kooky/amusing. Think the Church of Scientology run by Dick Cheney or something.
posted by acb at 2:59 AM on December 20, 2012


IMHO, the Moonies are more scary/evil than kooky/amusing.

Which is why their association with the DPRK here seems so...appropriate. It reminds me of the Molotov-Ribbentropp Pact...
posted by Skeptic at 5:54 AM on December 20, 2012


G.T.-Juche

I would have gone with Grand Theft Kimchi.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:02 PM on December 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone know how I can save this game to a PC (Wintel) to play offline? Call me paranoid, but I don't trust the Norks.

I've known too many US Korean War veterans who lost a lot of friends over their when the shit got hot. I hear that retreat back from the Yalu when the Chicoms came racing across the Yalu was brutal. The weather, that is... The old guys have told me that the Chinese were not a big deal because they just made sure they always had plenty of ammo. "The Chinese? Shit they weren't a problem. You just made sure you always had plenty of ammo so you just shot 'em." "The cold was the real enemy!" I guess it got so cold that they had to piss on their rifles when they froze up. No way to live!

Still, I'd like to play GTA: Pyongyang. Maybe I could even show some of my older vet friends.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 1:11 AM on December 21, 2012


A friend of mine from high school runs Koryo, and his (seemingly earnest) advertisements on Facebook weird me out.
posted by EricGjerde at 6:52 AM on December 21, 2012


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