Here’s our preview of the IndieCade 2016 Grand Jury Award Winner…

IndiaCade Grand Jury Award winner, 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, is an adventure game set in the events of and following the Iranian revolution of 1979. The game is very much in the vein of Telltale games in that it focuses on storytelling and conversation over puzzle solving. 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is an incredibly polished game and not just well polished for an indie. From the graphics to the writing to the voice over performances, every aspect of the game is well done.

1979 Revolution: Black Friday plays and feels very much like a Telltale game, based on a true story instead of a licenced property. The established formula for this style of game is a series of intense conversations including timed dialog trees interspersed with various action sequences. The main character of 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is an aspiring Photojournalist, so many of the action sequences revolve around shooting with a camera instead of a firearm, which is a refreshing touch.

The storytelling and presentation in 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is where the game really shines. The writing, at least in the conversations included in the IndieCade demo, does an amazing job of making these characters feel like real people living in desperate times. The dialog never felt stilted or halting the way that other in game conversations can be. Another aspect of 1979 Revolution: Black Friday that helps to ground the game in the real events of the plot is the incredibly solid voice acting performances present in this game.

1979 Revolution: Black Friday developer INK Stories does an excellent job of giving the game a look of its own, which evokes the tension and intensity of a nation under great stress. The visual style of the game is a bit tough to sum up. It isn’t the sharp, heavily inked comic book style that many are used to in games, but it also isn’t exactly realistic or cartoony. Regardless of how its style is categorized, 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is a very good looking game that is very evocative of films of the 1970s, which is fitting given the setting of the game.

The most interesting part of the demo of 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is an interrogation scene that takes place after the revolution referenced in the title. The scene is impressively intense and does a good job of telling a story using environment as well as dialog. Every detail of the scene from the visual design of the room to the way the scene is lit to the character animations create a truly foreboding, tense, dangerous atmosphere which really forces the player to identify with the main character.

The award winning 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is available now on iOS for $4.99 and Steam and GOG for $11.99. So if you’re looking for an interesting, thought provoking adventure game, you might want to check it out.

For more IndieCade 2016 coverage, check out these features on the award winners, and nominees.