Developed by iNK Stories and set during the Iranian Revolution against the Shah, 1979 Revolution: Black Friday has a narrative focus that places it somewhere between Life is Strange and Heavy Rain. It combines scenes that allow for exploration and photography with quick time events that ratchet up the tension, while the snappy dialogue rarely gives you much time to consider your responses. The game forces you to make moral decisions and form allegiances in a complex and rapidly escalating situation.
The result is a game with some thrilling moments and an incredible sense of context. The plot centers around Reza Shirazi, a striving photojournalist returning to Tehran after studying abroad in Germany. Reza recaps events leading up to the Black Friday massacre in 1978 while sitting in an interrogation chamber in prison in 1980, and it’s an effective framing device that clarifies the stakes for the people at the heart of the revolution. The earlier chapters are naively optimistic, and every return to the present reminds you that there is no happy ending.