This article is from the archive of our partner .

After successfully launching its first big satellite into orbit (well, sort of), North Korea isn't showing signs of slowing down. Today the country has blessed us with Pyongyang Racer, the first video game ever to come out of North Korea, and just like their satellite, it's not very good. (The game is browser-based, and you can access it here.) We haven't yet finished the game to completion, but (we think) the premise involves driving around a place called the "City of Willows," which is loosely based on Pyongyang, while collecting barrels of fuel and avoiding the one or two non-moving cars on roads devoid of people. Sometimes you honk. "You’ll pass the Arch of Triumph (based of Paris's Arc de Triomphe, only bigger), the Victory Monument, the (now-complete!) Ryugyong Hotel, and the Juche Tower, the tallest stone structure in the world — barely eclipsing the Washington Monument," writes Anthony Tao at the Beijing Cream, who has invested more time playing than we really cared to spend. Mario Kart it is not, but that's mostly because we like the Nintendo music.

To be fair, this not-so-great game wasn't a DPRK venture alone. A company called Koryo, a British-owned travel agency that books trips to North Korea, commissioned the game, and it was developed by a company called Nosotek, which describes itself as "the first western IT venture in DPRK." So like we said, not exactly Nintendo.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to