In a world that feels to me to be oversaturated with Papers, Please-like political sims, in which the player controls an ordinary person influencing the government through player choices, Not For Broadcast manages to stand out to me, thanks in no small part to its commitment to the world it builds, just a little off-kilter from our own.
It's a flawed game, to be sure. In addition to bugs, some of them game-breaking, it's politics are muddled, which isn't necessarily what you want to hear about a political sim. It tries to commit to neutrality in the name of letting the choice between rival factions truly belong to the player, but ends up emphasizing the bad of these factions so heavily that supporting either in any way makes me feel like a heel. Additionally, the visual novel segments which elaborate on the life of the player character do succeed in their goal of forging a more personal connection between player and story, they are infinitely less fun than the broadcast sequences and often I find myself skimming the text in hopes of getting back to the core game quicker.
Still, I love when stories feel to me like they were made with care, and even with branching paths that reveal new FMV footage in each playthrough, episodes feel connected to one another, rarely contradicting facts set up by earlier episodes. You're granted the voyeuristic pleasure of watching back footage outside of the broadcast room to listen in on behind the scenes conversations you missed while you were running the news, and finding footage I haven't yet seen is as thrilling to me as digging out a chunk of cookie dough in cookie dough ice cream. It's easy to become invested in the characters, as superbly-acted as they are well-written, and that investment is ultimately what makes the story land. And though I see that others don't agree, I find the gameplay of the broadcast sections extremely satisfying.
It's a game that, if you give yourself the chance to care about it, is all at once bizarre and heart-rending, as genuinely terrifying as it is darkly humorous. And hell if that isn't my kind of game.

sorry not sorry 'bout what I said... don't lose ur head

Beautiful game. Dreadful puzzles, but excellent combat and story override them by miles. I would lay down my real actual life for Atreus.

What a wild fucking ride. A must-play for anyone who loves mysteries. It's so satisfying to watch the larger story unfold over these chapters. I could play 1000 of these.

idk what y’all are talking about this is a good game

and thats when i finally had to accept that actually i am a bad dancer.

i loved this and think more people should play it, but I was frustrated that it was so hard to get a good ending.

my dad bought this instead of a dvd copy of the movie "because of winn-dixie" because he thought it would be more fun for the both of us. Was it worth it, dad? was it?

the character creator was the best part of this game, but the minigames were good too. Why'd they try to force a town-builder aspect into it, though? that was bad.

I have no idea why this exists or how my dad was able to find it at a target in arkansas in fucking 2009 but you can bet my asian ass was so excited they made a monkey king game.


my mom had a friend with grandkids my age who were all as addicted to our DS's as I was so they would babysit me sometimes and we would swap DS games. Long story short I'd been trying to find this again or even hear anyone talk about it and I CAN'T. Petz just simply wasn't the same.

idk i thought this was decent as a tween.