An ambitious life sim about the parts of the immigrant experience everyone pretends to forget.
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Release Date:
Apr 15, 2017

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June 22

NIJC Benefit Sale



In light of recent revelations regarding recent and ongoing human rights abuses at the southern border of the United States, Nuclear Fishin' Software will donate 100% of our profits (after credit card fees, taxes, marketplace fees, and other costs incurred in the process of sale) from this year's itch.io Summer Sale and Steam Summer Sale to the National Immigrant Justice Center.

The NIJC, part of the Chicago-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit Heartland Alliance, provides pro bono legal representation to low-income immigrants facing deportation from the USA, including unaccompanied migrant children, ICE detainees, and seekers of political asylum. They also provide legal assistance to other immigration lawyers throughout the country who are handling deportation cases, and on top of that they lobby politicians in Washington, D.C. for fairer, more humane immigration law with a concrete path to legal citizenship. Nuclear Fishin' is donating to the NIJC because they strike a good balance between directly helping individual migrants and fighting the systemic issues that produce the appalling conditions in American detainment camps that have recently been all over the news.

We are offering a discount this June not to stiff the NIJC, but to make sure we appeal to as many people as possible. Are you bewildered by all the angry rhetoric on social media, but open-minded enough to learn what these kids are going to go through for the rest of their lives, from a creative team who have been there? This is the time to spring for a purchase. Do you just want to help abused kids at the border and get a free computer game as thanks? This is an opportunity for you as well.

Four Horsemen was born out of the urgent desire to express to non-immigrants the lifelong alienation, dehumanization, rootlessness, and historical trauma of growing up between countries, an experience that I and every other immigrant who contributed their stories to this project share profoundly. It brings me considerable grief to see another generation join our ranks, subjected to a depth of inhumanity that will scar them for generations, in ways that are already too familiar to several members of our development team. It has become clear that we will never see a change in the United States's byzantine, catch-22-ridden, inhumane immigration policy until we can get American voters to fully understand its human cost. But that cultural change will come slowly. For now, what the US needs is immigration lawyers who can fight for individual families in court.

Immigrants do not steal jobs or threaten national security any more than citizens do. Citizens and permanent residents gain nothing from keeping immigrants in political limbo. Whether you buy from us or not, if you are an American--or if you live in a democratic country which has committed similar human rights abuses against immigrants recently, such as Greece, Australia, France, or Kenya--I urge you to write your government representatives to urge them for more humane treatment of refugees and migrants, and a clear and timely path to asylum or citizenship. Don't let yourself become part of a silent majority--xenophobic policy only endures with the perception of popular support.

Thank you.

Kevin Chen
Director, Nuclear Fishin' Software
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Reviews

“Sweet, funny, poignant, and heartbreaking.”
Shindig

“Never makes you feel like you are being spoonfed simple answers...Exceptional characterization and dialogue.”
8/10 – GameSkinny

“One of the best OELVNs I've ever played and probably ever will play....Something everyone should experience.”
The Friendly Senpai

About This Game

EMIGRATE TO WESTERN EUROPE.
MAKE CORNFLAKE NACHOS.
CONFRONT THE GHOSTS OF A DEAD INTERNET.
PRETEND YOU DON'T SPEAK ENGLISH.
GET ARRESTED FOR APOLOGIZING TO A COP INFORMALLY.
KISS YOUR CRUSH.
START AN ARMED INSURRECTION.
WATCH ANIME.
DIE FIGHTING FOR YOUR RIGHTS IN A BLAZE OF GLORY.
START OVER IN NORTH AFRICA.
WATCH LESS ANIME THIS TIME.

Four Horsemen is a visual novel / SLG about homelands and the immigrant experience. Play as a group of four contemporary immigrant teenagers squatting in a World War II era machine gun bunker, trying to find a place for themselves in a pre-apocalyptic, present-dystopian country that has no place for them. Will you go native, turning against your own people to bury the past your parents fled to escape? Will you cling to your parents’ identity at any cost, at the price of being a permanent stranger in your adoptive country? Or will you strike out on your own, turning against both your homeland and your adoptive country to shape a destiny for yourself? Love is all you need…and also improvised firearms.

Four Horsemen is not another hagiographic, pioneer-tradition, self-exotifying immigrant explainer about being slightly different. It is an exploration of human migration in terms of people–neither as mythology nor as political platform, but as a difficult decision made by ordinary human beings caught in impossible circumstances, with consequences that ripple for generations. This isn’t a game about finding yourself…it’s a game about your self finding you.

Drawing from the developers' real lived experiences, interviews with current and former immigrant teens from around the world, and a year of painstaking anthropological research, featuring 4 different main storylines, 9 different endings, 12 different playable homelands (all of which play differently), and a multitude of agonizing, important decisions, Four Horsemen tells a powerfully compelling, heartrendingly familiar, brutally honest story about what it's like to be a stranger in a strange land. One playthrough can be finished in a matter of hours, but you’ll want to revisit it again and again to see all of the many stories the game has to tell…and to pursue that elusive dream of a land you can call your own.

Exciting Bullet Points!!


  • YOUR DECISIONS MATTER. Hard choices you make at the beginning come back to haunt you at the end. Characters turn out to be heroic or villainous depending on how you treat them--and they don't always reward you for treating them well.
  • NO TWO COUNTRIES PLAY ALIKE. Each homeland has its own unique vocabulary, cultural values, prejudices, and history. Choices that are a good idea in one country turn out to be a reaaaaally bad idea in another. Like a real immigrant, you'll have to read your new culture and learn to adapt.
  • NOT JUST BLACK AND WHITE. No faction reputation system! No alignment meter! Four Horsemen offers realistic, genuinely difficult moral choices, and to some questions there are no right answers--only different consequences.
  • DELIGHTFUL CRAFTING SYSTEM. Make that cold, austere war bunker feel like home! Dive into dumpsters scrounging for parts, or buy them with your earnings from your terrible day job, and make DIY versions of things you could never afford! Characters interact with things you build. Make a disco ball and they'll throw a dance party, patch up that hole in the roof and they'll enjoy a quiet moment together on a rainy day. But beware--the system is not exactly fair to immigrants...
  • TRIUMPH OVER HATE. A stranger pulls a knife on you and screams at you to leave town--what do you do? Do you try to de-escalate the situation with words...or respond by drawing your own blade? Our combat system replicates the anxiety and terror of real violence, not a power fantasy.
  • THE MOST ADVANCED PROFANITY SYSTEM IN A VIDEO GAME, EVER. Audited by real current and former teenaged native speakers! Learn how to cast aspersions on a person's ancestry in 10 different real-world languages!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: XP
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Storage: 313 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.6
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Storage: 271 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Storage: 292 MB available space

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