About Not For Broadcast
Not For Broadcast - Take Control of the Airwaves
The Simulator That Lets You Decide What the Nation Sees and Hears
Beginning the Broadcast
Developed by British studio NotGames and published by tinyBuild, Not For Broadcast is a full-motion video simulation that is easily one of the most unique games in recent memory. The PC-only game is a propaganda simulator, in which you get to take command of a national television broadcast.
Not For Broadcast, essentially in a genre of its own, features both animation and real video clips. Because of its distinctive, unusual concept and gameplay, this simulator will be unlike anything you've ever played.
The World of News Media
Not For Broadcast takes place in an unnamed European country in the mid-1980s. A far-left political party called Advance has come into power and run the country like a dictatorship. Now, in a dystopian setting, you take the role of Alex Winston, the studio editor for a national news television station.
With multiple screens and controls in front of you, it's your job to decide what the public does and doesn't get to see and hear. While producing the live news broadcast, you have to run advertisements, censor swear words, and keep the station protected from interference.
Egotistical celebrities, dishonest politicians, and strange sponsors clash on the airwaves. You’re here to ensure that the show goes on uninterrupted.
Not For Broadcast is played in the first-person perspective. Live-action footage plays on the screens before you, and you use point-and-click controls to manage the broadcast. The innovative inclusion of real-life video within the animated setting is the cherry on top of an already unique concept.
Concept Rating: 5/5
Blending Real Footage and Animation
The animated elements of Not For Broadcast take a backseat to the live-action video footage airing on your station. The various scenes are portrayed by funny and talented actors; you'll frequently chuckle as you play.
The animation you do see is quite realistic but otherwise pretty run-of-the-mill. The buttons, switches, and monitors your control are laid out nicely and provide the feel of really running a 1980s television channel. To complete the aesthetic, the bright-red, foreboding digital clock and "on-air" sign remain stationed above your controls.
Graphics & Audio Rating: 4/5
Managing Your Station
The game only features a single-player story mode, and it gently eases you into the gameplay. For the first portion of the broadcast, you're mostly switching between cameras, loading tapes, and ensuring that everything goes smoothly. In total, you have four simultaneous feeds to keep track of.
The primary gameplay consists of three days of broadcasts, each day consisting of three segments with different layouts and challenges. To continue progressing, each broadcast you control needs to result in gained viewers. If you lose too many viewers, on the other hand, it's game over.
Once you're in the swing of things, more challenges begin to come at you. You have to censor sensitive language and adjust your waveform to combat attempted interference. Granted, you can choose to neglect your duties, but if you make enough errors, the audience will eventually tune out.
Captivating the Audience
Not For Broadcast is about much more than keeping a news station functioning. As the one positioned at the helm of the switchboard, you have the power to edit and portray the televised content to your heart's desire. Celebrities, politicians, and sponsors are all clashing for airtime, and it's up to you who gets the spotlight.
The more captivating and compelling you broadcast with your editing and choices, the more viewers will tune in, and the more successful the station will be. You can decide which sponsors to cut and which ones to promote; some might be a bit sketchy, but those are probably the ones that pay the big bucks to run their ads.
Never forget that the show must go on. Occasionally, your station will get hit with powerful storms, electrical surges, or digital attacks. However, you have to plow through to give the people what they want.
Running the Propaganda Machine
Because of the extreme political atmosphere in the game's fictional country, the way you choose to run your station has implications in the outside world. For instance, your broadcast features two news anchors for presenting in-studio stories. You influence how your anchors present these stories; you can decide whether to portray Advance, the authoritarian political party, in a positive or negative light.
Seeing your actions while controlling the broadcast directly impacts the game's storyline and lends real stakes to your choices. When you manage to steer the feed in an edgy or strange direction without losing your viewers, it's a satisfying feeling.
Whether you toe the party line or stir up a scandal is your choice, so long as you can hold the audience’s fickle attention.
Part of the Not For Broadcast gameplay covers your character's personal life. Your protagonist has a life and family outside of the news station, and you occasionally must make interactive choices. The decisions you make have ramifications, and you have to be careful to make sure your character's life doesn't fall apart.
The gameplay isn't overly challenging in the traditional sense, but it does require you to be constantly thinking. You have to pay attention to multiple things at once while deliberately steering the broadcast in your preferred direction.
Occasionally, Not For Broadcast will throw random obstacles your way. For example, a naked protester might suddenly barge into the studio, forcing you to quickly edit out the nudity. Dealing with these unexpected issues is one of the most challenging—and most enjoyable—parts of the game.
Gameplay Rating: 4/5
How You Can Start the Show
Not For Broadcast enjoyed its full worldwide release on January 25th, 2022. You can purchase the game for Windows through Steam. The full game costs $24.99, but as of the end of January 2022, you can get it for 25% off.
Even at its non-discounted price, Not For Broadcast is worth the cost. Whenever you can grab a game this unique for $25, you should always jump on it. Frankly, the novelty alone makes it a bargain.
A Unique, Darkly Comedic Simulator Game
For gamers who enjoy testing uncharted waters, Not For Broadcast is a must-play. Despite its fairly simple gameplay and mechanics, it manages to be thoroughly entertaining and highly addictive. Because you get to decide how each night's broadcast plays out, you can come back again and again and experience the game differently each time.
Not For Broadcast is a unique package that's dark, hysterical, edgy and thought-provoking all in one. Even if you play it and don't love it, you'll have had a new experience and, almost certainly, a few laughs.
Replay Value Rating: 5/5
- A new and unique concept.
- Hilarious, well-acted live-action.
- Intriguing storyline.
- Darkly realistic.
Could Be Better
- Graphics on animated portions are pretty standard.
- The main character's home life storyline could have more substance.
- You'll wish the gameplay was longer!
Not For Broadcast is a strange, dark, hilarious simulator game that makes you think and leaves you wanting more.