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Check out The Banshees of Inisherin as an 8-bit game

To honour the best of Ireland on the country’s day of global renown, Cogs & Marvel, an Irish-founded agency, are releasing Banshees: The Game, a celebration of Ireland’s most notable cinematic export of recent years – The Banshees of Inisherin.

The video game puts you in the cracked leather shoes of an ageing musician on a labyrinthine quest for a quiet pint. On your way to the pub through the rocky roads, you must elude your former best friend, dodge the local gobshite and an ornery Garda, avoid the unavoidable neighbour, and collect five bloody fingers.

“It was an interesting challenge,” says Cogs & Marvel’s Creative Director, Jon Hozier-Byrne. “How can you tell a complex story in the simplest narrative form?”

Banshees: The Game answered the challenge by channelling the film’s elliptical study of male friendship into an 8-bit rendering of a chase.

“St Patrick’s Day, like the film which inspired us, is an exploration of Irish socio-cultural identity,” says Hozier-Byrne. “For one day a year, political and historical baggage is cast aside, leaving only bright green hats and drinking. We wanted to apply the same kind of dramatic over-simplification to such rich cultural material.”

Cogs & Marvel’s game boils the film’s narrative down to its absolute bare bones but captures a wide cast of characters—even Jenny the donkey makes an appearance. “There was something really fun about taking such a dark, atmospheric piece of storytelling and representing it through the saturated optics of retro gaming. That juxtaposition is very entertaining to me,” says Hozier-Byrne. “As an experiential agency, we wanted to create a novel piece of interactive storytelling that would appeal to and resonate with a global audience. As well as celebrating a film that has real cultural importance, and of which I’m personally a huge fan, Banshees: The Game was a fascinating exercise in exploring how you can reimagine an amazing story and tell it in a new and unexpected way.”

Banshees: The Game will be available to play at on Wednesday 15th March 2023.

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