Will Love Tear Us Apart? According To This Game, It Will
There’s probably no song as cherished, as frequently covered, and as as heavily lauded as Joy Division’s post-punk classic “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” Written by Ian Curtis in 1979 shortly before his suicide in 1980, the song’s bleak lyrics and bittersweet ties to reality still hold up today as an ageless ode to decaying relationships. So of course someone had to turn it into a video game.
Created by Gordon Calleja with Might Boy Games, Will Love Tear Us Apart is a free browser game that takes the lyrics of the Joy Division classic and makes them interactive. Each level is a different lyric from the song, and there are three (surprisingly hard) levels in all. The game, like its source material, is cold and bleak, with an art style that’s weird and ominous. The game puts you in charge of a couple as you play mini games to help them with their communication. In words it sounds simple, but the game interprets it more abstractly.
In level one you’re given three cards, each one that represents a particular emotion. You must lay down the right card to coincide with your partner’s. But this is where it gets tricky. If you try simply matching the cards — anger with anger, sadness with sadness — you quickly realize that things aren’t going anywhere. Ahh, just like real relationships.
Although I never made it to the last level, there is a chance you can beat the game and conquer love. I didn’t, of course. Which is all the more reason to play the game repeatedly and watch as love tears you apart…again.