With the worldwide multi-billion dollar video game industry continuing to show strength, it’s surprising (or rather, maybe not) that there hasn’t already been a huge number of games with Afrocentric plotlines.
Well that’s changing in a hurry.
As Hugo Obi, the co-creator of Maliyo, tells The Guardian (UK): “We wanted to use the game as an engine to share African experiences between ourselves, and with the rest of the world, through African narratives, sounds and characters.”
Another co-founder, Oluseye Soyode-Johnson, said that the creation of the company was necessary since “some people take the bestselling games and change them to African characters. But our approach was to create games that are uniquely African.”
Among Maliyo’s most popular video games are Okada Ride, in which players control a motorcycle that darts dangerously through cities across the country, and Mosquito Smasher, which is their version of Angry Birds, in which players battle against a villain who uses insects to keep away tourists.
Among Gamsole's more popular games are their own version of Angry Birds (I suppose everyone has their own version) Bird Republic, and Lagos Traffic in which the objective is to “get the blue car out of the traffic jam [which] sounds simple, but with each level the challenge really revs up." They call it a “very addictive puzzle game.”
I’ll bet it is.
And as the continent moves increasingly online, with mobile phones far outpacing computers, there is a rapidly growing market for mobile entertainment. In fact, continental Africa has become third in the world in mobile internet usage, after China and India.
And the games, as expected, are attracting a huge audience. As one user is quoted, “I like these games for the same reason I like watching Nollywood films. Everybody likes to see something they can relate to.”
You can check out and actually play some of Maliyo's games on its website right now HERE. Gamsole doesn't appear to have any of its games available to play for free, but you can check it its website HERE for what the company has to offer.
Here's a look at Okada Ride:
h/t to Candace Allen