I don’t know if this game was not suppose to be called Nganya or it should just stay to be Ma3racer as Planet Rackus has aptly named it. The game is very straight forward, you start by choosing which Ma3 (Nganya) you want to drive in the streets of Nairobi. There are many obstacles like pedestrians crossings, stationery vehicles and vehicles being driven on the wrong side of the road. Your aim is to collect as much money bags as you might like.
The game is one serious application because Matatu (swahili translations for many threes) culture is very unique to Kenya. From the deesigns to the way the crew handles these monsters on the road, it is just so Kenyan. So you might ask what you do with the money bags you collect, that is where the game developers needs your input.
I am imagining a situation where when you collect so much money bags, you get extra life so that whenever you know a barrier or a pedestrian, you don’t get stopped and told to “go sukuma mokokoteni” but you will get a second chance. I might also love to see the Citti Hoppa on the road being overtaken by the Ma3s. What if also we get to see the other big nganyas or Mathrees on the road. The game now only has the 14 seater Nisos as we refer to them in Nairobi.
This is one project which Planet Rackus has taken more than 18 months on since inception. The actual game development has taken six months and it is such an encouraging project which should be admired by anyone who has even been talking about local content. So I asked the the team what their plans are, they say they have many projects and the ma3racer is just a start. You will get updates of the game regularly with new features and even for different formats. You might soon see a web, Android or Windows phone 7 version of the same game if all the teams plans goes well.
The game is available on OVI store through this link for mainly S40 based Nokia phones and with limited support for S60 phones. I told Jimmy, Joe, Duncan, Mwaura and others. I tell you this is a whole Wu-Tang clan. They have different strengths and none is claiming high ground but they have managed to pull this off because they so much have the team spirit in them.
Planet Rackus Team Members;
- Mwaura Kirore – Creative Director/Founder
- Duncan Aidoh Onyango – Mobile Game Developer
- Joe Murithi Njeru – Chief Technical Officer
- Roger Tenenmberger – 3D/ Motion Designer
- Fred Kioko – Operations Director
- Philip Ranja – User Experience Designer
- Jimmy Gitonga – Content Developer
- Kevin Maina – Writer
First Watch the games Trailer;
Do you remember the last Pivot25 event? The winners of the game development were surprisingly utility apps. OK!! Enough of that. My take, this is an app which if the developers are serious with, it might be the next big game out there. We can have enough simulations of Kenyan major streets not only in Nairobi but even in Eldoret. Just like choosing whether to race in Chicago or New York in NFS Most Wanted, I should choose whether I want to go race through the floods of Kano Plains or just go to North Eastern for a desert feel.