Kenya’s Mobile Games developer, Usiku Games, is opening the platform and allowing gamers to play free of charge and kill boredom during the Coronavus lockdown.
Through a media release, the company has indicated that the gamers on the Kenyan Mobile gaming platform will not pay the usual Ksh.10 (for 1,000 digital coins) to access the games but will play for free until further notice.
Founded by Canadian techie Jay Shapiro, Usiku Games, is a localised gaming platform available in leading app stores.
According to Jay Shapiro, zero-rating the platform will allow users to enjoy themselves as they practise social distancing and help curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus.
Usiku Games target the young school goers and young at heart who are experiencing loneliness and boredom during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Usiku Games targets to boost its numbers and create a fan-based of at least 1 million subscribers during this lockdown. Currently, the platform has seen each subscriber play an average of 3 games per visit. This is expected to go up during the lockdown.
Usiku Games are targeted at family gamers with the platform offering non-violent and educative for entertainment and information purposes. The games promote the Safari, Swahili and Kenyan cultures. They are also gender-inclusive with local heroes in local environments.
Currently, the four popular Usiku Games runs are:
- Jam Noma – Drive your matatu out of traffic
- Okoa Simba – Rescue the lion by matching pairs of animals;
- Mamma Mboga – Slice the fruits and Vegetables before the fall
- Age of Asante – Match the tiles and find your Zen.
Usiku Games has also introduced a new game dubbed Maasai Mkali – Mario & Luigi’s Maasai cousin which is fun 2D platform game pitting a Maasai warrior up against the crows, red bulls and witch doctors.
Usiku Games is now employing over 20 youths since its inception in Kenya, with a majority coming from Kibera and Kangemi Slums. This includes programmers, music artists among others.
Apart from programmers, Usiku Games also hires local rappers and songwriters for soundtracks, character designers and animators, content writers and digital marketers.