NAIROBI X: AFRICA’S FIRST 3D GAME

It’s the year 2030. The capital city of Kenya, Nairobi, has been overrun by an unknown alien colony. It is your job as Commander Otero, an elite GSU Recce Squad member and sole survivor of a special operation, to save the country and protect the civilians by vanquishing the alien life forms. This is the story line of Kenya’s, and indeed Africa’s first 3D video game. Kenya’s gaming enthusiasts have likened the first person shooter (FPS) game to ‘Call of Duty’. The game was created by Black Division Games, a Kenya-based gaming and entertainment company. It was released on June 16th 2015 at the Tribe Hotel, almost a year after Black Divisions released the first trailer for the game. The game’s developer, Andrew Kaggia, said it took him almost 9 months to complete.

The game is built differently for both Mobile and PC systems. The mobile game (available for now only on Android OS) is a first person shooter based on different locations in the city of Nairobi where a player is assigned various mission objectives to complete so they unlock the next level of the game. The PC version of the game presents a similar experience. However, players on PC can also immerse themselves in two specially designed maps and invite other players for a multiplayer challenge allowing up to sixteen players to interact simultaneously for a high grade, competitive gaming experience. Initially players were to download the game by sending the text ‘Nairobix’ to 21797 for a fee of 30Kshs (30 cents-US) for the mobile version and 100Kshs (1$) for the PC version however shortly after its release, Black Division announced on their Facebook page that the game can be downloaded for free on Playstore. The game has engendered mixed reactions from the Kenyan Gaming Community. Some gamers claim the game is low quality and hard to download on certain PCs. There have also been complaints about the branding that has been done in the game by CBA bank, Redbull and the Landrover Defender to be excessive and distracting. However, these companies provide the finances necessary for the successful creation and development of the game.

Amidst these claims there are still others who say the game developers really tried their best and that the game has stunning graphics, exciting mission and mega intense game play for a first attempt. All in all the general response especially from Kenyan gamers has been positive as many had been eagerly anticipating the release of the game and are now finally proud to play a locally created video game.
The game is definitely the harbinger of greater things to come from the Africa tech scene in terms of games. And this being Black Division’s first title, more is expected from the entertainment company in the future.

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