During Gamescom 2016, at the Indie Arena Booth, we found Cultural Games with their latest creation, Kawaida’s Journey. We had the chance to see the game and also speak to Torge, who is a programmer and the lead developer on the game.
“Kawaida’s Journey is a classic 2D jump and run game. It’s the type of game that everyone likes to play and we are all about having ease of getting into a game when we develop something,” explained Torge. He said that it’s great to have a game where you can easily pick-up and you won’t have to be engaged with it for too long.
A small fishing village surrounded by palm trees in the south of Zanzibar. Kawaida, a young vervet monkey, wakes up after a strange dream in which he has encountered his family for the first time. Suddenly, everything has changed: “Where are they? And where do I come from?” Kawaida’s curiosity is piqued! He jumps out of his den and right into his biggest adventure…
“We wanted to make a breach between fun and serious games. Unfortunately, interactive media such as games are not a medium that many use to pass on a message,” said Torge. The game started as a project for Tanzania with the purpose of educating people on the country’s culture, environment and all other sorts of things. For that reason, the game takes on issues such as deforestation, the garbage problems of the country and much more. Those things are tied into the gameplay mechanics and by playing the game you get feedback about the situation Tanzania is in.
During Gamescom 2016, the studio is showing a demo about deforestation and thus far the feedback has reportedly been really good. The plan is to release the game by the end of 2016.
We also learnt that the developers went to Tanzania to see the status of the country as well as its many issues. That gave them a really good idea of what they could do with the game and from what Torge said, “you will recognize a lot of plants and animals amongst other things in our game, that can be found in Tanzania.” The game also boasts an encyclopedia which the player can check out if he/she is interested in learning more about something, such as an animal or plant. “We didn’t include it in the main gameplay so that you don’t have to read all of that unless you are really interested of course.”