Offbeat

The Best Games Made In Saudi

optimized-candy-survival-game

By Johara Al Mogbel

We thought long and hard about what we could write about in entertainment. Books? Movies? TV shows? Really annoying talking oranges?


The recent decline in public taste that will lead us all into an apocalypse where everything is in different shades of neon, studs are the national uniform and the nyan cat as president and mushrooms are an accepted size changers. Wait. Mushrooms! Mario! Games! Games are awesome and entertainment! [We admit that it was a rather shortish brainstorm session].

And what better should we feature our game article about than the wonderful stuff we’ve been seeing from Saudi game developers recently? Read on to see our picks this month, and what we think of them.

Candy Survival

Everyone knows candy gives instant happiness. It’s practically part of the definition! (If only the people at Merriam Webster see it our way.) Turn the candy evil and what do you get? An awesome short game where you spend three levels trying to dodge homicidal candy to get to the end. More impressive is the age of the game’s maker, a cool 14. And I thought knowing how to press cntrl-alt-delete for the task manager was advanced programming when I was at that age. Tester’s tip: It’s all about timing and precision. And we love chocolate.

Duration: 10 minutes
Developer: Abdullah Babrouk

Play Here
Zombie Fly

Deceptively easy game. Protect you precioussss – we mean, jar of ‘netala’ from the horde of evil hazelnut slurping zombie flies. It starts off really slow, with snail-paced flies attempting to get near the jar one by one and you wondering if you’re in a frozen Bollywood fight scene, and then… You’ll find out.

Duration: 2 minutes
Developer: Ammar Alsharekh

Play Here
Also available on Google Play
Other games: Gergey3an, Riyadh Traffic, Fajwat Althalam (Blackhole), Huryat Shehab (Shehab’s Freedom)
Frat Zombies

Short, fun timewaster. Protect the last Xbox from a horde of frat boy zombies. Tester’s tip: The bullets don’t kill the zombies, just pushes them away. Extra info: This game is a side project from the same guy who runs Game Tako.

Duration: 1 minute
Developer: Abdullah Hamed

Play Here
Other games: Rescue Them, فيروسات الخيال
Pixel Up

Where should we start with this one? You play as a blue-ish pixel character that was kicked out of his land, and is trying to climb its way back up. On one hand, the game is really well designed. The main character looks adorable, and navigating through the main menu is quite fun. On the other… this is not an easy game. I don’t know if it’s a horrible lack of precision from me or just a general sadistic streak in the game developers, but my fingers had to be pried from the keyboard with a wrench near the end. If you’re up for a challenge, this is the game for you. Tester’s tip: Develop a rhythm to get past the numerous obstacles. Also, you can skip some of the levels. And don’t give up.

Duration: 5 hours (and some)
Developer: Funktion Games

Play Here
Other games: Game of Loss (Game Tako)
Simudroids

The brainchild of Moe Alemam, Osama Fattouh, Essam Alghamdi and Saif Alkhuder, the fact that this game is good is a given thing and don’t you dare think otherwise. I mean, I’d play for the background music alone if it’s from Agent Whiskers. In this particular game you play a professor who’s developed a bunch of droids to protect his lab, except you end up running away from them for some reason I haven’t entirely understood. (Exercise? Fun? They say testing but I don’t believe them have an over-active imagination.) The interface and gameplay is simple, and it’s decent entertainment for those long hours at the office. Tester’s tip: Jumping off the wall may propel you right into the enemy, use wisely.

Duration: unknown
Developer: Derelikt Games

Play Here
Also available on Game Tako
Ballad of Lost Heroes

Another great project from Golden Sands Studio. You’re an amnesiac character called Adam, who teams up with a thief called Sara to find out what you’d written in a journal you were carrying. Along the way you pick up other people and fight monsters and find out who exactly you are, and what you were doing in this fun rpg. My favorite part is, SPOILER, a certain mini-quest where you get to play in an apocalyptic version of Riyadh, with a great message included.

Duration: 2 hours
Developer: Golden Sands Studio

Play Here
Other games: The Mighty Abo K7l (episode 1-3), The Adventures of Mr. Long Legs, Theifstache Crystal of Wonders.
Reunion اللقاء

Brilliant, brilliant concept, graphics and execution with quite an important message. I can’t explain much to not give anything away, but you most definitely will not regret playing the game. In the beginning, I thought I was hearing my own heartbeat, but then I realized the sound was coming from the game. My only regret is I wish there was a longer storyline, or a sequel, or something so I could play more. Or maybe, cough hint cough, a point-and-click game in the same style? Tester’s tip: Headphones are strongly recommended.

Duration: 5 minutes not including attempts
Developer: Hako Games

Play Here
Also available on Google Play, App Store.
Other games: Mulled
Himma

Another young’un designed this one. Play a portly man trying to transport wood from a truck to his empty lot and picking up free bricks along the way, all the while dodging snails in overalls and very deadly open manholes. Gameplay is easy for this one, you move by tilting your device.

Duration: We were too busy yelling at the snails to set a timer. Woops.
Developer: Omar Balfaqih

Play Here
Available on Google Play
Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Batuta

The game’s main characters are a brother-sister treasure-hunting team. They embark on an exciting adventure around the Middle East on the famous Muslim explorer Ibn Batuta’s trail. The game offers a local lens on Arab identity and history all the while being fun to play.

Developer: Ahmed Jadallah (Semanoor)

Available on Google Play, App Store

Other notable mentions: Lima and Ripo, by Sara MD, and Alien Adventure, by 4D Team.

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