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If You Could Create a Game About South Africa…

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There is no question that we live in a beautiful country, but it’s also one that can be extremely frustrating. I promised myself that I would not delve into politics, but I think many reading this sentence will agree; South Africa can be an equal mixture of stunning scenery and crushing social realities. If you have been lucky to have been at a recent (non-alcoholic) braai, or even stayed safe (because of Covid) and merely chatted with a friend via Social Media, you’ve probably been following the recent saga with our former President. Most of us are either talking about his jail sentence, while the rest of us are wondering about when we can get the Covid vaccine.

However, it’s left me wondering what would a game about South Africa look like?

I know we have had South African characters featured in games over the years, from Far Cry 2 – where South African mercenaries were the bad guys. I could be wrong but there is even a South African character in Titanfall 2 (and Apex Legends?). Ubisoft love to use South African voice actors or even British actors with atrocious “Sef Efriken” accents; I hate to break it to you guys, but the South African accent is a hard one to fake.

But I was wondering if you could design a game… that was quintessential South African what would it be like? 

I suppose the easiest one would be a government simulation game (almost similar to Tropico), where you’re a rising star in the ruling party and you have to climb the ranks, build support and then when you’re ready to run the country, you’re left to either be a good president, fighting corruption, or an eager contributor to an offshore slush fund (presumably hosted in the UAE) – with a few buddies you’ve made in Russia, India or elsewhere.

Another one I was thinking about would be a simple city simulation game where you’re allocated a small amount of electricity, and you have to keep your city’s economy and businesses alive, the citizens happy, while also dealing with load-shedding and constant service delivery protests.

Obviously, there’s also the inevitable Grand Theft Auto, Mafia or Yakuza clone, where you’re a wannabe criminal, rising in a criminal syndicate and as your power grows, you can invest in taxi organisations, pay off police members, or even become the head of a syndicate. I would love to see a game that recreates parts of Johannesburg or even parts of Cape Town. If only to shout at my TV “That’s LONG STREET” or “I know that shop from Newtown” or “Wait, a second, that’s Koeberg Road…”.

But then, I was also thinking about games that are not as serious, like a braai (barbeque) game. One where you must host the perfect braai, keep up with ridiculous demands from friends who insist on the strangest things to throw on the coals, from eggplant (shudder) to their uncle’s homemade premium beef sausages or that one guy who comes late to the braai, and then wants to put his chicken on the coals.

Or… what about a video game where you’re just a minibus taxi driver, and you have to navigate the streets, deal with hostile drivers, traffic officers but have enough in the cash box at the end of the day to upgrade your taxi. Yes, that sounds like a bad clone of Crazy Taxi. But, just imagine it, “Mowbray, Kep Town!!!

What stereotypical South African games can you guys think of? And yes… the ultimate shower simulator is not off-limits (giggles).

Last Updated: July 12, 2021

17 Comments

  1. A Crazy Taxi style game sounds pretty cool actually 😛
    Just put some Carmageddon in there to make it more realistic.

    Reply

    • justlikemo

      July 12, 2021 at 06:29

      gta – hitman spin to it

      Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      July 12, 2021 at 09:20

      lol, you get points for destroying the cars of your fellow motorists? Yeah, I think that would be a bit too realistic!!!

      Reply

  2. Yozzie

    July 12, 2021 at 05:52

    I would make a Looter Shooter game based in SA

    Reply

    • HvR

      July 12, 2021 at 06:22

      So KZN Riot simulator.

      Just saw a video of a guy who unlocked the new meta: you do not grab a the 60″ TV and run away with it in your hands or on a trolley. You hijack the forklift and drive down the road with a whole pallet of TVs.

      Reply

      • Mandalorian Jim

        July 12, 2021 at 09:17

        I saw that vid, and it’s one of those things where you can’t even get angry at, it’s just a case of “that dude… just hijaked a forklift….” with a heavy dose of disbelief.

        Reply

      • Mabenito

        July 13, 2021 at 04:59

        Rampage Mod

        Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      July 12, 2021 at 09:14

      Ok, that should definitely have been on my list. A literal “looter shooter” but one of those top down, isometric action games where you’re just running around looting things. Wasn’t that basically the premise of State of Emergency? But, I don’t think you could loot shops…

      https://media1.giphy.com/media/birpHantyYf1C/giphy.gif

      Reply

  3. HvR

    July 12, 2021 at 07:05

    Prison Architect DLC: Estcourt vir Zuma

    Reply

  4. Mandalorian Jim

    July 12, 2021 at 09:19

    I remember Police Story from back in the day, but I think a SAPS version would be a bit sad. You’re a lone policeman, one of the few good ones left, and you’re trying your hardest to do the right thing, but everyone around you is probably compromised.

    That would make a good TV show though, a bit like the Shield, but the flip-side of it.

    Reply

    • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

      July 28, 2021 at 04:57

      That’s probably true for a few of our cops.

      Reply

  5. Krabby Paddy

    July 12, 2021 at 07:29

    A Forza Horizon game.

    Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      July 12, 2021 at 09:15

      Like the one, they made about Australia? Yeah, I could get behind that, there’s so much variety in scenery that I think a South African-based Forza would actually be perfect.

      Reply

      • Krabby Paddy

        July 12, 2021 at 09:25

        Exactly my thinking. Interested to see what they do with next one based in Mexico. Looks promising.

        Reply

      • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

        July 28, 2021 at 04:56

        And the new feature: Random cars in your garage get stolen when you’re not home.

        Reply

  6. Original Heretic

    July 12, 2021 at 10:59

    Alien: Isolation type game.
    But instead of a xenomorph, it’s Julius Malema.

    Reply

    • Mandalorian Jim

      July 12, 2021 at 11:20

      So a bit like Bad Neighbour but instead, he’s trying to serve you “land appropriation without compensation” papers? That would be one freaky game…

      Reply

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