If you count yourself among the many jaded South Africans fed up with the current state of the country, particularly in regard to load shedding, there’s a good chance you’ve had thoughts along the lines of “How hard can it be to run a country?”
We’ve all had similar thoughts when plunged into load-shedding darkness. If you think you can do better than Cyril – or maybe you’re just looking to kill a few minutes before your power goes out – prove it in Eskommando, a new browser-based game from SA’s very own Scrolla.Africa.
Show Cyril how easy it is
In Eskommando, players take control of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and you only have one goal – keep the lights on. To do that, you’ll need to collect the yellow ‘solar sun’ tokens while avoiding the red ‘power trip’ tokens (obviously) as Cyril jumps between buildings. We like to think of this as him ‘running’ the country.
The sun tokens add 10 points to your score, keeps the light bulb in the top left corner burning, and the grid stability metre full. The power trip tokens will knock out a sizeable chunk of available power and dim the lights, making it harder to keep going – something we’re all too familiar with. Let the power metre drop too low or miss a jump and it’s game over.
If you’re on a particularly good run, keep your eyes open for the yellow construction helmet power-up. One drops when you reach 100 points with more potentially dropping as you progress. Full disclosure – we haven’t lasted long enough to find out when they drop.
A successful pickup sees Cyril donning a yellow high-vis jacket and hard hat indicating you’re doing well. It also awards you 99 extra points and some brief immunity from those dreaded power trips.
Bing bong, keep the lights on
The control scheme, like everything else about the game, is terribly simple. Press a button, any button, or tap the screen if you’re on mobile, to jump – that’s it. You don’t need to worry about ducking or holding your chosen jump button for variable jumps.
While it was originally created for a desktop browser, the game runs within pretty much any web browser, meaning you can play it on mobile as well. True to Scrolla’s model, the game uses low-res images so it won’t eat through your mobile data.
In fact, once you’ve loaded up the game for the first time, it will be cached on your device and will run without the need for a constant internet connection. Until you reload the page or close the browser, anyway.
With The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom out, Eskommando might have some stiff competition for Game of the Year this year. Still, it’s not a bad go of it for a two-week project from some local journalists.
Click or tap on the following link or type eskommando.scrolla.africa into your browser to try your luck at keeping the country’s lights on. Post your score on Twitter, WhatsApp, or Facebook when you inevitably fail, and tag @StuffSA and @ScrollaAfrica so we can keep track of the country’s potential next president.