Today, kids are often caught up with video games, computers and television. In our community in Quezon City, I seldom see children playing the games I used to play when I was a kid — tumbang preso, luksong tinik, patintero. These games are part of the Filipino heritage that’s slowly fading away from our awareness. Recently, I met a group of Pinoys passionate to promote Filipino culture who came up with idea of creating a Pinoy game now available for download in iTunes and Android Market.
The game is called Sipa: Street Hacky Sack. This development comes at a time when smartphone and tablet users are growing. Although one will find apps that has a touch of Filipino, I have yet to discover a true-blue Filipino app game in the iOS and Android marketplace. Sipa is the country’s national game, also known as Sepak Takraw. But the more popular version that children play uses a metal washer to kick instead of a ball. The flat disc-shaped metal with a hole in the middle is decorated with straws. The goal is to kick it several times without touching the ground to get the highest score and win.
Team Butchukoy, the group behind the digital version of Sipa are obviously sentimental but nationalistic at the same time. Aside from promoting the game and giving everyone a glimpse of how much fun their childhood was playing Sipa, they also wanted to promote the beauty of the Philippines. When playing the game, one will notice famous landmarks in the country as the background. It’s like the Philippines is the character’s playground. The Rizal Park can be seen on the first level. As the game progresses and the next level is unlocked, a new place is introduced. For now, Quiapo, Mt. Pulag and UP Diliman are also featured in the game. With the wordwide reach of iTunes and Android devices, the goal of promoting the Filipino culture and the Philippines is within reach.
I had the chance to play the game at the launch in Makati and I have to say that the game is addicting. It has cool illustration and a storyline that has moral values. Team Butchukoy did a great job taking advantage of accelerometer which some of the popular games did not take advatage of. This feature made the game more challenging, more exciting. Cool! This is a breakthrough for Pinoy gaming development. Kudos to the developers!
The game is available for download on iTunes and Android for only $0.99. Too bad I can’t continue playing it because the Android-powered device I’m using is not compatible with it. How I wish I still have my old iPhone with me. If you have one, or an iPad or iPod Touch, I actually have a special treat for you if you are one of my lucky reader. I’m giving away a free Sipa from iTunes courtesy of Team Butchukoy.
There are two (2) ways to join:
I want to play Sipa — Street Hacky Sack on my iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch. Download the game now on iTunes or join @The City Roamer’s @Sipa: Street Hacky Sack game giveaway
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