In the Highway Code, there is one unstated fact â that Kenyan roads have owners. Now one game illustrates what a thrill it can be driving in Kenya, writes FREDRICK OBURA
Kenyaâs matatu industry in Nairobi is liked and loathed in equal measure by the city residents.
The driversâ mastery of panya routes, and their disregard for other motorists in smaller vehicles such as Vitz makes matatus popular to people keen on avoiding the heavy traffic jams.
To the tame, the story of Kenyan roads and the unruly matatu culture read more or less like fiction.
And now, a new racing game (Ma3Racer) developed by Planet Rackus â Nairobiâs newest game development company â brings to the world the thrills and dangers of driving on city roads, quite literally.
The game highlights in graphic detail the tricks behind the matatu driving madness from the comfort of a mobile phone.
The Ma3Racer is a free-to-play game downloadable from Nokiaâs Ovistore. It allows one to test his or her driving skills on the busiest, and roughest Nairobi roads â collecting points at each dexterous manoeuvre.
"Before you start playing the game, you have to choose the kind of matatu you want to drive," says Mwaura Kirore, the Ma3Racer founder.
"A gamerâs skills would be tested on how he or she navigates through the cityâs roads avoiding various obstacles on the highway to reach a specific destination."
There are many obstacles on the road, for instance pedestrian crossings, roadblocks, stationary vehicles and cars being driven on the wrong side of the road.
"The more you avoid the obstacles to get passengers to destination safe and sound, the more you collect money/points," he says.
Other obstacles such as handcarts, the motorcycle riders popularly known as boda boda, among others would test driving skills of a gamer in reaching destination safely.