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Gaming

US-based mobile game publisher GameMine partners with South Africa’s Vodacom Group for game distribution

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GameMine, a US-based mobile game publisher has partnered with South African’s Vodacom Group to provide a selection of its ad-free mobile games free of charge to Vodacom subscribers.

During the promotional trial period, millions of Vodacom subscribers will enjoy GameMine’s more than 175 titles spanning all major mobile gaming genres.

“GameMine recognizes the distinct value and importance of South Africa’s thriving mobile carrier market as an appropriate demographic region for our company’s product, as well as an early trend indicator for the African continent’s entire mobile industry,” says Daniel Starr, CEO of GameMine.

Vodacom is particularly a good partner for GameMine due to its over 65.2 million customers in South Africa in Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, and Lesotho and Uganda. The Group also recently acquired a stake in Kenya’s leading mobile telco Safaricom with  plans to across various markets. The partnership makes GameMine’s entry into Africa easy and even though the games are free during a promotional period will help it acquire permanent and paying users.

The partnership will significantly boost GameMine’s global subscriber base as well as its exposure within international mobile carrier markets while providing Vodacom’s South African iPhone and Android users with access to GameMine’s best-in-class mobile games, all of which are being provided in a fully-unlocked, ad-free manner.

According to Nyimpini Mabunda, Chief Officer Consumer Business Unit,””Vodacom is excited to have partnered with GameMine in the MegYourDay promotion. MegYourDay is the product of numerous conversations with customers, and really listening to what they’re wanting as added value for being part of the Vodacom family.”

New mobile game dubbed Ma3Park Driving launches

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Kenoobi Games has launched “Ma3Park Driving Game” for Android and Web involving a player driving a Matatu (A 14 seater van popular in Kenya) through different barriers until they park it Matatu safely. The game has a total of 12 levels and the higher the level the difficulty  the game becomes.

The player has 3 crash limits, meaning they are allowed to hit obstacles by accident only thrice. When the crash limits are depleted, the game is over and a transport tip from one of the game partners appears to educate the player on Road Safety. During this point, the player is given an option to retry the level.

On the top right of the game screen, there is a parking state indicator to show the player how close he/she is from parking correctly. A red light indicates wrong parking, orange light indicates near parking spot and a green light indicates correct parking. When the player successfully parks the matatu within the available crash limits, the next level is unlocked. The player is also given stars in relation to the crash limits remaining. The higher the number of stars the more careful the driver/player.

On mobile, the player uses on screen controls to drive the matatu. The on screen controls include a joystick for the steering wheel for turning left & right, an accelerator pedal for moving forward and a brake pedal for stop or reverse. On PC the player uses the arrow keys to drive forward, backward, left and right respectively.

The system requirements for the Android version are; minimum device storage of 4MB, Android 4.0 & up. For the web version requires an HTML 5 enabled browser.

Kenoobi Games is a subsidiary brand of Kenoobi Group, an entertaining and educational games creator. It has no affiliation with Ma3Route.

 

The unbelievable growth in the sport betting industry in Kenya.

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The desire for gambling in Africa is huge, and governments across the continent are beginning to realize. Sports betting is the second-largest after Casino gambling, comprising 14% of total gross gambling revenues, up from 13% in 2013. It includes fixed-odds bookmaking and pari-mutuel betting on football and other sports events. This is the only category where online betting is permitted.

Growth in gambling:

As the most advanced market in Africa, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has comprehensively researched. Another indicator that betting extract is big in Kenya is the marvellous growth companies in that industry are experiencing and the kind of investment they are attracting. For example Sportpesa website was registered in 2012 and has grown to the top 4th most visited website in Kenya behind Standard media, Nation and Jumia with a fraction marketing that Jumia spends.

The figures highlight a population that is increasingly demonstrating a propensity to gamble and it is reasonable to have positive expectations about the rest of Africa based on the company’s findings. PwC’s report recorded gross gambling revenue jumped by 57.6% in 2014, more than three times the 18.5% rise in 2013, in large part reflecting wagering associated with the FIFA World Cup held in Brazil during June and July 2014. An 18% increase in the number of operational bookmaker outlets also contributed to the 2014 increase, expect sports betting to overtake horseracing in 2017 and to account for 57% of the market in 2019, compared with 46% in 2014 and only 18% in 2010. And stated that there is still huge potential for growth across all verticals in both the land-based and online environments.

Incredible market for gaming in Kenya:

Kenya has inconceivable probable as a Gaming market. Regulation is vital to its future and companies should strongly consider it as a serious area for future investment. The increased penetration of mobile offers a few challenges but the rewards will be greater should you be successful.

Challenges for associates in Africa:

In both Kenya and South Africa, all marketing campaigns and adverts have to be approved by the relevant gambling boards if they are to appear outside of a licensed betting venue. This is a challenge for affiliates but it can also be seen as a benefit. With all marketing activities so carefully monitored, this increased barrier to entry can be an advantage in preventing an over saturated affiliate market.

The bottom line is that the hunger for sports betting is growing day by day, the punters want access to it, and the potential revenue is gigantic. But, whether supplier, operator or affiliate, don’t underestimate the importance of having local insight, experience and understanding. We have seen many big name, international businesses struggle to get the results they expected because their Gaming products were not customised to the right audience.

Guardian caution on Radicalisation of Teens Through Gaming.

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Parents tend to approach video games like junk food: games are fine in moderation but ultimately they are an evil temptation that’s more bad than good. Video games are a unique form of entertainment because they encourage players to become a part of the game’s script.

Video games have been known to have positive impact on children, some video games are brain teasers. They can teach kids to learn how to follow instructions, better motor skills, accuracy, pattern recognition, strategy, memory, hand-eye coordination and spatial skills, others help with logic and problem solving. Games like farmvile can teach planning and resource management.

Gaming has its dark side too. Too much of it might get your child socially isolated, they can easily confuse reality versus fantasy and be insensitive to extreme violence. Most games, aggressive, vengeance and violent behaviour are rewarded and this feelings extend even after the game is over, unfortunately terrorist also know that and they have designed games to radicalize children and young adults.

Hezbollah developed a game called Special Forces and Special Forces 2. This is a series of games. It’s a first shooter game like call of duty and simulates military missions against Israeli soldiers. The game is in English, Arabic and Farsi and you will be surprised to find that it offers mental and personal training for the players, this is not just a game but a radicalization tool.

The global Islamic Media front released “night of Bush Capturing” in 2006. This is a hunting game for players to hunt down and kill former American President George W. Bush. Players are prompted to advance through six missions against soldiers who look like Bush, followed by a seventh mission against a character that looks like the president that takes place in a desert-like region. During the game, jihadist songs are played in the background.

The basic rules to buying a game for your child is to draw a line between violent games and non-violent games. Check the ratings and reviews online, watch out for sex themed games, titles, cover photos, what kind of mental engagement does the game offer, what is your child’s maturity level and does the game offer higher levels that might not be suitable. All in all, ensure you are monitoring your child, the gaming industry is not.

Tips on Managing Teen Media Consumption

Because of the popularity of video games, completely eliminating them from your child’s life might be difficult. However, you can decrease the negative impact that they have on your child. Here are a few tips:

  • Know the rating of the video games your child plays.
  • Do not install video game equipment in your child’s bedroom.
  • Set limits on how often and how long your child is allowed to play video games.
  • Monitor all of your child’s media consumption—video games, movies, and the Internet.
  • Supervise your child’s Internet use—there are now many “video games” available for playing online.
  • Take the time to discuss with your children the games they are playing or other media they are watching. Ask your children how they feel about what they observe in these video games, or movies. This is an opportunity to share your feelings and grow closer with your child.
  • Share with other parent’s information about certain games or ideas for helping each other in parenting.

 

 

Asus Sets Up Tournament for Nairobi’s Best Gamers

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Device manufacturer Asus has set up a gaming tournament in Nairobi Saturday April 8th at Sarit Centre to bring Nairobi’s top gaming enthusiasts together.

Dubbed the Asus Republic of Gamers Tournament, the event will start at 11 am and will see gamers compete against each other playing games such as Call Of Duty; Modern Warfare 3.

Players will be required to join teams such as Ninja clan, Plus Ultra gaming, Bandits among others to fight terrorists who have invaded a country with the most sophisticated weapons on earth.

In the game, the terrorists are ruthless, inhumane with one goal in mind total destruction of anything and anyone who crosses their path. As a gamer, you have being recalled and selected to join an elite squad to stop the terrorists from taking control of the city. Your primary weapon the M4, Air support depending on level we have the majestic B2 bomber or the Apache helicopter, that’s enough air power to wipe out an entire country. You need to watch out for mines and the lone ranger snipers hidden on the roof top.

Team work is essential as you navigate the torturous street, No man is left behind. Like Pegasus the winked horse in greek mythology, this task requires wisdom, knowledge, skill and lots of firepower. Soldier this is your call of duty, service to your country. Kill as many terrorists as you can to unlock new levels and get as many rewards as you can to unlock a diverse range of abilities.

Asus will also be showcasing its latest Asus Republic of Gamers hardware which are pretty awesome as they enhance your gaming experience, battles are displayed on screen in high definition and the bass sound is out of this world.

Like the Facebook page ASUSROG.KE for more.

It’s a fun filled day so leave the suit behind put on that coloured T-shirt you so love and join the republic.

If you can’t play but can dance, then there is room for you. Come show us your dance moves. Turn, twist hop in our dancing competition for awesome giveaways.

Halloween comes early for us gamers, do you have that comic gear you have being dying to try out? We have a cosplay fashion show.

The hunt is on.

Entry is Free, like our Facebook page here for more updates.

 

Developing African mobile games that pack a global punch-Gamsole

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By Abiola Olaniran, founder of Gamsole

It’s a scenario many of us who live in or have visited Africa have experienced: being stopped by a traffic officer and asked for a bribe. Now, imagine playing a game on your mobile phone; instead of cruising through the streets of New York, you find yourself on an African street having to navigate that same familiar scenario to advance to the next level.

Africa has many unique stories to tell. With the GSM Association predicting that 80% of sub-Saharan Africa will have access to mobile phones in the next five years, these stories are coming to life in the form of mobile gaming. As a result, the African mobile gaming industry is taking off and is a new, exciting space for investors to get involved.

Telling uniquely African stories

For any interesting game, the most important element is the storytelling. Through the story you can capture the player’s imagination and engage with them. So it makes sense to find the stories that are unique to the continent and to which African citizens can relate. And this goes further than the storyline itself, to encompass all the “arts” elements of a mobile game. An African game has its own style, from the graphics used, to the sound and music.

It’s no surprise that this particular ‘African’ style goes hand in hand with increased uptake of home-grown mobile games across Africa. But what about making the leap across the ocean to reach global gamers?

Crossing mobile gaming borders

In the same way that Japanese video game company, Nintendo, has become the world’s largest video game company by revenue, there is no geographical limit to high-quality games. We’ve also seen how Nollywood movies have attracted an audience beyond Nigeria’s borders, despite their uniquely Nigerian storytelling.

So, when it comes to creating games for a universal audience, you need to tell stories that are African, but are still relatable to a wider audience.

Mulitple platforms a useful step across the ocean

With that essential foundation, it’s equally important to think about developing games across platforms to increase market and reach. If you confine yourself to one platform, you lose the audience using other platforms. This is a particularly important consideration given that different markets may favour alternative mobile platforms. By making your game available across the board, more people are likely to play it, thus increasing your revenue potential. The good news is that with modern technology, it’s easy to develop a game on one platform and port it across to other platforms.

Gaining traction for your games

The greater challenge is to develop games that people want to play, and market them effectively. The majority of users enjoy “casual” games like Candy Crush that are simple to play on their mobile phones, while a smaller segment of more serious gamers enjoy more complex games.

When it comes to marketing, while digital marketing tools like Facebook,admob advertising e.tc  are a useful marketing tool, it can be expensive for new developers. An effective alternative is to get your game featured on the mobile platform you’re operating on. Each platform has certain criteria in place to maintain the quality of apps featured, which means that when your game is featured users are likely to take notice.

African gaming ripe for the picking

With everything from compelling storylines and fun gameplays, to having universal platforms on which to develop and using these platforms to market across borders, the potential of African mobile gaming is enormous. The African mobile gaming market is also huge, and yet it hasn’t reached saturation point; it’s ripe for the investment picking.

Simultaneously, the continent has made great leaps when it comes to connectivity through the telecos. As a result, most African citizens now have some form of currency on their phones, which can be use to monetise mobile games/apps. This means mobile money cracks the monetisation puzzle within the gaming market. Not only does that make African mobile gaming an attractive area for local and international investors, but it is also a model that can be extended to solving payment issues on other forms of apps.

Ready to take on the world

There is no question that African mobile games can compete with their international counterparts, and by all accounts already are. What is key to maintain and develop this competitive edge is to be dedicated to creating high quality content that is relevant and compelling. By setting up this foundation now, the African gaming community both encourages future generations of local gamers, and contributes to the growth of the industry as a whole.

Nigerian Abiola Olaniran is passionate about gaming and running his mobile game development business, Gamsole. He has twice been voted one of Forbes’ top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in Africa, and his games have achieved millions of downloads around the world. Gamsole has just released its latest game in collaboration with MTN Nigeria.

 

Rambo Launches GameMania, a Real Money Casino Mobile App in Kenya & it’s Fully Licensed

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Rambo Resource Ltd, a Kenyan firm fully licensed by the Betting Control and Licensing Board in Kenya, has launched GameMania, the first ever casino mobile application on Android phones for real money allowing smartphone users to enjoy online slots machines on the go for free or with no deposit bonuses.

The good guys at Rambo, say GameMania comes with Fruit Slots Machine, Big Wheel Spins and Baccarat and plays as a virtual casino where one gets to place their bets and achieve returns via the app which is integrated with M-Pesa for instant payments.

One kick the app has is the ability to allow players to top up or withdraw money for betting through M-Pesa  and is kind the first; beating sports betting sites as they only have mobile sites as Google and iOS have locked them out of the PlayStore and App Store.

It’s actually the first casino gambling app we have played with allowing gamblers to play in the local currency Kenyan Shillings.

“GameMania is the only online casino game for Kenyan shillings” said Peter Gitau Njau, the COO of GameMania, “and that makes it unique among other virtual coins or foreign currency cash casino apps”.

Njau assures us GameMania is licensed legally and,  “Players can totally trust us”, he added. To let you have a test drive, they give every new player 50 shillings as deposited fund which can be cashed out before they invest their own money and players can place as less as 1 shilling per bet.

Njau says GameMania did its beta runs for about one month, GameMania app is currently available for Android OS, owners of iOS devices and desktop computers can also play GameMania with mobile browsers.

Amazingly, Rambo has branches in Mombasa, Meru, Embu, Nakuru, Kisii, Athi River and Eldoret.

 

Unboxing & First Impressions | Wiko Ufeel Lite 4G LTE

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wiko1Wiko, the French-based phone manufacture has not given up on its promise of quality for less despite its low production cycles in Q1 and Q2 compared to its Chinese counterparts.

The Wiko Ufeel Lite 4G is one of the three recent devices the phone maker recently launched in the Kenyan market. Now available in leading stores across the country, the firm is betting on the youthful Kenyan consumer looking for affordable yet powerful dual SIM 4G devices allowing users to access the benefits of premium devices at low price points.

The Wiko Ufeel Lite is a 4G LTE Dual SIM available colors in the market are Lime, Slate, Chocolate, Rose Gold. It’s USB is OTG enabled meaning it can connect to another phone for charger or USB mouse, USB anything so you can turn it into anything if you have a USB connector.

Inside the box

Inside the box is the;

  • The Ufeel Lite phone
  • A micro USB
  • Ear phones
  • SIM card adapters
  • An adapter / Charger
  • Instruction manual and warranty

The phone has a removable battery with a safety lamination.  Wiko Ufeel Lite comes with customized Android OS 6.0 Marshmallow called Wiko OS and the major difference might be the clean UI with faster app access and the dead of the shortcut key or hotkey on Android OS. The phone has a Quad Core 1.3GHZ processor, a 2GB RAM and 16GB internal memory with an SD card of up to 64GB.

For photo lovers, the phone has an 8MP main camera and 5MP front camera and retails for just Kshs. 15,000.

Design & Display

Wiko Ufeel Lite has a shiny Karat Rose Gold back cover with rounded edges in Lime Green. At the back-center it has its main back camera at the top middle, followed by flash LED and a silver Wiko logo.  At the bottom there is allowing for the internal loudspeaker.

It’s rounded edges are beautiful, easy to grip and safe for your pockets. The bottom edge has a Micro USB port, the left edge has the volume rocker and power button while the top has headphone jack. The right edge is completely smooth.

Its top display has the front camera, receiver and a flash LED while on the bottom is a return button, home button and overview for background or recent tabs. The fingerprint sensor or button is just below the home button.

With a 5’’ IPS HD LCD display screen and a 1280 x 720 resolution, the Ufeel Lite images or videos are more visible and clear than on a non IPS screen. The Ufeel Lite has a solid clear background display than some of the third-party apps on its screen. This gives the user a see-through feel in both text and video thus a unique selling point to lovers of media consumption.

Wiko Ufeel Lite also got it right on a technology called On-Cell-it gives a user the ability to use the entire screen as the tech reduces the real estate between the glass and the dark side screen at the edges. We also noticed that the screen turns off totally when not in use to give users more juice to consumer their content. We will try it out on videos and photos for more into this. The display has some light even on zero brightness and the screen seems to adjust the backlight to give users brighter videos or text.

Features, OS & Perfomance

The Ufeel Lite has a 64 bit 1.3GHz 4core processor running on a 2GB RAM. It runs the latest Android 6.0 Marshmallow and is an LTE 4G smartphone.

With 4G and the 2GB RAM, the phone’s 64 bit processor can handle large amounts of information with ease allowing for users to play games, multitask and download their favorite movies at full speed. The 16GB is enough for storage of media files say around a whole series or five full length movies but you can still expand it to 64GB via micro SD.

Its 8MP main camera with a LED flash allows you to take clear photos in low light rooms and its 5MP front camera with flash is also a good addition for selfie lovers. Users can also use the professional mode to take great photos.

The phone has a metallic lining back cover for both beauty and durability. On software, the Wiko UI has a quick application launcher called My Launcher to help users customize their own experience and access their most used apps easily.

Its Phone Assist is for users to get assistance, say access the power saver, check notifications, optimize the phone, see their default apps, updates or the black list. On the display screen there is also a voice Phone Assist for a perfect control of all your applications. The My Apps section is a list of a user’s apps in and a panel on the right edge allowing for one to search for an app in alphabetical order. My Music gives music lovers a quicker access to music functions among others.

We have used the phone’s fingerprint sensor and it unlocks fast and users can register up to 5 different fingerprints for whatever they like. You can either use one or two hands for access to apps, music, work files or contacts. This is what we know for now.

Buy it here!

Key Specs

Network : 4G LTE
OS : Android 6.0 (Marshmallow)
Processor : Quad-Core 1.3 GHz, Cortex-A7
GPU : ARM®, Mali™ T720
SIM Card : 2 Micro SIM
Weight : 147g (with battery)
Battery : 2500 mAh Li-Po
Memory: 16 GB expandable to 64GB.
RAM : 2 GB
Display : 5”
Main camera: 8 MP
Flash : Yes
Front camera: 5 MP

Psycho 60 hosts a reality puzzle solving entertainment spot

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Sometimes it’s good to be entertained, but if you become a character in a game – everything changes. Your life takes another exciting angle. Psycho 60 has introduced entertainment rooms called ‘Escape Rooms’ meant to twist your life by becoming an actor in a real-life puzzle. In the Escape Rooms, “groups of people work together to solve a series of puzzles in order to escape the room. Instead of solving puzzles on a tablet or PC, players find themselves immersed in the game. They have only 60 minutes to find all the clues and solve all the puzzles. It is a fast paced, interactive, and real life experience.” Psycho 60 writes.

The concept is meant to enhance team building in companies and families because it’s people centered – you don’t have to play or touch puzzles on a display. “Escape rooms offer a challenging way for players to be part of the game. They are great for corporate team building exercises. It naturally forces people to work together towards a common goal. It is also great for kids too. They gain a sense of accomplishment while learning social skills and keeps them off their phones and video games. They actually have to look and talk to other people and the best part is that they love it.” Psycho adds.

The entertaining rooms

Currently, there are three entertaining rooms: Haunted, Infected, and Hostage. In Haunted, you are visiting a home for sale. The real estate agent abruptly leaves you locked in the kitchen. You soon find out the home is haunted and you need to find a protective amulet before the ghost takes you with them. In Infected, you are visiting your friend at the hospital where you become quarantined. Locked in the patient’s room, you must quickly find a way to escape before the deranged patient in the bathroom finds their way out and infects you all.

Lastly, is Hostage, the most challenging of the rooms. In a bank robbery gone bad, you are held hostage in the bank vault. Finding a way to contact the police is urgent as you don’t want the criminals to make a deadly example.

 

 

Game Jam competition to address water, sanitation and other issues | register here

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Those “What?” moments are becoming the daily norm in Africa following the creation of innovative solutions that tackle global inequality and crisis. Most tech startups in the country are for business albeit the imbalanced economic situation. The need to develop apps and websites for social good is inevitable since Africa has many underdeveloped countries. Somebody said that technology alone is never the solution. Technology by itself is confusing, breaks down, wears out, and provides little humanitarian relief.

Game Jam competition hosted by a consortium of five organizations; iHub, Upande, Deltares, FloodCom and The Barn is set to recognize some of the issues affecting Kenyans. The Game Jam is a 48-hour competition where participants work in teams to compete in developing serious games that address water, sanitation and hygiene challenges and issues. From the competition three best teams will receive cash prizes (each 2000 Euros/approx. Ksh. 220,000) and additional mentorship and support for a couple of months to enable them develop their innovations to market.

The competition will take place on Friday, 30th September (from 5:30pm) through to Sunday 2nd October (5:10pm)

Other social good innovations 

Just the other day techies started an initiative dubbed Adaptoys; the project adapts popular toys like remote-control cars and pitching machines, to allow people with physical disabilities to play with their families. They use voice activation systems, motion sensors and sip-and-puff assistive technology, to allow users with paralysis to control machines for a more active role in gameplay.

Last week, Mashable in collaboration with United Nations held a Social Good Summit which trended under the tag 2030NOW. The summit examined the impact of technology and new media on social good initiatives around the world. During the Social Good Summit, global citizens around the world unite to unlock the potential of technology to make the world a better place.

Register here

 

What makes a good online game?

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Online games have gained great popularity over the years as technology advances. From simply designed games that are accessible through mobile phones to more complex games that are accessed through personal computers.

A lot of casino games are now online. For example Mansion88 has a collection of casino games such as Baccarat, Dragon Tiger, Roulette, Blackjack and Sic Bo, classic games such as Online Poker,Keno and Lottery and M88 Sports , to allow sports lovers to predict and win their favorite teams either in the English Premier League, Italian Serie A, German’s Bundesliga, Spanish La Liga or the NBA giving them value for money.

As the days go by, people are embracing online games as a pass time activity more so the young generation which is more enlightened in matters pertaining to technology. It goes without saying that anyone below the age of thirty and who has had access to the internet or any other form of computer network has played an online game at some point or is still relishing the thrill that comes with consistently engaging themselves in the various gaming platforms.

Research shows that the average gamer plays for more than three hours a day which is a considerable amount of time. Different games have amassed different levels of popularity meaning there has to be an x factor that makes an online game more popular amongst others. Therefore it is a matter of importance to know what constitutes a good online game, what attracts players to a particular game and sustains their consistency in playing.

Uniqueness

A good online game must have something new to offer in the market. Creating a replica of games that have existed before does not appeal as much to people. Gamers want something new and refreshing something they are yet to experience before. The game has to possess new elements that have not been sighted in the market.

m88comElement of surprise

People always want to experience the rush of adrenaline through their veins. They do not want games that are predictable all through to the end. Therefore an online game should be rich in surprises. Repetition in the progress, events and sequence should at all costs be avoided. Incorporating surprises in the game can fetch more players and increase its popularity by a large margin. The level of tension created by the element of surprise should be balanced with relatively low and long periods being avoided.

High quality of components

Visual appeal, durability and functionality of the materials used to build the game contribute greatly to the perception of any online game. The game has to appeal to most senses in order to linger in the mind and create a desire to play again given the chance. Investing in the quality of the game not only builds the brand of the particular game in question but also keeps players from seeking out alternatives. The audience and their preferences are meant to be considered in order to know what needs to be incorporated in the game to make it as appealing as it can possibly be.

Rules

Every online game must have rules that dictate the demands on players. Some games are simple and easy to maneuver while others are complex and require special skills. Whatever the nature of the game is, the rules have to be consistent and comprehensible. These rules should be easily accessible at the beginning of the game to guide the player. A good game should be set in such a way that mastery is achievable if the rules are observed. The game should be set in unlockable levels that are more challenging as the player advances. Early termination from the game should not occur if the game is well structured and defined.

Chance of winning

People want to feel they are winners and this is one of the leading the factors that causes them to play the game more than once. A good game thus offers the player a probability of winning throughout the game. Competing with other players in a gaming community creates a sense of belonging in a virtual world and motivates players to consistently engage in the game in order to attain or maintain the top player position.

 

CCTV cameras & smart kiosks are vulnerable to cyber attacks

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Smart societies have their merits and demerits which are essential for a country’s growth. In Nairobi, CCTV cameras were installed in every major road connecting the city with other areas. Besides cameras, gamers have erected entertainment stalls that use high speed internet and high-tech systems. But these platforms do not just add value, fade in a dramatic thrill.

According to security experts, speed cameras used in cities and their supporting infrastructure can be hacked and malicious users could easily access these cameras and manipulate the data collected.

To add on that, ticket terminals in movie theaters, bike rental terminals, service kiosks in government organisations, booking and information terminals at airports, and passenger infotainment terminals in city taxis might all have a different appearance, but inside most of them are the same.

Each such terminal is either a Windows-based or an Android-based device. The main difference in comparison to ordinary devices is the special kiosk-mode software that runs on public terminals and serves as the user interface. This software gives the user easy access to specific features of the terminal whilst at the same time restricting access to other features of the device’s operating system, including launching a web browser and then virtual keyboard. Accessing these functions provides an attacker with numerous opportunities to compromise the system, as if he was in front of a PC. The research showed that almost any digital public kiosk contains one or multiple security weaknesses which allow an attacker to access hidden features of the OS.

Reported case

In one particular case, user interface of a terminal contained a web-link. The attacker only needed to tap on it in order to launch the browser and then – through the standard Help dialogue – launch a virtual keyboard. In another case – at an e-government service kiosk – the scenario required the user to touch the “print” button. After that, for several seconds the usual browser’s print dialogue window would be opened and, if quick enough, the attacker would tap the “change” [printing parameters] button to enable him to jump into the Help section. From there, they could open the control panel and launch the on-screen keyboard. As a result, the attacker gets all of the devices needed to enter information (the virtual keyboard and the mouse pointer) and can use the computer for their own mercenary purposes, e.g., to launch malware, get information on printed files, obtain the device’s administrator password, etc. And these are only a few weaknesses discovered by experts.

“Some public terminals we’ve investigated were processing very important information, such as user’s personal data, including credit card numbers and verified contacts (for instance, mobile phone numbers). Many of these terminals are connected with each other and with other networks. For an attacker they may be a very good surface for very different types of attacks – from simple hooliganism, to sophisticated intrusion into the network of the terminal owner. Moreover, we believe that in the future public digital kiosks will become more integrated in other city smart infrastructure, as they are a convenient way to interact with multiple services. Before this happens, vendors need to make sure that it is impossible to compromise terminals through the weaknesses we’ve discovered,” said Denis Makrushin, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.

Another part of the research was dedicated to cities speed control cameras. Using the Shodan search engine, researchers were able to identify multiple IP addresses belonging to such devices and openly accessible from the web: no passwords were in use and anyone would be able to see the footage from cameras and more. Researchers discovered that some tools used to control these cameras are also available to anyone on the web.

“In some cities, speed control camera systems track certain lines on the highway – a feature which could be easily turned off. So if an attacker needs to shut down the system at a certain location for a period of time, they would be able to do that. Considering that these cameras can be, and sometimes are, used for security and law enforcement purposes it is really easy to imagine how these vulnerabilities can assist in crimes like car theft and others. It is therefore really important to keep such networks protected at least from direct web access,” said Vladimir Dashchenko

 

Standard Chartered Bank Rolls Out of Mobile & Online Banking in Africa to Grow its Market Share

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AR2015_1130x780Standard Chartered Bank is bringing its newest mobile and online banking platform to 1 million clients across 8 African markets in a move to grow its market share.

The firm says its clients will enjoy a consistent online experience across laptops, tablets or mobile phones, and the convenience of banking from the location of their choice in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe in the first half of 2016.

The Bank also plans to launch fingerprint recognition technology in these markets later in the year.

“We’re bringing the best in mobile banking to Africa – consumers across the continent are increasingly affluent and tech-savvy and they want convenient access to their bank, wherever they happen to be,” said Karen Fawcett, Standard Chartered’s CEO for Retail Banking. “Africa is important to Standard Chartered and this launch is another demonstration of that.”

The says by early next year, it expects at least 35% of all client transactions to be done through online channels; significantly advancing the transformation of banking in Africa. The Bank last year announced it will invest $1.5bn in technology globally over three years.

Through Standard Chartered Mobile, clients can check balances, transfer money and pay bills securely, all through their smartphones. Standard Chartered is also upgrading its online banking platform in these eight markets so that clients can use a new self-service option for wealth management.

In Kenya and Nigeria, the bank also recently launched the Retail Workbench, a tablet-based sales-and-service tool that allows sales staff to open an account for a client in any location, approve a loan or issue credit cards online.

 

Remix Mini, the world’s first true Android PC set to launch in Kenya

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Remix Mini, the world’s first true Android PC, which was built to break down barriers to computing for people in emerging markets and throughout the continent is set to launch in Kenya in a few weeks.

Developed by Jide Technology which was founded in early 2014 by 3 ex-Google engineers to make productive Android computing accessible and affordable to people throughout the world, Remix Mini, the world’s first true Android PC last year and raised $1.6 million in funding on Kickstarter in 45 days, shipping almost 30,000 Mini PCs to 125+ countries, including Kenya.

Tawanda Michael Mahere, Emerging Markets Manager, Jide Technology said, “Over the last few months, we have set up retail channels in North American, Europe, Africa and Asia. We recently made the Mini available in South Africa and Nigeria and will soon launch it online in Kenya.”

The Mini runs Remix OS, a productivity-focused version of Android, also recently received the Best of MWC award from Android Authority at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.  The firm recently exhibitedat the international Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, CES 2016 and was named the Remix Mini one of the Best Gadgets of CES 2016.

Now set for a Kenya launch, the firm expects that the affordable Android PC, focused on productivity with access to the entire ecosystem of 2 million+ Android apps is the best for both individual consumers and entreprises.

 

 

Oppo N3 | Unboxing & First Impressions

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ninPackaging

The phone comes in excellent packaging and looks more like a great Christmas present wrapped in extreme quality-glossy white packaging. We like that it’s Inside the box, is the phone, earphones, a Micro USB cable, a VOOC Flash Charge mini, an O-Click 2.0 camera prop, a SIM ejector tool and an instruction manual, user documentation, warrant book and a quick guide.

Introduction

You’ve probably heard of the smartphone company OPPO. Today, we had the priviledge of laying our hands on the OPPO N3, a 59,990 high-end aluminuim lithium alloy smartphone running on ColorOS, a customized version of Android 4.4 Kitkat with the world’s first motorized rotating camera. And we think it’s worth the price.

The 2GB RAM, Oppo N3 is powered by a 2.3 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Quad-core processor with an Adreno 330 GPU and has a 5.5 inch multi-touch capacitive screen. It has 32GB memory and is a dual SIM smart phone.

nano1Camera and connectivity

It’s 16-megapixel OmniVision camera has a dual-mode LED Flash and uses Schneider Kreuznach lens. It also has a motorized rotating camera to either take real photo’s or selfie’s. Users can control the camera using either touching tit, using on-screen gestures or the O-Click 2.0 Bluetooth Remote Control for both photos and videos.

The phone uses a Micro-SIM Card and Nano-SIM Card and also supports 4.0 Bluetooth, Wi-Fi  and also has NFC

Battery

The phone’s 3000 mAh battery cannot be removed from the device but users need not do so because the phone has one of the best battery life in the market lasting nearly 48 hours on voice and data use. With its  VOOC technology, 75% of the battery can charge in just 30 minutes of charge while a five minute charge gives you two full hours of phone use.

nanoKey Specs

OS:ColorOS, based on Android 4.4

Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 Quad-core 2.3 GHz

RAM:2 GB

Storage:32 GB (Support TF card)

Battery:3000 mAh Li-Po battery with VOOC Flash Charge (un-removable)

Camera:16-megapixel OmniVision OV16825 f/2.2

Display:5.5 inches

Weight: 192 grams.

nano4

CEO Weekends: Best 5 Game Apps

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slotomaniaGaming has been highly entertaining ever since the arrival of the desktop versions of the various games. Later, the smartphone games started entertaining commuters, and the games were trimmed to suit the needs of the smartphone gamers to pass on their free time and to carry out their entertainment. Also, it has to be taken into note that the games are varied for the iOS and Android users. Here are the some of the popular free iPad games available in the market.

Monument Valley

This is a puzzle game that inspires from the optical illusions, and the MC Escher Prints shadow too can be seen. The players need to guide Princess Ida through the weird monuments and structures. The players are interested in the touch controls and can be used to rotate the screen, and they manipulate the environment. The players have a responsibility to guide the princess through the safe path, and the gamers have to navigate through the optical illusions which are seemingly impossible to move through.

Plants vs. Zombies 2

The sequel to the plants vs. zombies is this game, and this has been anticipated for long by the players. The solid tower defense mechanics and the cute graphics combo make this game more fantastic. The new plants like the lightning Reed and the bloomerang. There are also new zombies, like the chicken wranglers and the pirates. The players can find themselves in the captivating scenes of Egypt, Wild West, Piracy, and with new scenarios come the new challenges.

Quiz Up

This is a trivia game, and with the more polished features like the interface the lots of trivia questions are thrown up. The gamers can enjoy the set up of diverse questions and it can be played up with the rest of the players across the world. The players can make a choice of the category to be played, and you can find the app finding partners for you instantly. The players are given the score based on how they answer the questions that have multiple choices. The rounds can be ultimately entertaining, as they are fun and furious.  The players can also find this game helping them to get involved in the chats discussing the questions and making friends quickly.

World of Tanks Blitz

The war gaming combat MMO goes mobile in this game. This game for the iOS comes for free, and you can see that this is a version that is minimized from the desktop version to suit the smartphones. The players need to take control over the Russians, Americans, and Germans. You can engage in the 7 vs. 7 multiplayer game modes. There are lots of maps available and modeling of shell physics and the performance of the tank is also done. The game controls are available as intuitive and meant to enhance the user experience on the touch screens.

Slotomania

This free iPad slots app is enjoyed by millions of people across the world, and there are lots of features that make the players enjoy this online slot game. The players never get bored of the Slotomania slot games, as there are new games updated more often. The gamers can also enjoy the promotions and offers. The points you have earned can be sent as the free gifts to the friends who also play this game. The graphics and sound are excellent and bright. Over 90 slot games are available in Slotomania, and players can enjoy free rounds, spins, and gifts frequently. The game assures continued excitement from all the corners of the world regardless of the time frame.

 

 

Gamurs wants to be a ‘Facebook for Gamers’

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hamursJust recently launched in BETA, Gamurs is promising to be the Ultimate Gaming Social Network for gamers across the world by helping passionate gamers share their content, meet likeminded players, and keep up to date with all their games, in one site.

After Twitch, GAMURS is launching to be the most powerful, dedicated platform for gamers to freely engage with each other, share games and victories online like Facebook has been for baby photo’s!

Gamurs allows users to integrate their PSN, Xbox Live and Steam accounts to create the ultimate gaming profile and won’t need to sign up on anyother gaming accounts anymore.

The ‘Facebook for gamers’ says it has thousands of games in its game database, so users can share their gaming experience with as many people as they want and as well connect to whoever is playing that game and share their opinion instantly. Gamurs is also promising unparalleled focus on content allowing users to put Youtube, Twitch, Steam, PSN, Xbox Live and daily news into one and they can share it with friends.

Users can also access any data about any game or event happening at the moment and they can instantly join in and for free. As a gamer, one can also show their trophies, achievements and gamerpoints to their friends and family. Sign up and please give them feedback.

Gamurs is based in Sydney Australia.

Nigeria’s SmileAndTalk Media Unveils New Mobile Game App

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Nigerian Mobile Media Company, SmileAndTalk.com, today announced the release of a second Mobile Game through their subsidiary, SmileAndGame.com.

The Game, titled “The Adventures of the Nigerian Ninja: Attack on Fantasy Island” is a fast paced adventure game that shows a Nigerian Ninja running through obstacles in search of Naira Coins and Jewels.  The purpose of the game is to run as far as possible before succumbing to the obstacles.

A Spokesperson for Smile and Talk Meda said “After the success of our maiden game, ‘Chike the Problem Child’ we felt the pressure to deliver an equally addictive app, and we believe with this new game, we have achieved just that!”.  The game is currently only available for IOS devices but there are currently plans to launch an android version.

Smile & Talk Media Releases New Mobile Game

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Chike the problem child screenshotNigerian Online Mobile Media Company, Smileandtalk, has announced the release of a new African Mobile Game through their subsidiary, Smileandgame.

Titled “Chike the Problem Child: Target Practice at the Fish Market”, the game aims to catapult at the market goers complete with African sounds and imagery. Gamers get points every time they hit the target.  The game is visually appealing with great African Music. The game is introduced for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users.

Speaking on this new app release, Emeka Onodugo, Founder at Smile and Talk said “We are very excited to bring a game to the App store that portrays African sounds and imagery.  It is important that the next generation of developers and creators see many examples of African Games in order to inspire them to reach for the stars.”

Based in Nigeria and USA, Smile and Talk’s three primary products are Smileandtalk.com -an African Entertainment TV, Smileandmobile.com -a directory for African Tech Startups and Smileandgame.com an African Gaming company.

The game, built for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch has an engaging and easy-to-use interface, an animated African graphics, plays African music and fun sound effects, has simple touch screen and promotes hand-eye coordination.

 

 

 

 

Microsoft Buys Minecraft Maker Mojang for $2.5 Billion

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mojang_wallpaper_by_94lorenz-d55pso6After rumours last week about a possible acquisition of Mojang by Microsoft, the firms today confirmed the rumours announcing Microsoft has spent $2.5 billion to Mojang.

Mojang, the Stockholm-based game developer behind the “Minecraft” brand will join Microsoft Studios to build on names like “Halo,” “Forza,” “Fable” and more for both their fans.

“Gaming is a top activity spanning devices, from PCs and consoles to tablets and mobile, with billions of hours spent each year,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Minecraft is more than a great game franchise – it is an open world platform, driven by a vibrant community we care deeply about, and rich with new opportunities for that community and for Microsoft.”

“Minecraft” is one of the most popular video games in history, and has over 100 million downloads, on PC alone. It’s also one of the most popular online game on Xbox, and the top paid app for iOS and Android in the US. The “Minecraft” gamers consist of over 2 billion hours played on Xbox 360 alone in the past two years.

Microsoft is also buying Minecraft’s loyal fans who are nearly 90 percent of paid customers on the PC.

“The ‘Minecraft’ players have taken the game and turned it into something that surpassed all of our expectations. The acquisition by Microsoft brings a new chapter to the incredible story of ‘Minecraft,'” said Carl Manneh, CEO, Mojang. “As the founders move on to start new projects, we believe the high level of creativity from the community will continue the game’s success far into the future.”

Microsoft plans to continue to make “Minecraft” available across all the platforms on which it is available today: PC, iOS, Android, Xbox and PlayStation.