Zumagotchi – the president in your pocket

At last, a game where you can control President Jacob Zuma has been made. It took long enough.

Titled Zumagotchi, the Tamagotchi-style game allows you to “tend to the needs of a miniaturised, totally inept pseudo-leader”. You have to keep Zuma happy by ensuring he is well fed, gets plenty of sleep, and is always entertained. If you succeed, he will “shower you with love and make the country a better place”.

The game is currently available for Windows PCs and Android devices for R29.99, and can be ordered via the game’s website.

Asked about the people behind the game, a spokesperson for the group said that they are a little skittish about revealing their identities at this stage.

“We don’t have a newspaper or a massive legal team behind us,” they said. They were willing to reveal that the team consisted of four members, with one person doing the programming while 3 others worked on the art for the game.

While the game borrows its name from the Tamagotchi “virtual pets” that were popular in the 1990s, the developers say that Zumagotchi doesn’t exactly mimic the mechanics.

Rather than caring for Zuma over a long period, as you would have to with a Tamagotchi, Zumagotchi is more fast-paced and built to be enjoyed in a single sitting.

Queried about the mechanics of the game, the developers said that the Zumagotchi has 3 sliders that must be managed: Hunger, energy, and fun.

Commentary that comes up during the “mini-games” (which affect the Zumagotchi’s fun levels) revolve around Marikana, flinging poo at Helen Zille, and E-tolls, the developers said.

“This is the type of project that could put video gaming on the map in South Africa. Hopefully people will sit up and think: ’He’s actually charging money for it; it actually has a bit of message; and it’s not just shooting hookers in the face,” they said.



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Zumagotchi – the president in your pocket

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