Playstation2 and PlayStation Plus (PSP), Sony’s globally available games consoles will soon throb to the beat of new games that bring a whiff of a typical Indian nukkad or street corner: The first game completely developed in India for the Playstation platform is a combo of six traditional Indian games. Called “ Desi Adda: Games of India” it includes:
Pachisi, the board game of chance and strategy, that Indians have played ever since that first epic confrontation between the Pandavas and the Kauravas;
Aadu Puli Aatam, a contest between goat and tiger that is traditional in South India; Kite Fight which determines the winner depending on who ends up with a ‘kati patang’;
Kabaddi which generations of young Indians have played to capture the opponent before he crosses into your territory;
Gilli Danda which sends a small tapered wooden projectile flying away
and Dance Game where you have to match the beat of a song, using a combination of keys.
The games have a running story line: a young NRI, Avinash returns to his ancestral home and experiences the different games that the locals play – even as he plays Cupid to Gowri and Gopal, a couple in love who are separated by the evil village head man.
The games are available in English, as well as in 3 Indian languages, Hindi, Punjabi and Tamil. The PS2 version costs Rs 499; the PSP version is Rs 999.
Desi Adda was suggested to Sony and developed for them by the Hyderabad based, games services company, GamesShastra. While not in competition with faster, zippier 3-D console games, this computer khel will bring you a whiff of a real India that is slowly vanishing … of simple games and innocent pleasures that cost so little. Lift that cyber danda and send that gilli on its way!
- Anand Parthasarathy
This review appears simultaneously in the current issue of "The Week" magazine ( Dec13 2009 issue) ( www.the-week.com )
Dec 6 2009