The years when you had to have a friend with a console so as to play a videogame are already history. We have left behind those times when we had to stand in line to play with the machine, waiting for the player in front of us to stop using the joystick. This is the 21st century and the gamer industry is thriving around the world.
Latin America is not the exception. Quite on the contrary, several countries saw a great business opportunity with a market that can presently access virtual stores and download games by using any Smartphone. The market, which moves billions every year, is also a fertile area for several startups that see the development of a videogame as a possibility to make real money and gain international reputation and popularity due to the downloads.
So, hundreds of games are annually developed by Latin American companies. We have handpicked the top-five Latin American videogames over the past years, based on their popularity, playability and development of the history they show.
5. PAPO Y YO (COLOMBIA/CANADÁ)
Created by Canadian company Minority, you might wonder the reason why this game is included in this ranking. The point is that this adventure-fantasy game takes places in some Latin American outlying neighborhoods, some places known as favelas. Furthermore, its story line is based on some moments in the childhood of its creator and creative director of Minority, Colombian Vander Caballero.
The game is made up of puzzles and the background is similar to South American favelas. It follows the story of Quico, a kid whose friend is Monster, a beast with fearful aspect, but affable manners. Monster is addicted to poison frogs and that turns it into a violent animal. Quico shall solve out the puzzles in order to find a cure to his friend’s addition. The story reflects Vander’s relation with his alcoholic father.
Available for Playstation and Windows (the last one through the Steam platform), the game was launched in 2012 and was very successful, with thousands of downloads and such acknowledgement as its presence on the videogame-specialized blog “Kotaku” among the best 12 PlayStation games in 2012. This is a trailer of the highly-recommendable game:
4. KERBAL (MÉXICO)
Do you like simulators? Are you interested in space adventures? This is it, this is the game you’re looking for and thousands are already playing it. Kerbal Space Program is a game that allows users create and manage their own space program.
The game was first put out in 2011 and the results have been excellent ever since. Still in a beta format, the latest version was launched in December 2014. KSP was created by Mexican company Squad after one of its employees announced that he would quit in order to create the game he had had in mind for over 10 years.
Squad’s executives decided to give Felipe Falanghe an opportunity and that was the origin of this successful game. Over the past months NASA contacted the company to advertise some of its missions. Several space scientists have confessed to be addicted to this game. In KSP, players design and build spaceships, fly them and complete missions. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
3. ROCK OF AGES (CHILE)
Sometimes the combination of elements that seem to be distant from each other turns out to be successful. What could a rolling rock and some of the most emblematic civilizations in history have in common? That combination was the origin of Rock of Ages, by Chilean company Team Ace.
The name of “team” comes from the initials of its founders, Chilean brothers Andres, Carlos and Edmundo Bordeu. ACE was already popular in the gamer scene due to the launch in 2009 of its first game: “Zeno Clash”. Rock of Ages was put out in 2011 and is currently available for Windows, Xbox and PlayStation.
On Steam, a platform to buy games and a benchmark in terms of critics and comments of gamers and users, it is highly rated with over 1,500 comments. The game merges defense strategy (by building towers) and the ball-game dynamics similar to “Marble Madness”.
Beyond great playability, fine graphics and sound, the game features different combinations to be completed, so there are several possibilities even for hardcore gamers.
2. KINGDOM RUSH (URUGUAY)
Those who ever played “Age of Empires” know how addictive a good strategy-war game can be. Defending your territory, conquering the enemy’s, an activity that had entire generations with red eyes 24/7.
Add an epic plot, with orcs, trolls and mages and you’ll have one of the finest games of Latin America and probably the world: Kingdom Rush.
Created by IronHide Games, an Uruguayan company founded by three friends (Álvaro Azofra, Pablo Realini y Gonzalo Sande), the game is based on the construction of towers to defend specific territories.
In July 2011 the game was first launched by Armor Games. In December 2011 the Ipad version was put out, followed by the one for Android in 2013. The game was published by Armor Games, one of the most important distributors of flash games worldwide.
The game was a total success in terms of downloads and comments issued by specialized critics. IronHide subsequently put out two versions of the game: Kingdom Rush: Frontiers and Kingdom Rush Origins.
The original version is the most played on Armor Games, with 59.8 million entries. Frontiers version ranks tenth with nearly 30 million games played.
1. PREGUNTADOS (ARGENTINA)
This is the king of all games. It didn’t require an innovating and completely new idea, everything we do in Preguntados is as ancient as human existence: ask and answer.
The trivia videogame was put on the table in late 2013 with a version for cellphones running on iOS, Android and Windows. The game is a contest between two people to see who correctly answers a series of questions divided into six categories: Art, Science, Sports, Entertainment, Geography and History. You can compete against randomly chosen people or you can challenge specific users.
The expansion in Latin America was exponential and reached 180,000 downloads on a daily basis. Nowadays, it’s the most downloaded application worldwide, 50 million. The game is so popular that Susana Giménez included it in 2014 as a section of her TV show, one of the most followed and prestigious shows in the continent.