Americans may not have heard of Whot, but it’s a card game similar to UNO (or its great-granddaddy, Crazy Eights), was invented by an Englishman (who neglected to patent or trademark it), and has become a popular pastime in West Africa, particularly in Nigeria. Now nKanika, Inc. has brought this popular, casual card game to Facebook, Android, and the iOS for free.
nKanika is a games developer new to the social games scene. Based in Silicon Valley, the company was founded in October by Amaete Umanah and Ime Etim. Ime Etin is originally from Missouri and came up with the idea for a digital version of Whot when he saw it played by locals on his trip to Africa earlier this year. He’s currently trying to get WHOT! printed as an actual card game by Mitee Games Inc., a Midwestern start-up card manufacturer (likely also created and owned by him), and is asking for $ 5,500 USD through Kickstarter.
WHOT! is a game that’s family-friendly, user-friendly, and easy to pick up. It’s obviously designed for a touch screen interface, so mobile players will walk away happy, but the Facebook version was obviously an afterthought, given how poorly it fits into the platform.
For example, you don’t get a complete view your cards unless you mouse over them, so handling them can be a cumbersome process, especially when you’re in Blitz mode and you’ve got only four seconds to look, select, and pull a card out of an overflowing spread. (Normal mode gives you twenty seconds.) Another issue is that this simple Facebook card game requires the (dreaded) Unity 3D Engine to work. That’s simply overkill for a game without multiplayer support (there’s no real people behind the three players you see) or fancy graphics.
Another thing mobile players can benefit from, but Facebook gamers won’t, is that nKanika recently partnered up with Kiip, a San Francisco-based company that offers “Real rewards for virtual achievements” to gamers by connecting advertisers to game companies. Kiip rewards include an XBox 360 console and the immensely tempting, Amazon Kindle Fire. That’s certainly enough of an incentive to break away from Facebook UNO for some WHOT! on mobile.
Have you ever heard of WHOT before? Do you play any other casual card games on Facebook? Sound off in the comments. Add Comments
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