The war against criminality is on. Both President Duterte and PNP Chief “Bato” dela Rosa bring on the hype. And the latest game app — released by PNP, no less — lets you ride on.
Colorfully titled “Tsip Bato: Ang Bumangga Giba”, the game allows aspiring crime fighters catch criminals as either the President or the PNP Chief. The game was launched at Camp Crame this August 8, to the enjoyment of all those in attendance.
The game’s format is an endless runner, much like Temple Run or Subway Surfer. The main objective is to catch the criminals wearing green masks. Along the way, vehicles and pedestrians serve as main obstacles. Swiping left and right allows the player to move the titular character. A character selection screen allows the player to choose the likeness of President Duterte.
The game was created by Ranida Games. The company is a Filipino app developer known for its other creations, such as “Kalye Crush” (based on the massively popular AlDub tandem) and “Philippine Slam!” (based on the PBA). The game was also done in partnership with the PNP’s Police Community relations Group. According to the developers, the main goal of the app is to teach children to say “no” to drugs. This is in lieu with the administration’s anti-drug war.
The game is available in the Google App Store. Upon launching the game, a 3D rendition of the PNP chief wielding an M16 rifle greets the player. He stands on top of a platform bearing the name “Oplan Tokhang” — the infamous “knock and plead” campaign that has rounded up thousands of drug pushers and users across the country. A “Change Character” button also appears, revealing the Duterte sprite in his trademark “maong tagalog”. As the player hits the play button, the character jumps onto a PNP pick-up truck — and the game commences.
Much like Temple Run and Subway Surfer, the player will also gain points by collecting “coins”. These coins look like “no parking” signs, except that the P is replaced with the silhouette of a criminal. There are obstacles that can be run through, such as a stack of boxes blocking the way.
Running into an immovable obstacle will cause a Game Over. The person has an option to continue where he left off using a “Gem”, which can also be acquired via in-app purchase. The farther a player is into the game, the more Gems will be needed for a continued play.
The game design is commendable, even though the surroundings can be quite repetitive. There are power lines and footbridges (with “no to drugs” signages) in an attempt to evoke the feel of Filipino streets. While not showing anything original, the game is still fun and smooth to play.
During the launch, PNP Chief dela Rosa and his peers sampled the game themselves. Their smiling pictures have been uploaded to the official PNP Twitter account. Perhaps this heralds a new era of public relations, shooting straight for the heart of an app-crazy nation.