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Nigerian gamers—and people who consider gaming a pastime –have something new to try their hands at.
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Play Network Africa, an entertainment and lifestyle hub, has rolled out the Aki and Pawpaw Epic Run, a mobile game app. Its creators say that it is the first Nollywood-themed game ever made—a fact that’s proven enough to attract some attention. Aki and Pawpaw Epic Run is named after Nollywood’s comedic duo Aki and Pawpaw (Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme). And that’s for a good reason: the game features animated versions of these actors as its main characters. It involves them being pursued by chasers—masquerades, bus drivers and street thugs. In this respect, it is modelled after popular running games like Temple Run and Subway Surfers. Charles Okpaleke, CEO of Play Network Africa, announced the release of the game via Twitter on Thursday. Both Aki and Pawpaw have also referred to the game on their Instagram pages, and have encouraged their followers to download and play it.
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Game players can choose to play with the characters Aki and Pawpaw, or go with alternatives, such as Cubana Chief Priest, Warri Pikin, and Nengi (a Big Brother Nigeria contestant), among others. The games can also be set in various locations representing actual places in Northern and Southern Nigeria. Players control the main characters to navigate a variety of settings and scale significant impediments (such as buildings and mountains). They gain points and secure power-ups as they go (including bike rides for speed, shields, and coin doubles).        Aki and Pawpaw Epic Run was built for Pay Network by Blueportal Inc, a Nigerian software development company. It is available for download on Google Play Store and Apple Store. Reviews of the game have mostly been positive, with many speaking of it as an authentically Nigerian addition to the gaming options on offer online.
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Play Network, which has produced the Aki and Pawpaw Epic Run, has also reintroduced a number of Nollywood classics to contemporary viewers, with its reboot of such films as Nneka the Pretty Serpent, Living in Bondage, and Rattle Snake. In addition to these, it has produced a remake of the movie Aki Na Ukwa, which starred Chinedu Ikedieze as ‘Aki’ and Osita Iheme as ‘Pawpaw’. The movie, originally put out in 2002, brought the two actors into the limelight.
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This article was first published on 29th April 2023


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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