Nigerian Startup Gamsole Makes Games to Improve Financial Literacy

By Akudo McGee 6 Min Read

When you think of game development a few locations may come to mind, like Japan, South Korea or more specifically the Silicon Valley, the OG (yes I feel cool enough to use that term) destination for talented techies and brilliant startups. Of course, talent lies far beyond these hot spots of development, but they often have a hard time being noticed. There is hope though. There has been an increased focus on young talent, innovative ideas and less trendy locations.

Gamsole is a Nigerian-born mobile game production company. Our goal is to make games that are fun to play; plain and simple. Each game offers imaginative and irresistibly fun game-play that appeals to the gamer of all age groups.

Developers from these less trendy areas often come on the scene by forming startups instead of seeking to become a part of existing mainstream organizations. One such startup is the Nigerian-based gaming startup, Gamsole.

Gamsole is a mobile production startup that specializes in fun and simple games, even recently collaborating on an educational game. Just 6 months after launching their games on the Windows Store, more than 3 million people downloaded them and become avid players. Gamsole recently partnered with Diamond Bank to launch their game service aimed at producing educational games to teach young people the ins and outs of finances.

This was a part of a larger project between Diamond Bank, Women’s World Banking, FSD Africa, Microsoft, Commonwealth and the UK government to come up with games focused on helping young people understand financial services. This is being done in collaboration with Nigerian game production companies all over the country.

After winning the contract, Gamsole developed their newest game Dreamville which is a form of a simple digital financial platform that users can plan their fiscal futures, save money, chat for assistance and increase their financial literacy using in-app games. Users can sign up for the Dreamville game online through their Diamond Bank account or fill out the sign-up fields by hand if they don’t have one. Users can also link their accounts on Dreamville with their social media accounts allowing them to chat with friends.

With Dreamville users learn how to develop better saving plans, build a profile for their future needs and goals and understand investments (let’s be honest, no one understands them so this isn’t just a good thing for young people). The design of Dreamville is obviously to engage youth in fun games but also to teach them how to negotiate their financial futures.

As a reward, besides the fun of playing the game itself, users earn points, badges, and rewards for the correct fiscal behaviors they make in-app like managing their finances, setting up budgets, establishing savings goals and implementing past financial goals. Another measure of positive financial decision making is the fact that users can participate in championships and tournaments based on good banking and the financial lessons they’ve learned along the way.

Gamesole isn’t just up to this newest venture towards financial literacy, they’ve produced 50 games in the past two years and even make strides in animation and interactive content design. Some of their featured games include Mama Put, Sweet Paradise and Gidi Run, all available in the Windows Phone Store.

The concept of these games is rather simple, for instance, Mama Put features three female chefs from around the world as playable characters. The goal of the game is to burst as many juicy fruits as possible by completing required tasks to progress to the next level. Sweet Paradise is the typical matching game featured with beautiful landscapes that show popular locations like Egypt and Paris but also other locations like China and Nigeria, which aren’t often featured in video games.

Finally Gidi Run is a game set in downtown Lagos, Nigeria and it’s designed as an "endless run" game. It not only gives users the option of playing as characters that may look like them, it contains elements essential to Nigerian culture and the experience of living in Lagos especially. These elements include dealing with bribes and interacting with crazy bus drivers on busy streets.

Their animation includes the creation of short animated stories and as far as the digital content, they produce. There are various forms of interactive content mostly for uses like advertising but they also a few feature-length productions. With their most recent contract acquisition, we can only wait and see how much more than do in the field of educational gaming, however, seeing good, well-designed games coming out of Nigeria is a breath of fresh air.

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