Whistling is something many Indians are experts at. Some can whistle an entire song while others whistle to express their then feelings, like if they are happy. Playing video games whether on PC or smartphones is a trend that has caught up with Indians.
If you take a metro ride, you can see men and women playing games such as ‘Candy Crush’ or ‘Temple Run’ on their phones while commuting to work or back home.
Hey, wait a minute! Why did we jump from whistling to video games? What’s the connection, you ask? None, if you see it that way, but a young Indian engineer saw a connection.
Kishlay Raj, an engineering graduate from Institute of Engineering and Technology in Kolkata, combined whistling and gaming to make a game that could possibly turn India’s gaming industry on its head.
Raj has probably developed India’s first mobile game that can be played with whistles. Take a look at this video – it is a sneak peek of what Raj has done.
The game, called Whistle Fly, looks like ‘Bounce’ – that famous Nokia phone game which with ‘Snake’ revolutionized mobile gaming before the advent of the smartphones.
As you can see, the height of jump the ball takes depends on the length of the whistle.
A short “whee” makes the ball take a short jump.
A long “wheeee” will make the ball jump higher and scale wider gaps.
The ball will continue moving forward. A player can only control the jump over obstacles, while the ball continues heading towards the goal.
The game can be played by anyone. It automatically customises itself with a player’s first whistle. Any new player will have to restart the app and then begin playing it with their whistle.
So technically, the game is totally hands-free!
The concept of playing a game with voice control is not a new one. As early as in 2011, a game called ‘Pah‘ took the gaming world in East Asia by storm.
This is a screenshot from Pah, one of the first voice-based games. PlayStore
Today there are games rich in graphics and involving more than one sound or text required to play it. One classic example is ‘Tom Clancy’s EndWar’.
Players give specific commands in the game to fight a war. As one reviewer put it, “It is like being a General in a war room.”
A screenshot from Tom Clancy’s EndWar. GameSpot
Yet Raj’s whistling-the-ball-past-obstacles game is unique because it is the only whistle-operated game in the world.
It is simple and does not put one through a lot of stress (like the Tom Clancy one would). It is not for hardcore gamers but for those who want to kill time between their busy schedules.
Though India has the world’s second largest Internet population, it ranks 18th in a list of countries by gaming revenue.
Yet India’s gaming industry is rising at a rapid pace, which means the revenue generation will go north in no time. There are now more than 250 gaming companies in the country, and their numbers are only rising given the rise in demand. So Raj’s game comes at the right time. But as an afterthought, since the Indian society has a very low opinion of whistling (blame the catcallers!), will not anyone playing this game in public have a lot to explain if misunderstood?