It has all the charm of Nintendo's Super Mario Brother's game series, designed in a 2D side scroller style, but instead of Mario and Luigi, it is Hamad and Sahar exploring Arabian folklore.
During Ramadan, Space Crescent, a group of independent game developers in Qatar, plans to release the updated version of its game "Hamad and Sahar." Gameplay follows the classic Super Mario Bro's-style, complete with levels and blocks containing valuable items. The limited-prototype game first debuted last March.
The game's characters, Hamad and Sahar, are bilingual, which allows gameplay in both Arabic and English. Through the game, which features elements from various Arabian folktales, the developers hope to combat existing stereotypes about the Arab world.
In a similar effort to counter negative views of the Arab world, several comic books and superheroes have been created by Arab artists to challenge mainstream Western stereotypes, including SplitMoonArts’ " Buraaq " and superheroes created by Aranim Media Factory .
Created by 26-year-old Faisal al Kubaisi, "Hamad and Sahar" took more than a year to develop and is now 80 percent complete. It will be available for mobile platforms and will include full background scores as well as new levels and characters not available in the original prototype. They plan to release it by the end of Ramadan.
Entirely self-funded, the team did face some challenges as the developers have full-time jobs or are students, meaning "Hamad and Sahar" has been a side project. In the future, the company hopes to put Qatari gamemaking on the map.