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LOOK: ‘Let Leni Lead’ mobile game highlights VP’s achievements in retro pixel-art style

By Kara Santos Published Apr 19, 2022 12:33 pm

With election season heating up in the Philippines, creative campaigns have spilled over from posters, jingles, murals, and rallies in real life and crossed over to the virtual world.

E-rallies are being held on social simulation games like Animal Crossing and young creatives are using technology to take election campaigns to the next level with mobile games.

Let Leni Lead is a new, wholesome, hyper casual game available for free on the Google Play Store which showcases Vice President Leni Robredo's achievements and her 2022 presidential platform with a retro aesthetic inspired by 8-bit pixel art games.

The goal of the game is to explore the Philippines while collecting hearts to gather Filipinos alongside you. Players can also collect roses to upgrade their candidacy. 

The game is simple and straightforward with a retro style in terms of graphics and music similar to games from the Super Mario Bros. era.

The game works like an endless runner, where the player has to collect hearts to unlock the next area, and will take you to places like Naga, Pasig, Bohol, Davao, Cebu, Samar, and Surigao with the backgrounds reflecting elements of the destinations.

There are currently seven levels designed with more places planned for future updates.

Moving the pink-clad character on the screen is a bit tricky, making it hard to collect all the hearts and roses scattered at once. This means you’ll be repeating levels to meet the minimum rose requirement to unlock the next level.

The loading page displays good projects and initiatives made by VP Leni Robredo as well as her academic achievements.

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The mobile game currently has no ads or monetization and was done on a purely voluntary basis by J. Law Cordova, a 26-year old Computer Engineer based in Davao.

Cordova is currently working as a senior software developer, working on software for the healthcare industry, who dabbles with game development as a personal hobby during his free time.

In an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, Cordova shared how and why he decided to make the mobile game.

“I keep seeing a lot of misinformation these days on social media. The most negatively affected by these misinformation is VP Leni Robredo, e.g., wala daw siyang nagawa, spliced videos keep putting her in a bad light,” said Cordova in an online interview.

“Ngayong malapit na ang elections, naisipan kong gumawa ng mobile game as my way of campaigning for her. Hopefully, na showcase ng game ang mga magagandang projects at initiatives niya. Small bits like the trivias in the loading screen help in combatting the misinformation in a fun and engaging manner,” he added.

According to Cordova, it took him roughly two weeks to finish the game, working around two to three hours in between his full time job.

“I worked on Let Leni Lead alone, so the biggest challenge was trying to work on multiple things. All the music, art, code and design were made from scratch,” said Cordova.

The art for Let Leni Lead was inspired from classic pixel-art games from my childhood.

The game, which was released on Google Play last Saturday, April 16, currently has a 5-star rating, with many users praising it as being user friendly, cute, and having an entertaining interface.

“I've always been a fan of pixel-art games. The art for Let Leni Lead was inspired from classic pixel-art games from my childhood like Lemonade Tycoon and Super Mario Bros. While the gameplay is based on most hypercasual games on the Play Store,” he added.

“Feedback I've received so far have been overwhelmingly positive. People liked the cute art style. Nagustuhan rin nila ang mga resibo at trivias ni VP Leni na in-insert ko sa game. There have been complaints about the controls but I'll try to fix them as soon as I can,” he added.

The game developer still plans to add a few more upgrades before elections on May 9.

“I plan on adding more upgrades in the shop para mapakita din ang other initiatives ni VP Leni and make the gameplay more interesting. Maybe a bit of redesign—make the game show other members of society as well now that VP Leni's campaign branding is more inclusive—di na lang sa color pink," said Cordova.

While he's not making any promises, an IOS release is another possible plan for the future.

Check out and play the Let Leni Lead mobile game for free on Google Play here