Finding a video game that has an African or a person of African descent as the main character is a difficult task, but we’ve already done that for you on our media library. This blog post goes a step further. We’re highlighting games that have you playing as a black woman. This does not include games that let you create your own character of any race and gender. We will limit this specifically to games where the story definitely revolves around a black woman. You can click the links for more details, including where to download.
In no particular order:
1. Touch Combat
This is a dude in distress story that has Daije, a Nigerian woman, fighting hordes of demons as she searches for her loved one. I love it. I’m not into mobile games much, but the combat here has air juggles, dodge rolling, counters, slo-mo finishing moves and boss battles. Feels like an arcade or console game.
Dragons have taken over the Earth. It’s up to a 14 year old high-schooler and a freelance photographer to stop them. You’ll need a PS4 or PSVita to cop this game, I guess because the target audience don’t usually play mobile games. After all, the game’s developers have called it “the runner for people who hate runners”.
More of a visual novel than a video game, Half the Sky Movement is a series of interactive short stories that highlight some of the real challenges women face around the world. There are various versions localized for various countries, so Kugali has chosen to highlight the Kenyan version.
Bukky’s Bukka is a twin stick shooter set in Nigeria. You play as a chef who hunts down the best food ingredients you can get your hands on: the ones that can fight back! You run around the dangerous habitat of your prey, shooting and hacking at swarms of enemies with an arsenal of guns and melee weapons. It’s a very tongue-in-cheek game that doesn’t take itself seriously.
Ok, this Action RPG technically has you playing as a man, but just like 2008’s Prince of Persia game, there is a woman who is always present, and some of your abilities are mapped to her. Queen Erine and her King Enzo have been exiled after her brother usurped the throne, and they go on an epic journey with the goal of getting their throne back. Erine isn’t a mere sidekick, she is integral to the story and her dialogue with Enzo is believable and nuanced.
Not only does this game have the biggest budget on this list, but Indivisible just might be the most culturally diverse game in our database. It is full of lands and characters inspired by a variety of cultures and myths, though the thematic core is inspired by Southeast Asian mythology. If you’re looking for a diverse action RPG for your PS4, XboxOne, PC or Mac, you just found it.
These next two games have a lot in common. Both are visually inspired by both French and Japanese art, both have big publishers behind them (unlike the rest of our list which are indie games), and both are set in fictional worlds where the nations that exist in real life don’t exist. As such, though both games feature human characters of various races, ethnicity is never discussed. You can’t be African in a world where the continent doesn’t exist, and there can’t be racial tension in a world where colonialism didn’t exist.
With the unique aesthetic that mashes manga (Japanese comics) and bande dessinée (Franco-Belgian comics), Gravity Rush puts you in the gravity-bending shoes of Kat, a strong-willed girl with a tender heart. I totally enjoyed the steam punk world that’s sometimes inspired by South America, sometimes inspired by France, and sometimes inspired by pure geeky imagination.
In Beyond Good & Evil, Jade and her uncle Pey’j, a half-pig half-human, work together to both rescue orphans they were taking care of and expose governmental corruption. The game’s public relations manager Tyrone Miller said that she has no established ethnicity, since the game takes place on another planet. This leads to a very interesting discussion on racial ambiguity in games, which has been explored further by Wired editor Chris Kohler.
And there you have it folks! I’ll bet you hadn’t heard of some of the games on this list. So did we miss any of your favorites? Let us know in the comments section.