Indie title McBank challenges the social order

Indie title McBank challenges the social order
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

November 14th 2012 at 11:00AM

Developer takes on the banks with a game tackling the economic system and your morals

An independent developer has created a mobile game that questions the value of money and freedom in modern society.

McBank: The Puzzle of Money and Freedom is described as a cross between gaming and social commentary and takes the form of a puzzle adventure.

The mobile game was created by Shaz Yousaf of Honey Tribe Studios, freelance artist Joshua Condison and indie developer William Robinson. Yousaf was responsible for the concept, as well as all of the programming and audio, and told Develop that the game is his way of expressing his disappointment at the inequality in modern society.

“I have an idea of the kind of world I want to live in. And it doesn’t involve working hard and worrying about how I’m going to pay for energy bills every month, all so that the guy at the top of the hierarchy can afford a second yacht,” he told Develop.

“So McBank is a way of expressing that sentiment, but hopefully in a way that is humorous and engaging.”

In this grey, dystopian world controlled by McBank, workers are tied to credit machines. You enter terminals and perform match-three puzzles to decide their fate; setting them free or chaining them to your own will. The look of the game captures the feeling of grim urban life, with the staring eyes of citizens and the hazy, nightmarish quality to cityscapes.

The ethics of society or socio-political establishments of modern life have been tackled by political movements, books, theatre productions and many other mediums. Yousaf says McBank has inspired him to pursue how games can tackle mature issues.

“Games are not often used as a medium to communicate an opinion. Maybe music is, but games are typically exclusively about gameplay. I’d like to continue exploring what gaming can be. I’ve got all these ideas of crossing gaming with other things – with science, economics, community and health. So McBank has been good to lead me down a path I’d like to continue in.”

In keeping with the sentiment of the game, Yousaf is offering it for free.

McBank is available on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire, and can be downloaded from the Honey Tribe website.