Instant messaging service Telegram may not be well known in South Africa, but it’s definitely a solid alternative to WhatsApp and Messenger.
Back in December 2015, the service had over 62-million signed up to its service, with that figure likely much higher in October 2016. But while its userbase might pale in comparison to its Facebook-owned rivals, it is doing something decidedly different.
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Telegram now boasts in-chat games thanks to a new bot duo.
Adding the @Gamee bot (or the official @GameBot) allows users to jam by yourself or invite a friend to compete in one of thirty games available at present. Telegram notes that “hundreds of games” will be available in the future.
Telegram users can now play games within chats, challenging friends to impromptu duels
Also, its not simply a passing fad either. The service actually keeps high scores for each game played.
“Every time there’s a new leader in the game, other playing members of the chat are notified that they need to step it up,” the company explains.
So what kind of games are we talking about? While you won’t see Crash Bandicoot or Lara Croft in Telegram anytime soon, Corsairs is a little space shooter that “took its dev just 5 hours to build and set up”. Other titles, like MathBattle, will test your non-calculator-assisted brain in a number-based deathmatch.
While these are pretty rudimentary, they do run on HTML5, which ensures games are easy to develop and easy for smartphones to run. Telegram notes that its new gaming platform doesn’t add any weight to its app either.
And with that said, Telegram can be downloaded on Android and iOS.
If there’s a particular gem of a game you’ve found, let us know in the comments section below.