Box juice racing takes to digital highway
In the 1990s, all you needed was a juice box, four bottle caps, and a string to join the most amateur race of everyday leisure-seeking kids. In 2022, Jamaicans Tyreik and Akeem Pennicooke have taken this Jamaican pastime digital with Box Juice...
In the 1990s, all you needed was a juice box, four bottle caps, and a string to join the most amateur race of everyday leisure-seeking kids.
In 2022, Jamaicans Tyreik and Akeem Pennicooke have taken this Jamaican pastime digital with Box Juice Mobile.
“We usually make little box trucks as kids, and I did some research and I realised there was nothing out there like that,” said 22-year-old Tyreik.
On the request of fellow gamers, the sibling tech team started the first of many spin-offs of their Jamaica-themed role play game, Street Boy Ja.
“We got a lot of people on social media contacting us, asking when the game is going to be done, so we decided to whip up this game for them to play on their Android or iPhone,” said 30-year-old Akeem.
During a one-month hiatus for Akeem, who travels for work, Tyreik’s love for gaming assets led to the build-out of the app-based game.
“I mentioned the idea to Akeem and he said, ‘Let’s do it.’ Since I do most of the asset creation, I started working on some of the juice boxes.”
The brothers also decided to use it as a sounding board as they work to develop a demo of Street Boy Ja for investors.
“In Street Boy, you will be able to drive around box trucks. So, we’re not deviating from the actual development. We still learn a lot by making this,” said Akeem.
So how do you play?
Currently, players can select four locations: Mad Man Derby, Freedom Park, Biggs Box Track, and Granny Great House. Each location is an iconic Jamaican landmark. Two more locations, Gully Town and Spanish Man Cove, are under development.
Players must collect coins before their battery dies, but along the way, they can also collect boosters for speed. Each track presents a different challenge, but watch out for cops and other trucks on the track.
“If they were just going around collecting coins freely, it would get boring. The police bring a challenge,” said Akeem.
However, if you ever wanted to be behind the wheel of a police vehicle, you could also collect enough coins to take a spin.
Equipped with ramps and the ability to upgrade your ride, the game not only brings nostalgia but familiarity for go-kart gamers.
Developed under Tyreik’s Willow Tree Studios, an advertising agency located in Montego Bay, St James, the duo have added a 99-cent charge for the game to help with finances.
“We did that to earn a little funds to develop Street Boy. That’s the main purpose of the Box Juice Mobile, but we are releasing a free version for people that don’t have access to credit cards and debit cards so they can play for free,” shared Akeem.
However, the free version will be limited in the vehicles and maps users will be able to access.
Despite providing this alternative for impatient fans, the brothers have not given up on their original goal to complete a demo for Street Boy Ja. They hope to gain investors while keeping the rights to their game.
Their biggest goal, however, is to open a gaming studio in Jamaica to introduce the billion-dollar industry to Jamaican youths.
“We wanna get them to leave this analogue trend and go more towards the digital trend because in five to 10 years from now, that’s really what’s gonna be important,” Akeem said.
“But the most important thing is to create a small piece of history for Jamaica. We have sports, music, and food that represent Jamaica, but we don’t really have anything in the digital age that represents Jamaica, and Street Boy would be a good eye-opener.”