Desi Adda: Games of India (Review)

This is a collection of traditional Indian village games that range from kite flying to board games. The story mode features a young Indian man from America, coming back to his family’s village to learn about the culture. We say learn about their cultures, but he really just wants to mess around and learn how to play the local’s games. It’s a pleasant enough way to ease in western gamers who have no idea what the games are, but should also prove handy to players that already understand them as the controls get explained before each game.

You walk (so very) slowly between areas, talking to villagers about the games. The only real reason to play is for the tutorials on them. I’d advise quickly learning how to play then quitting out and playing them from the mini games menu where you can choose your sides and so on.

Pachisi is a bit like snakes and ladders without the snakes and ladders. Players roll some dice-like objects to move around a board with the aim being to get all your pieces to do a complete lap. You can make enemy pieces start again by landing on the same square as them, as long as it’s not one of the many squares that grant immunity to pieces. You’ll end up with multiple pieces making their way around and the only strategy is deciding which piece to move after you’ve rolled. The luck of the roll is the most important factor of the game outweighing the choices of what piece to move. Such a game against AI is completely soulless and you’ll be hard-pushed finding anyone to play it with at home.  Still, at least it’s playable.

Gilli Danda is presumably a poor substitute for cricket. Using a stick you bounce up a wooden Gilli which I’ll be nice and say looks like a cigar. You hit it towards fielders and if they don’t catch it they’ll throw it back to you from where it lands and you’ll try and whack it. You’ll miss it’ll ask if you want to play again, you’ll say no and move on.

Click here to read the rest of my review over at

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