Geolocation Based Games


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Foursquare[1]game play is about exploring the urban environment, accumulating points, and unlocking rewards by checking in often and repeatedly at place you go to. If you check in the most frequently at a location you become the mayor of that place in the game. Often businesses give real-world discounts to customers who become the mayor of their location. The game is played on GPS-equipped smartphones and is available on a wide variety of platforms. This games has become a popular marketing tool for businesses. The game also helps players discover their city by telling them if their friends (from address book, Facebook acct, etc - automatically added when the app is downloaded) are nearby, suggesting recommended places to go or things to do. It also allows players to add new locations, tips and reviews to places in the game. Unlocked badges are based on when, where, and how often you check in at particular places. Game stats are available at


Gowalla[2]played on a desktop or smart phone (all major platforms supported). Social networking game where you check-in and communicate with friends through the game interface as well as Twitter and Facebook (linked). Photo sharing and commenting on user created content is part of the game interface. Game progresses is measured by a stamps in passport metaphor where each check-in is recorded in your digital passport. Pins are added to passports as mementos of achievements such as completing trips. Players can participate in guided 'trips' created by groups like National Geographic, USAToday, and CNNMoney or they can make their own trips that guide players to different locations and businesses. Players can find virtual items left around the world like digital souvenirs which can be redeemable for real-world rewards such as apparel, movie tickets, gadgets, etc. The interface tracks the states, provinces, and countries visited by each player account. recently partnered with Disneyland & Disney World


Facebook Places[3]not really a game but it does allow players to check-in (or check-in and add friends with them) at locations that are then published to your Facebook newsfeed and visible to your friends. Players can also see where their friends are. This system has been utilized for marketing purposes by offering discounts to players who check in at businesses and retailers.


Booyah[4]Has two different geolocation based social games - MyTown and InCrowdMyTown - check-in to locations to unlock rewards. Players can buy locations and businesses in game and upgrade them to earn more money. Players charge rent on properties they own when other players check-in at these locations. Players earn stamps to display game achievementsInCrowd - players create their own customizable avatar, socialize, meet new friends and track popularity when they check-in to real-life places using their iPhone or iPod touch. Players gain popularity when others respond using a series of in-game actions, such as hi fives, fist bumps, winks, or posting about a venue. Players can take popularity away from a chosen individual using the 'Dropkick' function. The more a player socializes with others, the more in-game points are rewarded to them for use in upgrading and personalizing their virtual avatar.

Shopkick a new service similar to Foursquare. rewards with gift certificates and discounts when they visit a retail location and scan product barcodes. Unique aspect is that you don't have to check-in to use this app. When customers enter a participating location with the Shopkick app open, they are immediately recognized via the mobile device and are alerted with a message and pointed to deals within the store. The app can be used to scan items and earn more points and/or deals.

Loopt[5]Alerts when friends are nearby, check-in, share updates (text & photo) on Facebook & Twitter, see where friends like to go, track activities and comments made by friends.

Stickybits allows a user to scan a product???s barcode and leave a message, picture or video about that product for the next person who scans that same barcode. In effect, it creates a threaded conversation and the product becomes a medium. Companies can be paid sponsors so their official message displays first, and then the user added content plays chronologically after that.

TouralityCurrently in beta, requires players to travel to specific locations faster than other players. Currently available as an app for Android, Blackberry and Nokia handsets (with an iPhone app to follow), it can be played anywhere in the world. A range of different challenges are available, from races and trails to a frantic Rush mode.One-on-one and team vs team games can be played. If the game can???t find any other players for you nearby, you can still play on your own in single player mode and gameplay areas are automatically generated based on your current location. There are many gaming elements to uncoverincluding ???gadgets??? that give you additional advantages to ???Goodie spots??? where you could uncover either gold to spend on gadgets or a thief who wants to steal your gold.

GeocachingPopular free-form game that has players track down real objects hidden by players at locations all over the world. In its ten-year history, over 3 million participants have hidden and searched for almost a million items around the globe. You can play the game with any GPS-enabled device using information from the website, and there are iPhone and Android apps to help you too.

Turf Wars[6]iPhone app. Crime themed game where players battle for real world territory against other players while taking part in missions, evading the cops, and build up a Mafia mob. The aim is to gain ???turf??? in your local area in order to gain income for your crime syndicate. You can tool up with virtual weapons to take on rivals, invite friends to join your mob and take part in missions to increase your experience levels.

Gbanga Famiglia[7]mixed reality, mobile phone game published on the Gbanga platform. Players take on the roles of Mafioso and can join an existing Mafia Famiglia or start their own. Players must first locate establishments by walking around the city before they can be taken-over. Establishments are virtual however they are linked to real-world bars and nightclubs. A successful take-over depends on the Famiglia's power, determined by the number of members and the cash total for special items collected. The most successful Famiglia are listed on the top-ten leaderboard of the Gbanga website

Muecs allows two types of gameplay. (1) Snaps is a photo based check-in where you take a photo with your smart phone and upload it with a brief textual tag to the game interface as well as Facebook or Twitter. (2) Quest allows you to create a real-world quest to be played based on locations near-by you via mobile phone. The gameplay is structured like an MMOG where you compete to complete missions in order to upgrade to the next level or collect virtual rewards. Each Quest has a list of locations included as target points players must go to in order to win.

SCVNGR[8]scavenger hunt-style game that can include going (with an iPhone or Android phone) to specific locations, doing challenges defined by the designer, and earning in-game points as well as real-world rewards defined by businesses who use the platform to build games. Treks do not have a time limit and can be played over many days or months and they can be either non-competative or competative with a leaderboard result to track progress. It also has a social networking component where users can see where their friends in the game are and push updates to Twitter and Facebook. Challenges are multiple at each location and range from checking in (like FourSquare) to Social check in (where you bump phones with another game-player) to commenting, uploading a photo, or any other challenge people have added. You get points or unlock rewards from completing challenges which range in their level of reward based on their complexity. SCVNGR is also a development platform where you can build a check-in node in the game or design a trek (themed list of locations) which takes the player on a set adventure where they play the game. It allows the addition of in-game and real-world rewards. Answers to challenges can be a specific text response (like a trivia question with a 'right' answer), an open response question (like soliciting a comment or review), a photo response where the user uploads a photo, or a QR code where the user scans a QR code. Rewards can have user limits set of them (each user can only redeem the reward once, for example), as well as an expiry date for the reward. This site is very well designed and the support looks very good.

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