Booyah, the location-based mobile gaming company backed by Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins’ iFund, is looking for a second wind in its MyTown franchise by turning the game into a classic, city-building sim. (With a little bit of location thrown in, of course.)
The company, which recently saw a management shuffle with a new chief executive Jason Willig, seems to have totally changed its artistic style and made the inclusion of location a little more subtle in gameplay.
MyTown 2 should be very familiar to anybody who has played a city-building game like CityVille, Sim City or City of Wonder. Users get a plot of land, where they can build, own and collect rent from local businesses.
There are still check-ins like in the original game, which players get bonuses for. They can also build virtual versions of the locations that are actually around them, like the local Starbucks or clothing store. There are also basic social features like the ability to visit other players’ towns. But like many iOS titles from established social gaming companies, there isn’t a Facebook integration here. Instead, there’s a light Twitter integration that encourages players to tweet when they make certain achievements.
Booyah’s MyTown 2 more attention to detail. Every type of business can attract special characters that hang around it. If a player adds a fire station, a fire truck will zoom around the city.
The game uses a mix of ways to get revenue from virtual currency and goods purchases. There’s a premium currency as there is in most casual sim games. But players can also directly buy special buildings with in-app purchases like a Dracula’s castle for Halloween. There are “Wonders” or monuments like the Empire State Building that have powers like the ability to give all businesses in the city a 10 percent boost.
In addition to all of the usual marketing channels, Booyah will probably re-engage the original MyTown’s fan base with an e-mail campaign. We can also expect to see some experimentation with brand partnerships like in the original MyTown, although the company isn’t sharing any details yet. In the first version of the game, Swedish fashion chain H&M let players buy virtual versions of their clothes if they checked into a store.