Booyah, creators of the increasingly popular mobile social “check-in” game MyTown — currently exclusive to the Apple iPhone — have added another campaign partner, this time the Travel Channel for their Food Wars TV show. Food Wars travels to different cities and has two establishments battle it out over who serves a best particular dish, such as the town’s best chicken wings.
MyTown is a mobile social “check-in” game. People use a MyTown mobile app on one of several smartphones to indicate that they’re checking in at some place – store, library, gym, nightclub, restaurant, etc., and earn points. There are a number of similar apps, such as Foursquare; however, MyTown also combines elements of real estate board games such as Monopoly and allows you to “own” a virtual copy of the venue you’re checking into. You can buy if you have enough points, renovate, collect rent. As with other mobile social apps, you can also “friend” other people. MyTown awards points not just for checking in, but also for logging in — presumably to see messages or friend requests. There are also virtual lottery tickets awarded, and the prizes can be used for play or sold for virtual currency.
Currently, MyTown only supports the iPhone, yet has gone from roughly 800K players in early Feb 2010 to now over 1.5M players. Despite the MyTown’s current exclusivity on the iPhone, that has not stopped merchants from partnering up to run marketing campaigns via the mobile application. Recently, clothing retailer H&M partnered with Booyah, and now it’s the Travel Channel for their Food Wars TV show.
The Travel Channel campaign, led by appsavvy, gives MyTown players chances to win Food Wars-branded in-game items. These items can be used for points and “town” upgrades, or gifted to other players. Part of the marketing campaign will include the streaming to players’ iPhones of Food Wars video clips. Booyah claims this is a first of it’s kind campaign.
I have to admit that while I’ve been using Foursquare for a couple of months now on my iPhone (plus a week on my Palm Pre Plus) and MyTown for two days, I’m finding the latter far more fun in terms of gameplaying. Foursquare does have other applications, such as the friend-finding use that Meet Gatsby adds to the latter’s platform. However, MyTown wins it for me in terms of fun and games, despite its exclusivity to the iPhone.