Football season is upon us, and many fans are getting into the sporting spirit on social networks. The latest developer to make a bid for their attention is Arkadium, which in association with the New York Jets has launched the new Facebook title, Ultimate Fan.
The title itself isn’t a fully-fledged game complete with distinct objectives. Rather, it is intended as a supplement to football season. Ultimate Fan is a tool to, well, be a fan. The only objective is to garner as much support for your team of choice as possible. Players are asked to choose their favorite team and give them a fan boost by pitting two clashing helmets against each other: one of their chosen team, the other of their next opponent. Every couple of hours, players can “Boost” that team — the helmets clash and a gauge at the bottom of the screen shifts, displaying how many users are supporting each team.
For a big fan of football, it is a great visual representation of what teams are favored and how many fans are cheering on a particular team. Of course, this alone would make for a rather bare application, so Arkadium has also included a virtual space called “Pride.”
What fun would football be without a little tailgating? Well, not everyone can get out to the actual games, but with Ultimate Fan, players can decorate and create their own virtual tailgate party. Players use an in-game currency called Tickets, or Facebook Credits, to decorate their space.
The décor consists of standard tailgating gear (cars, drinks, and tents) to the absurd (players can buy a tank… don’t ask). The only real downside is that the only team colors that are available are from the NY Jets. It’s understandable considering that they’re backing the game, but non-Jets fans will find the app less attractive as a result.
Friends can visit one another’s tailgate parties and rate them. At the moment, this is the only friend-based social element, but there is a feature coming that will allow players to “mess with rival fans tailgates.”
In addition to raw fan support, there is also a predictions section. Ultimate Fan has a collection of games scheduled in the upcoming week, where players can predict the winner. A separate stats page allows the user to see just how accurate their clairvoyance was. The more accurate one’s predictions, the more “Fan Points” the user can earn.
These are essentially experience points that determine the number of Tickets earned on a daily basis. Currently, the only other means to earn Fan Points is by decorating the tailgate area.
Eventually, users will also be able to use the boost mechanic to cheer their team’s individual players and “jinx” both opposing team players.
In the end, Ultimate Fan is designed to enhance the football season for the fans and give them another, more interactive, outlet to express their fandom through Facebook. It is a little skewed in favor of the NY Jets (for obvious reasons), but overall, it’s a nice bonus to watching a good game.