Foursquare is an iPhone Game for Finding Interesting People & Places

Want to travel around the world and meet new people? Then you might want to check out a new iPhone game called Foursquare. Despite the name, it doesn’t deal with the schoolyard ball game. Rather, it looks at what’s hot in the world around you and the people who are involved.

In the past, we took a look at a similar game, Gowalla, that has players log-in from various locations using the iPhone’s GPS system. Users could earn rewards based on where they went. Foursquare is similar in many ways.

The developers describe the app as “50 percent friend-finder, 30 percent social city guide, [and] 20 percent nightlife game.” In the game, players “check-in” from a given location, and see which of their friends are in that area. Based on where you check-in from, you can earn points and achievement badges.

Unfortunately, you can’t earn points during normal work hours (no procrastination allowed), but you can earn extras for discovering new places, traveling (to more than one place a night), and checking-in multiple nights in a row. Unfortunately, these points and badges have no use beyond bragging rights. If you check-in from a place more than anyone else, however, you get a nifty “The Mayor” title for that location.

The game is broken up into two parts: The “Top 12” and the “To-Do” lists. The latter is what you are looking to do, while the former is where you’ve already been — complete with short, personal reviews.

Currently, however, there are only 12 available cities, limiting the amount of people who can effectively use the application. Moreover, some features within the game are only available through a full web-browser on your computer. What’s the point of having an iPhone app that encourages checking-in from new locations if you have to use a computer for some of the venues?

Foursquare is a good idea that hints at the potential of increasingly social location-based mobile games in the future.