Booyah’s MyTown 2.0 iPhone App Combines Gaming, Location and Virtual Goods

Since early December, iPhone developer Booyah has been running an almost complete recreation of Booyah Society in the form of MyTown. Since then, this location-based, Monopoly-like app has as been reported, by the company, to have reached #7 within the Apple App Store and has garnered well over 32 million check-ins from over 2.2 million unique, real-world, locations. In fact, Booyah says that it has over 500,00 users, but despite its success, there was still room for more, and MyTown 2.0 certainly brings it to the table.

Frankly, MyTown 2.0 feels like a new game, but truth be told, it isn’t. Sadly, our little avatar buddy is gone – which is likely to upset a few people – but Booyah has expanded on what made the first rendition so addictive: Owning property and earning rent.

Like in 1.0 players are still able to “check in” from any location with a 3G connection. From here, they receive the same familiar list of locals with the option to buy them, and doing so earns them experience towards new levels as well as items that can be used to enhance the next check in (i.e. earning them more experience or cash). Furthermore, the current level still limits how many properties can be owned and how much they can be upgraded. But what is new?

Well, while the avatar is gone, the enhancements all improve the most popular part of the game: Your town. When a player checks in, there is a rather sizable list of businesses that can be chosen from, but now users can actually gather statistics on each one. They can actually see how many people have visited a location, how many own it, view a popularity rating, and even get a trending graph to see if the business is growing, declining, or plateauing. This actually plays a great deal into this core Monopoly-like feature because now players can shop around and make the most intelligent additions to their virtual town based on actual check in information.

In addition to the said stats, players are also able to see a leaderboard of every single person to have checked in at a location as well as leave comments about it. In fact, each business that appears on the check in even comes complete with phone numbers, addresses, and through Citysearch, links to maps, further websites for the location, and even reviews. Not only does this add to the game itself, but actually aides external businesses by allowing traveling players to actually find places nearby that they never knew where there.

As players purchases locations, the former avatar screen is now filled with buildings and structures that fill up a landscape in an, almost, 2D, SimCity style. Each building changes and grows as you upgrade it, and players can even purchase items through an in-app store to add some spice to their town such as a giant Godzilla wannabe.

In fact, this virtual store is also worth mentioning as users can purchase goods using both in-game currency and real money. From the “Store,” real money is used, and allows player to buy items that can increase the number of properties they can own (but can only be used twice ever), make the next one free, or grant significant bonuses on your next check-in.  These items range from $0.99 to $2.99, but if users don’t want to spend real cash, they can still visit the “Virtual Store” and buy a myriad of check-in boosting items using large amounts of earnable in game currency.

Though we are saddened at losing our ninja-looking avatar from MyTown 1.0, his sacrifice certainly wasn’t in vain. The improvements to MyTown are phenomenal and as good as the game was, we certainly think it has gotten better. Heck, browsing through business comments and trends alone has eaten up an hour…. Anyway, if you liked MyTown 1.0, you are definitely going to enjoy 2.0. Granted, some things will be lost in translation, but in the end, the change is for the better and this app comes highly recommended.

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