Play on the Jersey Shore boardwalk with The Situation & Family Boardwalk Arcade

The Situation & Family Boardwalk Arcade is the second game branded with the likeness of Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, one of the stars of TV’s Jersey Shore. The new title, developed by Apps Genius Corp, is a simple competitive multiplayer boardwalk arcade game featuring synchronous online multiplayer and real-world prizes.

The Situation & Family Boardwalk Arcade currently incorporates two games, with two more in the pipeline. The first of these, “Mike’s Fascination,” features three variants on the theme of rolling balls and hoping they land in holes. Players are given an infinite stock of balls and must then roll them towards the target holes by clicking and dragging with their mouse. Landing a ball in a hole causes a corresponding light to illuminate on the game’s backboard. Each variant on the game requires players to illuminate a particular combination of lights — in “Line,” players must light up five bulbs horizontally, vertically or diagonally; in “Four Corners,” players must light the bulbs in the four corners of the board; and in “Black Out,” players must illuminate the entire board. Up to ten players may play simultaneously, and whoever is the first to complete the objective wins some virtual tickets.

The second game is “Frank’s Frog Toss,” which challenges players to catapult frogs onto lily pads in order to score points. This is achieved by hitting a catapult with a mallet by clicking and dragging with the mouse to set power, then releasing to strike the target. The frogs are affected by ragdoll physics, so it’s possible they may land on a lily pad and roll off after an inaccurate shot. The game is time-limited, and players also have a limited stock of frogs with which to score as many points as possible, and again up to ten players may compete against one another. So long as the player does not come in last place, they receive tickets at the end of the game, making Frog Toss a more reliable source of ticket income.

Tickets may be redeemed for real-world prizes which will be mailed to the player. These vary from 2.25″ button badges to balloons, temporary tattoos, wristbands and a series of official Situation-branded products such as lip balm, sunblock and hand sanitizer. For increasingly-large numbers of tickets, players may also win a variety of toys, workout equipment, bags and beach gear.

The game monetizes through its soft currency of tokens, which are required to play the games. Players receive a small quantity of these each day for free but may acquire more using Facebook Credits. The game also features an offer wall run by TrialPay through which players may earn Credits to spend on tokens. To celebrate the game’s launch, all token sales currently provide players with twice the amount they normally would. As is commonly seen in many other Facebook titles, higher spends in a single transaction also provide players with bigger bonuses of extra tokens for their Credits.

The Situation & Family Boardwalk Arcade is a relatively fun experience, but with only two games at present it’s questionable whether it will hold players’ attention long enough to acquire the masses of tickets required for the top prizes. There is also little incentive for social play — players receive five free tokens upon a friend accepting an invite to play, but there seems to be little in the way of direct interaction possible. This said, the online matchmaking is quick and simple, and at the time of writing took no longer than a few seconds to find ten players to fill a game room — these people will all be random strangers, however, so it would perhaps be a good addition to provide a “play with friends” facility to encourage truly social play.