No kidding, Indonesians are in fact powerful in social medias. Indonesia is the 2nd after Brazil in Twitter reach studied by ComScore. I’ve also noticed on several occasions that Indonesians have often dominated trending topics. Approximately 26 million Facebook users are Indonesians. While on Foursquare, I’ll say no more, this image clearly explains it. *thank you, Nguping Teknologi!
On the darker side, when something fun blasts (for free) and everyone can’t get enough of it, that’s when the brands come in. They’ve sickened me to death with the most basic method of advertising: “Hey, I’ve got this for you. Just follow me.” Only God knows how many times I’ve been blocking spambots and brands trying to get more followers on Twitter.
People naturally dislike being persuaded, or even forced, to buy stuff. That may be the reason why I find Ionopolis, a game published by Pocari Sweat, interesting. After the genius brand campaign of Old Spice, Ionopolis is definitely worth to remember.
Ionopolis is an HTML5 game developed by Magnivate. It creatively integrates 3 social medias: Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, along with quite funny comic and trivias.
To play it, you have to simply register, either by submitting your e-mail or via Facebook connect. It also requires Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare accounts, so if you haven’t joined those 3… Wait, you’re not living in a cave, are you?!
Anyway, after you’re in, you’ll see an intro comic explaining the whole idea: You gotta help the hydration superhero Pocariman to eliminate all monsters terrorizing the city, Ionopolis.
There are 5 maps you can choose: Office, Residential, School, Entertainment and Outdoor. The first 2 have 3 monsters each, while the last 3 have 2 monsters each. Defeating all monsters within each map gives you a badge, so you can have at least 5 badges (I haven’t finished ‘em all, and @PocariID has given the hint on an extra secret badge).
To defeat a monster, there are various ‘weapons’ to choose: posting random status on Twitter and Facebook, checking into certain venues on Foursquare, playing one of two Ionogames, answering Trivia questions about healthy lifestyle and (de)hydration.
Each weapon, if you use it correctly, will give you accumulative Points that kick the crap out of the monsters. But it also consumes Hydration Meter, your ‘health bar.’ Each weapon has different rate of points and Hydration Meter consumption, so you may need to use 3 weapons or more to defeat a monster. Since Hydration Meter is limited and won’t be refilled automatically by the system until the next day, defeating a monster may also take several days.
Alternatively, you can buy Pocari Sweat in Alfamart to get Iono Cards; on those cards you’ll find codes which, when submitted to the game, will boost your Hydration Meter. You may also wanna follow @pocariID and join Pocari Sweat’s Facebook Page as they randomly post quizzes, offering Hydration Meter or Points as prizes.
If you’re a mobile person, you can find QR code on a MURI-winning, gigantic advertising billboard in Pancoran, Jakarta or on X-banners available in Gramedia book stores.
What’s so Good about Ionopolis?
First of all, it integrates 3 social media. That’s new. HTML5 is also worth mentioning, although one of the two Ionogames is a Flash-based. However, the Flash-based Ionogame is in fact my favorite weapon. It’s a classic 2-D sidescrolling where you can play as Pocariman, jumping and running around using WASD, answering trivias given by “cardboard” people. I gotta admit, those questions are too damn hard. But if you really think maintaining a healthy lifestyle by keeping your body hydrated is important, go read articles on Pocari Sweat’s official site. The clues are all there.
I love the prizes this game is offering. Every two weeks they’re giving away 3 iPod Shuffles to 3 top scorers. By the end of the year there’ll be 100 people going to the next round; they’ll have to be creative by creating comics from their pics (nothing further I can explain, Pocari Sweat hasn’t revealed all details). Two of them will win free getaway to Japan!
The competition part of Ionopolis is also compelling. Being the top scorer on a game that has attracted more than 60,000 people is quite a challenge. And so is inviting as many friends as you can; it may put you on the main page, too.
Ionopolis is a Social Game… Not
If you think Ionopolis is a social game, you’re totally wrong. It’s not social. Even with the new feature, Cheering, where I should send my winning links to my friends to boost the Points, I can’t see its ‘social’ element.
I flood my friends’ timelines with random tweets and statuses to fight monsters. I buy Pocari Sweat for faster Hydration Meter refill. I check into venues, sometimes remotely to a campus in the middle of the nite, to complete a map and get the badge. What’s so social about it? Nothing. There’s no co-op fighting. There’s no additional points when I visit my friend’s virtual home in the virtual city… Wait. I can’t do that. That’s not even a feature.
Honestly, Ionopolis is totally a viral game. But then, lemme remind you that it’s a brand-attached game. Beyond its gameplay which is intended purely to SELL and ADVERTISE Pocari Sweat, nothing more I can say. But hey, it’s free, it’s fun to play when you have nothing else, and–again–it may grant you the free trip to Japan. Wheee…
Btw, I have a Cheer Link. I’ll appreciate much if you click it. And if you wanna share yours, feel free to post it on comment.