'Arookoo: World Explorers' steps up social gaming, but stumbles on Facebook
Arookoo is a "social fitness platform" in three parts: mobile, web, and social. Reader's Digest Association and Vivity Labs' big idea is to turn walking into a real-life game. To do this, they released a free iPhone app that takes advantage of the iPhone's Accelerometer and GPS functions, created a website to help users track fitness progress, and finally, a Facebook game that players can earn boosts for, while walking around with their iPhones in the real world.
Of the three, the Facebook idea is the most novel. But letting players use their pedometers to power up game items isn't entirely a new one. (Nintendo did it with the Pokéwalker for Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver on the DS.) As it stands, "World Explorers" is a polished looking title that may be too tied into the Arookoo app to stand as a solid Facebook game. On top of that, the game launched today with plenty of bugs (I completed the Africa maps but the game wiped my progress upon refreshing without letting me redo those maps) and doesn't give anyone much to do at the moment.
On the surface, "World Explorers" resembles other Facebook treasure-hunting games, like Zynga's Treasure Isle (inspired by zSlide's "Treasure Madness"), but in actuality, it's so horribly underdeveloped that there's no room for comparison. Regardless, if you want to keep your eye on this game, then follow the game's official Facebook page here.