If developers can make Facebook games in which you grow and sell a certain controversial plant and not hear "boo," I guess a game revolving around the firewater can slide. Because the sales of Malibu Rum tend to dip ... a lot in the colder months, Pernod Ricard, the company behind Malibu Rum, created a Facebook game to promote the awareness of its brand.
The game, which launched today, is known simply as Beach Club, and frankly, it's a pretty impressive branded Facebook game. (Look, more and more companies are going to be up to this in the future, and the games are only becoming more detailed, elaborate and visually impressive.) The game, which has Malibu Rum branding aplenty, tasks players with running their very own beach island.
Beach Club, developed by Aegis Media Group's Isobar, is said to block underage Facebook users from playing by relying on both the birth dates in their profiles and an age verification immediately after installing the app. They're not exactly airtight methods of keeping the kiddies out, but do more to keep the game in front of 21 to 35-year-olds than other Facebook games surrounding questionable topics.
According to AdAge, Malibu made a conscious effort to keep the game geared toward adults through more than just age verification. The game makes liberal use of more mature-looking artwork than other games aimed at the same crowd. "In our game the drawing of the avatars are more mature, they are clearly adults walking around this beach," Malibu senior brand manager AnnaMarie Battiloro told AdAge.
Oddly enough, the game isn't governed by an energy system or much of anything that limits your play time, unlike most games. While the game is available globally on Facebook, U.S. players earn points that go toward a vacation to Barbados, the rum's birthplace, that Malibu is giving away through Beach Club.
You'll earn these valuable points by keeping the guests of your resort happy through landscaping and adding new attractions to your tropical getaway. The most notable of which is a beach-side bar. Guests will approach the bar, and clicking on it unveils a mini game of sorts in which players have to bartend a series of Malibu Rum-themed drinks. You'll take guests' orders and have to fill them accordingly and quickly by clicking and dragging various ingredients.
And it's all done to the sound of a 30-minute long club soundtrack with some of this past summer's most popular original tracks. Battiloro told AdAge that Malibu doesn't want Beach Club to be "overtly tied to the brand." "We actually are not trying to earn fans from this at all, Battiloro said. "We are trying to earn more brand loyalty, recognition and association."
But when a beach comber drives past our beach resort, leaving the Malibu Rum logo in its wake, we seriously doubt that. But you know what, this is one of the more full-featured, smoothly-animated branded games we've seen in awhile on Facebook. And if this is the direction brands will go when making games on Facebook, I'm not sure I mind that much.
Click here to play Beach Club on Facebook Now >
After hopping into the game, what do you think of Beach Club so far? What do you think of branded games on Facebook? Could they ever reach the quality of original Facebook games? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.