AniPang (애니팡) Spreading as Fast as Animals Pop

lang: en

I got this message yesterday on KakaoTalk and was interested:

Translation: "'세은♪' has just invited you! Check it out now! (More detailed info / Set an option not to get invited ▼)"

Apparently, this is a social game that has gone quite viral in Korea in the past few weeks. The game utilizes the immensely popular KakaoTalk chatting application to encourage its players to send invites to their friends (quite reminiscent of the original Mafia Wars and other early games on Facebook).

KakaoTalk has recently been expanding into other areas, including games, in recent months as they have faced pressures from Apple's iMessages and other chatting applications. One of the advantages of the games model here is the unique leverage that the program has with users on their mobile devices. At least for Korean gamemakers, KakaoTalk is an excellent platform given its enormous market saturation.

As for the game itself, 애니팡 is something of a social cross with Bejeweled and other popular PopCap games that have been popular for some time here in the United States. There is definitely a distinct Korean feel to the game that makes it interesting if slightly derivative. (view a video of the game play here).

You can download the game from the Android and Apple app stores.

Update (10/3/2012)

A helpful reader sent along this event announcement. Apparently, there is going to be a tournament for the game held in Seoul soon.

Lotte Department Store - Main Store Young Plaza Grand Open

Find the Greatest Master Hand of AniPang!

For the first time ever in Korea, an event to find the Greatest Master of AniPang is to be held at Lotte Young Plaza.

Preliminaries: 10. 5(Fri.) ~ 10. 6(Sat.)
11:00 ~ 12:30 / 17:00 ~ 18:00
(25 people by order of arrival can enter the competition, respectively)
Finals: 10.7 (Sun.) 14:00 ~ 17:00
Place: Specially prepared stage in front of Main Entrance of Lotte Department Store - Main Store Young Plaza
Prize: 1st - Lotte gift certificate worth one million won
2nd - New iPad 3rd - Dr.Dre Headphones

A good number of gifts, including AniPang hearts, gift vouchers, beverages, will be offered to participants.

A Korean poster announcing an AniPang Tournament