A viral thing is a very interesting theme to be brought into a game. Just like Noobzilla, that picked up a current local political issue into a game called Tiang Listrik and does very well in the PlayStore.
Indonesia is in a middle of a law and political drama, where the chairman of Indonesian People’s People’s Representative Council (Indonesian: Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR) is wanted by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
After several attempts of arrest by KPK, Setya Novanto is finally proceeding to his detention. “Unfortunately” he got an accident before he could go for and was brought to the hospital. It is said that his car crashed on a utility pole.
Many memes and satirical posts emerged because of his infamous reputation in the eyes of the public. Many utility pole ( Indonesian: “tiang listrik”) memes came up and became viral.
Noobzilla, a developer from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, then came up with an idea of making a game from this viral topic. So they made the Tiang Listrik game, where you act as a car driver and your goal is to strike a crossing utility pole.
The gameplay is very simple, you only need to tap the screen and a red car will go straight through the road. If you crashed on the utility pole, you will gain a point. But if you miss it, your extra lives will reduce. You have three extra lives for every utility pole. If your lives stock is depleted, then the game is over.
In a gameplay sense, Tiang Listrik is very standard and doesn’t have any innovation, but the ratings are very high. From the player reviews, they seem to appreciate what the developers did by bringing this recent political debacle into a game.
As this piece is written (11/22/2017), Tiang Listrik stands in the 4th place of Free Games and 2nd in New Free Games of Google Play Store. From the Noobzilla co-founder Frida Dwi’s statement, Tiang Listrik has been downloaded 30K times only on the first day of launch (11/17/2017).
The positive trend continues and by 20 November 2017, the download number has reached 200K. Right now it has 4.8 rating from 6008 players and more than 2K reviews.
The interesting part is Noobzilla doesn’t monetize this game, they only make it for virality research purpose and to know how netizens deal with this kind of game.
The game has picked up traffic for some reasons. First, it is spread among the Indonesian game developers community, then it was picked up by the mainstream media only less than one and a half hour after its release. Since then it went to one mainstream media to another and became viral just in one day.
Setya Novanto has a knack for suing people that make fun of him, but Noobzilla seems to have it covered. They only bring “tiang listrik” and car crash in the game, but no mention of anybody nor any car types.
There are many ways for a game to be successful. One of them is being viral. You can learn from these 5 most viral Indonesian mobile games!
Will it stay up there in the top Google Play Store rankings? We will see and we will update it later.
Featured image source: kumparan.com. Edited by Devi