Location-based gaming is once again being tipped as a significant area of growth opportunity, with the advances in popularity of both Foursquare and mobile games (driven by the inevitable Angry Birds) fuelling renewed interest.
I dedicate a chapter in Part 2 on my book "Location Aware Applications" on "Consumer Applications" to Location-based games and include reference to pioneers like MyTown.
San Francisco-based Turf plans to capture some new fans of the genre with a location-aware version of Monopoly set on top of Foursquare. Emily Price in Mashable.com describes the game dynamics as follows:
Purchases are made not by price and instead by chance. Buying a location involves spinning a virtual slot machine. Each spin costs a certain amount of coins. Stopping on a “Win” square will win you the location from its current owner; stopping on a “Lose” means you’ll have to try again.
According to founder Michael Tseng he plans to create a fully fledged gaming company based on the success of Turf, which he says as having a strong community element.
Shadow Cities and Paparazzi are other location-based games that are looking to cash in on the renewed interest in this area though some analysts believe that the greatest challenge for gaming companies is to build a sizeable community of their own. Success may lie in leveraging existing communities rather than recreating them from scratch.