12 Facts About Travel Frog, The Mobile Game That Took S’pore by Storm

The mobile game industry is large: simply ride the MRT and look around you. You’ll notice that at least 50% of the people are glued to their phone, either crushing candies or watching the latest Korea drama.

In 2017, the mobile games revenue worldwide is USD$40.6 billion: it is expected that by 2020, 63.7% of the people in the US would be a mobile game player.

We don’t really need to look far lah: if you’re working, just take a look at your colleagues during lunch break. Changes are, at least one of them would be playing a mobile game.

But now, even if you’re not someone who play mobile game, you might have heard of a game called Travel Frog.

So, what exactly is this frog thingy?

What Game is it?

Image: itunes.apple.com

Unlike other games whereby you have to put 100% of your focus into the game and miss your train stop, Travel Frog, in which its Japan name is Tabi Kaeru, travels out from the conventions. Explaining the game won’t suffice to show you how slow it is, so here’s a brief walkthrough in point form:

  • You download the game and the frog is going on a tour
  • You help pack its bag, and the next you know, it has gone on its tour
  • You have nothing to do except to wait for the frog to come back

After nth days (it really depends), the frog would come back. During its journey, it might send you postcards of its travels.

When it’s back, you can just do a few things:

  • Watch the frog DGAF about you as it reads on its bed or write a letter
  • Pick up some clovers in the front yard
  • Watch the frog does nothing
  • Pack the frog’s bag

And tada – it went off again.

Now, if you think I’m kidding, I kid you not.

What’s so attractive?

People are attracted to the postcards it sent over. They look something like that:

Image: SupChina.com

Yeah. I’ll rather watch paint dry, but that’s just me.

(Article continues below) Xing Xing is a 34-year-old Singaporean lady who decides to meet up with an online friend she found in Facebook. But it turns out that he’s not what he seems to be: Prepare boxes of tissue and watch the saddest Singapore Facebook love story here:

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Some people find the wait interesting, while some just find it relaxing to see the frog at home. Whatever it is, it sure is a successful case study of reserve engineering in the mobile game world.

How Attractive is It?

Image: play.google.com

Getting a game into the top chart of the Google Play Store Game Category isn’t a simple feat: if you download games often, you’ll see that the top game changes regularly.

But this game – it has stayed there for like forever. Currently, it is at 1 million to 5 million downloads in Google Play Store, but hold your horse. That doesn’t include its biggest market yet…

Why Did It Trend?

Well, the trend started in China.

Since its launch in November 2017, it has clocked well over 30 million downloads – with 95% of them from China.

Soon, in late January, the frog mania came to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and, well, Singapore.

But moving on…

Why is it in Japanese?

Yeah, if you’ve not played the game, you might be shocked to know that it’s in Japanese.

It’s because it’s developed by a Japanese company (duh).

What’s interesting is that the company, Hit-Point, does games in English and Japanese – for some reason, it is this game in Japanese that has created an international appeal.

Who is the Creator?

The game was created by a 26-year-old Japanese Mayuko Uemura who has never written any computer codes before. According to an interview with Bloomberg, her goal is to create a game whereby people won’t have to focus too much.

Suffice to say, it works.

How well it did in the last few weeks?

Take a look at the graph below. You can see that over in Japan, it didn’t grow exponentially, but it does in other countries.

Image: bloomberg.com

And yeah, it trended in Singapore before our neighbour Malaysia caught the frog mania.

What are people’s thoughts to the game?

Now, this is ingenious: some people apparently associate this with parenting. You see, as a parent, you’ll have to wait for your kid to come back, and the wait is almost similar.

Also, as a parent, you’ll feel good just seeing your kid safe and sound. Pretty much is how you feel when you play the game.

How much money has it made?

A lot.

According to a BBC article, it has made a whopping $2 million (should be in USD) via in-app purchases: and that’s not including the ad revenue yet.

Somebody please teach me how to code a game, please.

What does the experts say?

When we say experts, we’re talking about, say, sociologists, instead of game reviewers.

According to a sociologist Gao Zhuancheng, the game gained traction as the younger generation (i.e. the players) who felt lonely with hectic work schedules were drawn to it. After all, these group of people won’t want to focus on a game: they just want to sit down and relax, like…looking at a frog.

What are the things to look out for?

Now, if you’re an avid fan of this, heads up: according to reviews on the game, if you uninstall the game and reinstall it, you’ll lose all your records.

That means all your postcards, gifts and whatnot will be gone.

So it’s safe to say that even if you don’t like the game now, just keep it in your phone lah. You might just fall in love with it a few months later.

What has happened to Japan after this?

With the craze it has garnered, it has somehow made Japan a popular tourist destination.

According to reports, bookings to several Japan cities have increased by 50% to 150%. This is allegedly due to people’s interest in the country after seeing the postcards and gifts the frog has brought back.

I guess it’s time for Singapore Tourism Board to come out with a game like this.

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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com

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