Ok, I admit it. I’m slightly obsessed with Foursquare. Yes, I have checked in everywhere and anywhere, including gas stations and park statues, for the past 2.5 years. Yes, I spent an entire weekend in 2010 on a quest for badges (I even scored the Pee-Wee Herman badge). I even laugh at dirty Foursquare jokes. I can’t help it. Right away I loved the game mechanics and the perfect combination of curation, discovery and random serendipity of the location based app. I want each Foursquare update to give me better tools to order the best dish on the menu, get the free WiFi password and help me discover the secrets of every new neighborhood.
My check-in obsession isn’t just limited to Foursquare itself. I also love checking out new apps and hacks that use the Foursquare API to add to that experience. A new favorite that I discovered is called Turf Geography Club. Turf started as a Kickstarter project and now you can find the app in the Apple App Store [download link] (coming to Android soon). I first read about it on Mashable earlier this month where Turf founder Michael Tseng called it “real-world Monopoly.” Too bad the Foursquaropoly guys never get their app project started.
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With Turf, you earn coins and crystals for checking in and then you spend virtual game currency on acquiring locations. Once you own a property, you not only collect rent, but must maintain the properties and can develop them to add to their value. Watch out, other stealthy players will try and spin the wheel to nab your prized properties. Of course, you win trophies as you gain experience and add to your virtual real estate portfolio. Also, it seems like the game offers plenty of opportunity for the developers to add to the experience and make Turf even better.
Initially the user interface and learning curve offer a bit of a challenge, but a little gameplay and trial-and-error will have you navigating the app like a pro. Right now, there aren’t that many people playing. And since Twitter has been blocking apps from helping you discover your friends, it’s hard to find people you know to compete against. However, I know a couple of fellow obsessives who are playing so it has been very fun so far. Turf is a standalone app, not an add-on, but it’s worth your time to open it up and play real estate mogul. And the retro Ranger Rick/Smokey the Bear graphics are pretty cool indeed.
Here’s a great video that the Turf guys made. Kind of reminds me of a Wes Anderson movie. Very clever marketing on their part. What do you think?
So I am calling on all Foursquare obsessives to check out Turf. Download the app from iTunes [download link] and start buying up your neighborhood. I would love to see you there! If you want to compete against me, my handle is JungleRock.
- Turn Your City Into a Monopoly Board With Foursquare-Based Game (mashable.com)
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- Explore Mars Using Your iPhone or iPad [panorama] (methodshop.com)
- 1G iPhone User Doesn’t Plan on Upgrading Anytime Soon [interview] (methodshop.com)