This week’s Game of the Week Stick Run was created by 15-year-old student Manuel Otto from Germany. The game has seen staggering growth rates in early February and now counts 3.3 million monthly active users – all of which have been acquired virally, according to the developer.
Developer: Manuel Otto
Launch: August 30, 2010
Monthly active users: 3,300,000 MAU (February 13)
Monetization: Free-to-play with paid premium currency and advertising
An endless running arcade game with real-time multiplayer option and clever virtual good integration.
How to play
Players navigate a running stick man on an endless track filled with life-threatening obstacles such as crates, glass or saws. The controls are fairly easy using the arrow keys to jump or slide on the floor as well as speed up or slow down the character. Whenever the stick character hits one of the obstacles, it dies as players hear a gruesome bone crushing sound along with a computer voice message informing them: “You failed” – which turns out is an almost irresistible motivation to instantly try again. Obstacles are randomly changing places, increasing the game’s difficulty level because it’s not possible to simply memorize a level.
Stick Run has a variety of social features: Users can compete on leaderboards or interact with others via live chats. In multiplayer mode, a group of players is running the same track in real-time and whoever makes it farthest is declared winner.
A premium shop offers decorations for the stick character (e.g. a Troll Face) or in-game boosters available for Facebook Credits.
In a very unusual move for a Facebook game, Stick Run allows in-game trading of items to users who purchase a Trading Pass (available for 20 Facebook Credits); also after reaching level 30 it is possible to sell in-game XP to others.
About 70 percent of players are male; the developer tells us that a greater portion of the user base is located in the Philippines.