Cultural differences certainly affect the popularity of games genres across countries and their social networks. Fishing games in Russia, as pointed out by Alexey Kostarev, or resource management and strategy games in Germany are common examples. We discovered a less known trend in Spain, where gym simulations are soaring on the country’s local social network Tuenti.
Fitness trend in Spain
“Sports City” was a popular title on Tuenti that was in the top charts for quite some time and about a month ago “Fitness City” entered the stage. In a rather short period of time Fitness City become the most popular game on Tuenti. Today, Fitness City counts almost half a million monthly players. As a comparison: star titles like Backyard Monsters or Millionaire City each count just about half of Fitness City’s user base. What does not sound like much at first is the Tuenti’s by far most popular game today. We will not speculate why the Spanish love to spend time in front of a virtual gym, but it is certainly worth having a closer look at Fitness City.
Build your own gym
The game loop works like this: The gym equipment (treadmills, exercise bikes, etc) serve as equivalent to “farms”, where the user can earn cash to build other gym, swim or wellness equipment (massage chairs, hairdressing saloons, etc). With the wellness equipment the user can earn prestige points, the other currency in the game. The prestige points are needed to start marketing campaigns to attract new gym members which are in turn needed to exercise the gym equipment in order to earn more cash.
Well known and well done mechanics
Other than that we see the classic features of visiting neighbors to earn “karma” and an energy bar refilling an energy unit every five minutes. Also, different characters are introduced with missions to encourage the user to expand the variety of possible activities at the gym.
Some nice features include different advertising campaigns to win new customers like mailing or email advertising or chatting up people in front of the gym to convince them to join.
From ringtones to social games
The game was developed by Pyro Studios and belongs to iZ, who are part of ZED Games. ZED is a company traditionally involved in mobile content subscription. The company now also publishes games across social networks and is working on their own open web game portal.