These cute and cuddly-looking animals are are invading Korea’s subways, cafes, streets and and pretty much everywhere else.
Launched on July 30, Anipang the Puzzle, or Anipang for short, has reached 10 million daily active users as of Oct. 1, according to the Korea Economic Daily. To put this in perspective, that’s nearly every single person in Seoul!
Developed by SundaytoZ and pushed on Kakao Talk’s game center, the addicting game is played by smartphone users for 54 minutes every day on average based on research from AppRanker. The research was found through a survey from Sep. 3 through Sep. 16 on 11,170 users on Android-based smartphones.
To give another example of how popular it is, I took this photo while out at lunch today in Myeongdong. A newly-renovated department store was celebrating its re-opening with a street event, and an Anipang contest was held for prizes. So what exactly is Anipang and why is it so popular?
Anipang is similar to the game Bejeweled, but with fun cute animal characters. The goal is to match up three of the same animal characters either horizontally or vertically. When you align three icons in a row, that makes one “combo.” The more combinations you can get in a row, the more points you receive. An icon that looks like a black bomb also comes up during the game as you get more combinations. A tip here is to set off the bomb after ten or so combinations for even more points.
The app also lets you interact with your friends through the immensely popular Kakao Talk messenger, as there’s a limit to how many times you can play the game. Every round uses one “heart.” Once all the hearts have been used up, you can ask or wait for more from Kakao Talk friends, purchase more with the game’s currency, “Topaz,” or wait for eight minutes. You can also see where you rank among your friends or which of your friends are the top players through Anipang’s real-time ranking feature.
Since the game is only a minute long, it makes you want to play over and over again! The animals also “squeak” every time you get a combo. Cute and irresistible.
My current high score is around 92,000 – can you beat it? See below for a demo of the game (by what seems to be a pro player) to get started. You can then download Anipang for your iPhone or Android.
About the author by Donna Choi
Born and raised in the States, I came to Seoul in 2009 and have loved living and working in such a high-tech and connected city ever since. I enjoy collecting unique, cute gadgets/items (I have a bread-scented smartphone case!) and traveling around Korea. My personal mission while living in Korea: Try every type of Korean food known to exist.