Monkey Flying Bitcoin into iOS Gaming

January 9, 2015 16:41 UTC

The notoriously difficult Apple App Store approval process has given its blessing to a game that tips users directly in BTC. Ad-supported, Super Mario-style game SaruTobi, which is Japanese for “flying monkey,” lets users earn BTC by playing well or simply by playing a certain amount of time. According to Reddit user bubbasparse, this length of time was “after a few tries of playing.”

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The obvious benefit to the Bitcoin ecosystem is the introduction of unassuming iOS gamers looking for a free game to play becoming initiated in Bitcoin, and this is not unintentional. Speaking to CoinDesk, developer Christian Moss said:

“I thought it would be a nice way to introduce bitcoin to people who are not familiar with it yet.”

The tips are provided by a communal pool of bitcoins that is derived both from in-game purchases and advertising revenue. Users can buy Bitcoin to spend in the environment with the click of a button, presumably through their regular App Store channels. It is the first game in the Apple atmosphere to successfully navigate the channels of approval and deliver a quality experience while still introducing people to the digital currency.

The game works in a similar fashion to Flappy Birds, where it doesn’t end in levels but becomes progressively more difficult as your monkey swings ever further to the right of the screen. The further you get and the more power-ups you collect, the more Bitcoin you potentially earn. Users are able to monitor the status of the communal pot which pays out tips to dedicated users, an important feature that could ingratiate the game over others in the user’s mind and create a feeling of loyalty.

While not the first game to reward users for playing by giving them bitcoins, Bitcoin2048 being a notable example, it is the first and hopefully not the last to penetrate the Apple digital goods store. It is available for free here (requires iOS 8.1 or later) and currently lacks reviews that improve its standing in the marketplace.

Images from Bloomua and Shutterstock.

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P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to bitillionaire+phm@gmail.com. He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.

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