InCrowd makes Facebook Places a popularity contest

Sep 9, 2010
Tech

Mobile entertainment company Booyah, which is responsible for MyTown, has released a hybrid check-in game called InCrowd that uses Facebook Places as its foundation — an app that’s sure to have Facebook users rushing to click the Hide button on their news feeds. That might seem harsh, but I’m a hater when it comes to […]

Mobile entertainment company Booyah, which is responsible for MyTown, has released a hybrid check-in game called InCrowd that uses Facebook Places as its foundation — an app that’s sure to have Facebook users rushing to click the Hide button on their news feeds. That might seem harsh, but I’m a hater when it comes to Facebook games of all kinds, and that includes you, friend, tending your fake farm and you, lady, running a virtual bakery.

InCrowd requires a Facebook account. (Despite its iTunes disclaimer telling users that a Facebook account is needed, InCrowd’s requirement has still managed to stun some.) Once you allow the service to access your information, even when you aren’t using the app, you’ll be able to create your InCrowd avatar (mine looked angry). If you have friends who use the service, I believe they will appear on screen with you, but since none of my friends use InCrowd, all I saw was angry avatar me hanging out in a weird nightclub/den. Alone.

Users get something called energy, which depletes when you check in to places (unless you’re a trailblazer and first to check in at a destination). As you check in, you earn popularity points so people can see how cool you are, and if friends interact with you, you get more popular, too. See? It’s like life. Energy points regenerate by one every three minutes, and you can use these to high-five or kick your app friends. Again, life. When you’re out of energy, you can buy packs for 99 cents each (parents, beware). As you rack up the popularity points you’ll be able to customize and upgrade your avatar.

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Overall, I found InCrowd’s interface to be clunky. While it’s clearly designed for tweens, that’s no excuse. I did appreciate the ability to turn off sharing to Facebook while I tested the app, but I also discovered that the app is easily abused when it comes to earning points.

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Kathryn Swartz

Kathryn Swartz is a freelance writer/editor who doesn't know how people lived pre iPhone. She attended the Missouri School of Journalism.

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