A South African-developed game, Snailboy, has become one of the top games on Apple’s App Store within weeks of its release.
The game was published three weeks ago on the US App Store and has since claimed a spot in the top 20 best new games category.
The company behind Snailboy is a small, self-funded independent game development company called Thoopid, based in Cape Town. It was started by a group of avid gamers in February 2013. Together, they have experience in design, development, and digital marketing.
Thoopid head developer and MD RW Liebenberg says the success of Snailboy came about because of prelaunch marketing and because the company actively used social media to promote it.
It then gained traction after reaching the best new games in the App Store. It has subsequently made it on the top five paid-games in the South African version of the store.
The physics-based puzzle game is fairly simple. A garden mollusc has been robbed of his shell collection by the Shadow Gang, and needs help getting it back.
The game has 45 levels of enchanting environments, rich in graphics and sound. It can be completed without having to make any in-app purchases, but those are available if players want extra animations or they want to purchase “skins” for the Snailboy character.
Snailboy trailer (via YouTube):
Liebenberg, 33, who studied multimedia and design, is no stranger to the gaming world and has been developing online applications for the past 13 years. He started his career in advertising doing desktop publishing and design, subsequently moving into Web design and online apps and games. He has spent the past five years focusing on mobile and touch apps. Liebenberg has also been involved in award-winning projects in the ad industry.
Liebenberg and his team at Thoopid are now working on a follow-up to Snailboy. Its success has paved way for a sequel, he says.
Snailboy is currently only available on the iOS platform, with an Android version coming soon. It costs $1,99 in the US store and R15,99 in South Africa. — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media