3. The Great Piggy Bank Adventure - T. Rowe & Price + Disney
Developed by award-winning digital development house North Kingdom, The Great Piggy Bank Adventure (TGPBA) is an example of what can be achieved in the games space when budget isn't a major consideration. TGPBA is a joint venture between investment firm T. Rowe Price and entertainment giant Walt Disney. TGPBA is an online browser-based advergame that takes kids aged 8 to 14, and their parents, on a fun and educational journey to teach them the importance of financial planning.
2. Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals: The Unauthorised PETA Edition - PETA
PETA took an already successful gaming franchise, Cooking Mama, and put their own unique creative spin on it to create one of the most sickening advergames of all time. The game takes you on a comical cooking adventure as you systematically slaughter and prepare a turkey for dinner. Players are invited to use the mouse in much the same way as they would use a Nintendo Wii-mote. Mama Kills Animals is a perfect example of how to use comedy in an advergame to get across a serious message. PETA could have taken a different route by developing a serious game that shocked players more than entertained them, but instead they chose a light-hearted approach which allows it to be enjoyed by everyone, from kids to adults. I'm also a huge fan of the sound effects, they are as juicy as they are gruesome.
1. Asylum 626 - Doritos
Asylum 626 is the sequel to Hotel 626, Doritos last wildly successful advergame. Both games have one goal in mind: scare the living hell out of you. Doritos took a leap of faith when they created Hotel 626, a game so scary it had people submitting reaction videos on YouTube. With Hotel 626, Doritos broke the norm of creating advergames with positive themes and instead decided they would generate a massive viral response if the game was legitimately scary...and they made the right decision. Hotel 626 spread like wildfire and fans began demanding more, and with Asylum 626, Doritos certainly delivered.
Asylum 626 is an interactive horror adventure with stunning visuals, movie-grade sound effects and a storyline so captivating, players often forget to breath. Asylum 626 is also only available at certain times, which is a first for the advergame industry. Players can only get "treatment" from 6pm to 6am. While this may sound like a barrier to entry, it actually makes players want to play the game even more and when the doors finally open, they are 100% immersed in Asylum's freakish atmosphere.
- Chris Gander