Eastpak's 'SPAK', a human tetris
Facebook advergame that has backpackers jumping off a tall building and being sucked into jet turbines, is all part of the company's efforts in promoting an edgy and tough image for their backpacks, which are branded as "Built to Resist." And thanks to a great creative team, who managed to take a gory and morbid concept and spin it into something fun
, the game doesn't fail to be engaging, work-safe, and made of complete and utter weird
But how does it fare as a social game?
To play, you have to 'Like' Eastpak's official Facebook page
, and then allow the game to access your Facebook account (which is all pretty standard stuff). You'll be a shown a game trailer every time you begin, but you've the option to "skip intro" after the first time. Once you're at the main menu, there's two ways to play: "Solo Training Mode" and "Duel Mode".
If you're going Solo, you don't have to look at the rules, but if you want to test out Duel Mode, expect SPAK to throw a few curveballs.
To beat your opponent, you need to be the player that's first to eliminate 3 horizontal lines. The catch is, both you and your opponent are allowed to screw with each other's playing fields by dropping blocks to either help or hurt each other. There's also power-ups in the game, such as "BONUS BAGS" (which 'are full of surprise') and "MALUS BAGS" (that 'will destroy everything').
As a stylistic touch, the use of a bonus also triggers live-action cutscenes that will interrupt you while you're playing. (Depending on your preferences, you may find this annoying or the most awesome thing ever!) The one that keeps showing up so far, is of a person in a black leather jacket with a fox's head, long tresses, and a bag of bricks. Another is the same fox person, but playing with a kitten
. Like I said, it's weird
With Duel Mode, you're limited to playing with friends who have also 'Liked' the Eastpak Facebook page. You're also only able to play if those friends are using the game at the same time as you.
If not, you're out of luck. When you get a request, you'll see it on your screen and you'll have one minute to respond or the request will time out.
Finally, no social game is complete without a highest score list, and there's a gamewide one of the top ten players who've eliminated the most lines in a game.
Toss in the option to make posts on your Facebook wall to facilitate bragging rights and it looks like SPAK has all the makings of a social game. In fact, I'd argue it's best played with other people, as the Solo Training Mode really is about training and the real fun is in having a mano-a-mano with your friends. The only gripes so far is that it may be a little too weird, visually, for most people. Also, the art style does make it harder to gauge how much room you have for your lines cause you're maneuvering blocks shaped as people. Overall, I love it. But then, I'm never going to get tired of watching people get sucked into jet turbines and random clips of fox-headed person.
Click here to play 'SPAK' on Facebook now-->