Bovine bonus: This mobile app awarded a real life cow to its top player

In a past life, as I’ve mentioned before, I was a flash games producer. When I worked with clients to make commercial games to promote products (less than 5% of my job, I’d say) there was one phrase that would instill fear into my heart more than anything else: “We need to include a league table for a competition prize.”

It sounds a simple request, but opening up a competition based on high scores to players is like a red flag to a particularly geeky bull.

Flash was (and is) insecure, and people would try to hack highscores for fun even when there wasn’t a prize attached. Anything of value would really open the floodgates.

If there was an offer of, say, a free cow… our players would have gone hacking crazy.

Which is why I felt a pang of empathy for Digital Mania this week, but it looks like things have gone off without a hitch. The Tunisian developer awarded the player at the top of its Bagra (translation: “cow”) app leaderboard a living, breathing bovine of their own. That may sound like a weird prize, but given the game involves protecting your herd of cows while stealing other people’s, in a sense they are perhaps overqualified for the needs of their new pet.

Tuniscope reports that the winners had the choice of donating the cow, having it butchered for meat or adopting the bovine. They chose the latter.

I hope you noticed that I got through the whole of this post without a single cow pun, despite the mooving nature of the news.


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Image: Orangeaurochs, used under Creative Commons

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