Finnkino, the largest cinema chain in Finland, has recently released Leffapeli (Finnish for “Movie Game”), a new crossmedial game to go along with the moviegoer experience. It is a game that is controlled through mobile devices and played on the big cinema screen five minutes before the actual film starts showing in the theater. Several people can attend the game at once and compete for a small prize that is cashed out from the cinema cashiers after the screening is over.
Even though the concept is technologically impressive and could potentially facilitate a number of different, interesting game mechanics, the developers have seemingly dodged a bullet by not attempting to create any experiences that would be considered cinematically or technically stunning, and instead have developed simple and easy-going casual games for early birds to have a go at. This seems to work pretty well and doesn’t interfere with the commercials nor the immersive film that follows. The observers who are not playing are still sort of participating in the game, since the prize sponsors get to have five full minutes of huge silver screen brand recognition. In other words, advergaming has now reached movie theaters.
The Leffapeli mobile app requires Facebook integration to work. I can’t really tell why this is, and especially when I realized the game puts my Facebook profile picture right on the big screen for everyone else in the audience to gaze, I was left to wonder if they had really tested this game with real people in real-life situations. There is a separate link for attending the game as an underage child without a Facebook account, but I’m unaware of how this works in practice.
The game mechanics are pretty simple, and different brands (Axe and Hesburger so far) feature different games, from flipping and memorizing cards to shooting bubbles. Reviewing Leffapeli alone from the perspective of game mechanics, however, cuts short in the sense that the game mechanics can evolve over time and there might be more game modes to come. Meanwhile, context plays a big part and Leffapeli wouldn’t be nearly as interesting as a standalone mobile game without the big screen, the prizes, or the cringes of showing off your face in the cinema for the sake of winning those prizes.
Title: Finnkino Leffapeli
Platform: Mobile (Android & iOS) as second screen
Genres: Casual, free to play, advergaming
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Online: http://www.finnkino.fi/leffapeli (in Finnish)