Taking a look at the stories of the App Store I saw that one of them talked about Dumb Ways to Die, a game that I reviewed back in 2013 and that I had lost track of. The review is still there, but since my name has been removed from it, I will not link it. The fact is that after so many years, it seems that the game is still active and, in addition, accompanied by several subsequent deliveries.
The game itself is very original. Consists in save the life of funny animated characters that expose themselves to dangerous situations. A kind of Happy Tree Friends but with a happy ending. And best of all, this free game for iPhone and Android was part of a advertising campaign from Metro Trains Australia, the company in charge of suburban transport in Melbourne.
According to the story I found in the App Store and that I knew when I first tried this game, Metro Trains Australia launched a nice awareness campaign in the form of an animated video so that its users were more cautious and thus avoid accidents such as being run over. The video was released in 2012, and its fun characters and catchy tune launched it to worldwide fame. What’s more, the song was published on iTunes and you can also listen to it on Soundcloud.
A catchy campaign
Listening to Tangerine Kitty’s Dumb Ways to Die is dangerous because you’ll spend the day humming it. And that his lyrics speak of accidents and fatal errors, although it is very funny for its casual tone. As funny as the animated video that accompanied this song, composed and played by John Mescall Y Ollie McGill with the voice of Emily Lubitz and under the name of Tangerine Kitty.
The video and song were part of a campaign Metro Trains Australia, carried out by the McCann Melbourne agency, to warn of the dangers of not being careful when you get too close to the train track or do not notice when the door is going to close. These and other suburban dangers spread to others daily life mishaps and accidents and others more exotic to give it a very humorous touch typical of the country of Crocodile Dundee and Priscilla, queen of the desert.
Leaving the topics aside, the campaign was a complete success. Song and video became very popular on the internet in 2012. The video currently has 187 million views.
But beyond the anecdote, the campaign also featured a video game for iOS and Android that you could download for free and that was starring the characters in the video, called beans in reference to the popular sweet jelly beans. In the game you had to save the lives of the different mishaps and calamities they were.
In short, it was an awareness campaign for young people that was very successful between young and old. He even won dozens of awards at the Cannes Creativity Festival in 2013 in its different categories. Interestingly, although it was published in both print and radio and outdoor advertising and subway stations, success came thanks to the internet and its proposal in the form of a game.
Educating with a mobile game
If the advertising campaign was launched in November 2012, in May of the following year it appeared in the App Store the Dumb Ways to Die game. Its Android version would be released in September 2013. In both cases, it was a compilation of minigames where the characters in the video were in trouble and you had to save them. Simple, fun and, at the same time, a way to make young and not so young aware of the dangers of not being cautious.
But the Dumb Ways to Die story doesn’t end here. The success was such that after the 2012 campaign and the 2013 game, in 2014 the managers of the Melbourne Metro decided to launch a second game. Specifically, in November 2014 it was launched Dumb Ways to Die 2: The Games and in December its version for Android. Similar to the first game, the dynamics were the same, saving the lives of the animated characters who were in risky situations and fatal accidents. New characters, more levels and games and the same dark humor from the first game.
From here, every year new games have been inspired by the Dumb Ways to Die universe. The third game was called Dumb Ways to Die: Wire Walk and it was exclusive to Apple TV. In the game, for a fee, you have to run on a power line keeping balance and recovering the sweets and sweets stolen by an evil penguin.
A whole saga of mobile games
The following installments associated with Dumb Ways to Die, called Dumb Ways JR, have taken advantage of the popularity of the original games launching for iPhone and Android in a paid version. Rather than compiling multiple minigames, each title was a minigame itself, such as Dumb Ways JR Loopy’s Tran Set or Dumb Ways JR Madcap’s Plane, to name just two titles.
For their part, the two original games have been updated and currently, although they are still free, they have micropayments and regular updates with new games. A third edition was even released in late 2017 titled Dumb Ways To Die 3: World Tour and available for iPhone and Android.
To end this review, in 2019, the Dumb Ways to Die universe has expanded with two new titles starring the same characters. The first title, Dumb Ways To Draw, is to save their animated protagonists again but, this time, drawing on screen to help them. Thus, by drawing walls, stairs or ramps, you will manage to go to the next level.
The second title, and for now the most recent, is called Dumb Ways to Dash and it consists of run nonstop through scenarios in three dimensions where you will face other characters and some other impediment so that you do not reach the goal. Along the way you will be collecting costumes for your characters and new characters. The game is reminiscent of other classics like Temple Run and the like.
According to the App Store article, those responsible for Metro Train Australia they intend to continue releasing games. Seeing the varied list of titles associated with the Dumb Ways to Die phenomenon, apparently it pays to publish these games, both paid and free with micropayments.
In any case, it is curious that an advertising campaign to raise awareness for young people and children ends up leading to more than ten games for iPhone and Android, that without forgetting his mythical video and a song that you will not stop humming.