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Burger King launches first mobile game

Burger King Corp. has launched its first mobile game as part of an effort to reach out to its target audience.

The fast-food giant's BK City mobile multi-level game has three distinct worlds and 12 progressively challenging mini-games. Mobile content developer Mobliss Inc. created the game.

"Burger King is always looking for new and interesting ways to engage with their core audience and we know that our core consumer is into mobile gaming," said Heather Krasnow, spokeswoman at Burger King, Miami. "So it's a way to interact with them and be relevant in the space they live."

The downloadable mobile game showcases features integrating the King mascot as well as variations of classic puzzle favorites similar to Concentration and Space Invaders.

Players compete to earn a place in the King's entourage by going through a series of challenges within each virtual world.

The gamers navigate through the King's three favorite hangouts -- a Burger King restaurant, the King's mansion and BK City -- encountering Whopper sandwich builds and squirting ketchup through the air.

Each successful navigation earns points and advancement to the next level.

For example, in "Flip My Bun," gamers can test memory skills by flipping a bun and matching ingredients to build sandwiches as quickly as possible.

Another game, "Fry Assault," challenges virtual employees to catch falling French fries and onion rings before time runs out.

Also, those playing the "King's Bling" can save the day and recover the King's stolen jewels. In fact, gamers race against the clock to make enough money to replace the King's jewels.

Licensed to Mobliss -- which developed and managed the text message voting system for the "American Idol" television show for five years -- the BK City game package is said to be compatible with almost 200 mobile phone models and available across a host of wireless carriers.

BK City also offers leaderboards, user profiles, buddy lists and user-to-user text messaging to challenge family and friends to play the games.

The package is available for download by texting KING to the 90210 short code for a monthly subscription fee of $2.99.

This isn't Burger King's first foray into gaming, though.

The company has developed three branded XBox games and integrated Burger King branded content into video games such as "Fight Night," "NFL Street" and "Need for Speed."

Burger King has more than 11,300 restaurants nationwide and in 69 countries and U.S. territories. Nearly 90 percent of them are franchisee-owned and run.

Like all Burger King promotions, the mobile game package is not just a branding ploy, but a customer acquisition and retention play.

"I think we hope to get brand recognition and we hope that the people who are downloading these games are apt to visit Burger King," Ms. Krasnow said.