Once Upon a Crime is a new downloadable interactive “whodunit” game for mobile phones made freely available to the public. The application takes players from location to location to solve a mystery while promoting local storefronts (retailers, eateries, bookshops, events, and similar) by encouraging the player to browse within these locations for several minutes as a core function of completing the game to learn if their “accusation” is correct. It’s self-contained so it does not distract store personnel from their normal routine. This format stimulates impulse buying which provides the retailer with an opportunity to immediately increase revenue, increase market share, and increase worldwide exposure as participating locations appear on the app’s map. A merchant can elect to provide discounts, coupons and similar incentives to the players motivating return shopping and positive word-of-mouth. Locals and tourists who plan to visit the area will already know about the merchant because they saw it in the game. Once all the clues are gathered, the player can determine what the “crime” is, who committed it, and best of all, a valuable prize paid by us for solving the crime.
Our game is unique and the demographic data for the most successful similar mobile game demonstrates the average player is a 26 year old woman making US$90k per year and the best player is a 70 year old Japanese man. Team and group players ranged in age from 16 to over 60. In other words, this is not a kids game. Think of this as Groupon meets Pokémon Go, but players and sponsors mutually gain.