The history of WallaBee is closely aligned to that another location game – Gowalla. In 2011 Gowalla removed the item collection element of the service to the dismay of many users as CEO Ben Dodson explains, “We built WallaBee as we realised there was a huge amount of disappointment when Gowalla announced they were removing items from their service. We felt their assertion that only 0.5% of their users were using items in their app was based on spurious figures and the research we did showed there was a huge number of fans for such a game”. With Gowalla being acquired by Facebook you have to think there is scope in this space to create a business.
Wallabee is first and foremost a game, not a check-in service. The aim of WallaBee is to forage at locations and pick up one of the many items in the game. These items are kept in your pouch and can be combined and traded with the aim being to obtain the best sets. Strong social features are tied into the game, including Twitter and Facebook integration and the Apple Game Center service, allowing uers to compete with friends and against the leaderboard.
Exciting times for the team, not only are they launching their app into the App Store but they’re also taking WallaBee out to SXSW in March. I’ll be sure to follow the progress of WallaBee as the guys go out to Austin. Also of note is the WallaBee API. It’s nice to see a startup launch their product with their API in place. The guys have listed some suggested implementations with the data but I think there could be scope for some really interesting apps built on top of the data.
Currently available only on iOS, WallaBee is a free download and free to play. However, users have the ability to buy in-game currency via in-app purchases or to upgrade to a Pro Account which has a number of perks. Check it out and give the guys some feedback – Alan is always open to suggestions for improvements to the game so give him a tweet or maybe catch him at one of the RookieOven events.