Love Pick n Pay’s Stickeez? Play the video game!

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Stikeez

Stikeez, if you’re unaware, are those infernal toys that local retailer Pick and Pay has turned in to this generation’s Pogs. Buy goods to the value of R150 at any Pick and Pay, and they’ll throw in a cheaply-made, suction-cup toy gratis. It’s genius-level marketing, to be honest – because it has thousands of parents acquiescing to their whiny brat children to buy their groceries from Pick n Pay – much to the chagrin of said parents.

They’re decidedly evil things, and even my own kids hint that we should do our shopping there, instead of the Spar that’s within walking distance. I remain resolute though – and if they want Stikeez, they’ll have to fabricate them from their own crystallised tears. And now, it appears, that there’s a game.

Retailer Pick and Pay announced that there’s a digital version of the collectathon available for Android and iOS, which they’d love for you to install, so that kids can become even more enamoured with the stupid things, forcing parents to give even more money to the Ackerman family.

Here’s what the game’s all about:

“Help the Stikeez find their way to their friends! Help them explore this strange new land as they gather themselves and rise up to the challenges that come their way!

Rise of the Stikeez is a puzzle platform game; help these three Stikeez gather their lost friends throughout 60 Levels, with various challenges and hazards that stand in their way.

Use power ups to help you find your friends, overcome obstacles and survive the dangers of being a Stikeez in such a huge place.”

Yes, it’s an awful cash in, and yes it has micro-transactions.

The game, developed by Hong-Kong based toy manufacturer Zing Global Limited immediately attracted questions of why it wasn’t put in the hands of one of our many capable local developers – many of whom do, or are willing to do, contract work of this nature. It would have been a wonderful initiative, for Pick and Pay to use a local developer – but there’s a good reason they haven’t.

It has nothing to do with the quality of work local developers are capable of, but rather that the Stikeez themselves aren’t new, and neither is their game. The whole thing looks like a packaged marketing deal to co-opt and adapt these insufferable toys to the local market – and have been used internationally, at other retailers, to similar effect.

In fact, expect Stikeez to become even more prolific. Here’s a look at the sort of tie-in marketing European retailer Lidl got up to with the things (Thanks, Umar!):

Last Updated: August 17, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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