This week mobile gaming startup RAWR! Interactive saw the release of its latest button mashing action title Count to a Billion on the App Store. The new game is a furious race to get an absurd number of points during a minute and a half techno-backed session, with a whole slew of sliders and moving buttons to help iPhone gamers jam their way to the top of the leaderboard.
Count to a Billion was conceived by Pedro and Mario Wunderlich, a team of brothers who spent the last seven months working together on the project. During an interview in June, Pedro told Techli that he finds a great deal of creative inspiration when pursuing absurd ideas further than most people are willing. Pedro pointed to mega mobile hit Angry Birds as a prime example of absurdity on the brink.
Turning this pondered absurdity into something useful and new is RAWR! Interactive’s main objective, and something that can be found even in its first app, an alarm clock called Wake N Shake. Unlike traditional alarm apps, the Wunderlich brothers’ alarm clock requires the user to shake it vigorously to stop its chiming, turning the process of waking up into a physical struggle. With Count to a Billion, the developers have turned users against their iPhones once again, in an exhausting, hand-cramping battle for mega points.
On top of slowly but surely turning your hand into a shaky claw, Count to a Billion features Game Center leaderboards, addictive progression, and a gameplay recording feature powered by Kamcord, which will allow the best players to properly shame their friends. Within the first 24 hours of its launch Count to a Billion had been downloaded more than 300 times — not bad at all for a small studio pushing out its first mobile game.
“The biggest challenge with Count to a Billion was making the gameplay feel inhumanly intense,” Pedro admitted. “There aren’t many ridiculously intense games out there, especially ones that demand a lot from you physically, so we saw a huge opportunity there. But getting that intense feel is very difficult as we learned during development. Turns out, it’s very reliant on sound effects, not just visuals.”
In order to intensify the button-mashing gameplay, the team worked with Argentinian music producer Santiago Niño to create the title’s fast-paced audio tracks, as well as the accompanying hard-hitting sound effects. “Reaching that ‘Oh my God, this game is so intense’ feel took months of tweaking, but it’s paid off,” Pedro said.
For now RAWR! Interactive is working on an iPad version of their latest title, with planned support for two-handed and even split screen gameplay. “We want to continue pushing the envelope on how intense a mobile game can be,” said Pedro. “We want to use all of that screen real estate to make users really have to workout to get high scores.”
So just how intense is Count to a Billion? According to the launch trailer, the friction is so furious that your hand could even catch flame during a more serious session. But don’t take our word for it, head over to the iOS App Store, where for only $0.99 you can start properly hammering your iPhone into submission. Better keep an emergency water bucket handy, just to be on the safe side.