Smile Land: TAT launches social media game apps

Smile Land: TAT launches social media game apps

Who needs a plane ticket? With Thailand's official new game apps, you can race a tuk-tuk, stumble through Khao San or cook up some som tam

Because the world doesn’t have enough time-wasting social game apps already, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has launched a few of its own in an effort to promote the kingdom. 

The main Facebook game, appropriately called “Smile Land,” turns users into Thailand tourists.  

In the first level, for example, players wander through popular Bangkok tourist attractions like the Flower Market, the Grand Palace and Jatujak Market.

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It’s rather tedious as basically you have to make sure your character steps on almost every square to collect various items before you can continue. And just like the real Thailand, you run out of energy fast so be sure to fill up on "shop" items like rambutan and chili sauce to keep fuel levels high. 

The graphics are actually quite cute and the designers cleverly set it up so that you progress further if you invite more friends to play. But, as expected, the game is short on realism.

For instance, noticeably absent from Khao San Road are stands selling buckets of Red Bull and Sangsom whiskey or tuk-tuk drivers telling you the Grand Palace is closed. 

And speaking of tuk-tuks, the Smile Land website also has two mini games: “Tuk Tuk Racing” and “Somtam Sukjai.” 

In the first, gamers race a tuk-tuk by pressing the space bar repeatedly. Again, a more accurate app would have asked users to find the tuk-tuk driver that doesn’t try to take them to a suit or gem shop, but this one is admittedly cute.  

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In  “Somtam Sukjai,” designed for iPad users only, players need to find and select the correct ingredients for making som tam within a fixed period of time.  

Three other mini games -- "Muay Thai" for iPhone users, "Siam Tempo" for Andriod-based smart phones and "Siam Fun Fair" for Nokia smart phones -- will be released in September.