Free: IOS, Android. “I solemnly swear to not do dumb stuff around trains.”
Dumb Ways to Die is a game that shows the consequences of real life stupid behavior through comedic characters and scenarios. Players can tilt, blow on, tap and swipe on their device to pass through each randomly generated scenario. The player is given three lives and as the player progresses through the game they receive score points and the game speed quickens.
Dumb Ways to Die was originally a public service announcement for train safety by Metro Trains in Melbourne Australia. It was then made into a music video which has over 60 million views in Youtube. Now having released two mobile platform games, Dumb Ways to Die and Dumb Ways to Die 2, Metro Trains has now reported a 21 percent reduction in accidents and death since.
This game is so fun. I’ve had it downloaded on my device for about a year now and still play it from time to time. It’s only now I’ve really analysed it.
The mechanic for randomly generated scenarios would have to be my favorite part of the game. When I first played it, I was frustrated that I had no idea what was going on or how to play. But i was intrigued, and that simple mechanic made me obsess with it. Also it makes you want to share the game with friends to see their first reaction to being ‘thrown in the deep end’ by this game.
I think the message is clear. At first I didn’t notice it, but train safety is highlighted in some of the game scenarios and the interface. Plus within the interface there is a button which brings you to a pop up pledge saying “I solemnly swear to not do dumb stuff around trains,” which is brilliant.
The game taught me about the impact that mobile games can make. It became popular and delivered a message quickly and effectively just by simple mechanics and a couple really good ideas.