Welcome to Jim Hill Media - Entertainment News : Theme Parks Movies Television

Blocky take on favorite films & theme park attractions adds to fun of Disney Crossy Road

Blocky take on favorite films & theme park attractions adds to fun of Disney Crossy Road

  • Comments 0

Game publishers are constantly looking for the next big thing but sometimes it's the little games that turn out to be the blockbusters. Take the game Crossy Road for example. You may have not heard of the mobile game but chances are that someone you know has a copy on their phone. The game was originally published in 2014 by a small studio called Hipster Whale. The game featured a chicken character trying to cross a never-ending road. The game was deceptively simple yet hard to put down. It was that same simple formula that made games like Angry Bird and Flappy Bird runaway hits. You could play the games for a few seconds but could also lose hours trying to beat your best high score.


(L to R) Frogger Copyright Konami / Congo Bongo Copyright Sega / Minecraft Copyright
Mojang / Temple Run Copyright Imangi Studios. All rights reserved

The title looked and played very familiar to long-time gamers. The roots of the mobile hit went back more than 30 years. Crossy Road had game play elements reminiscent of Frogger, an arcade gem from 1981. In it players tried to guide a frog across a busy highway and flowing river onto a lillypad. Crossy Road also had an isometric style that was closer to Congo Bongo, another arcade classic from 1983. In Congo Bongo players guided a hunter across the jungle, avoiding monkeys, snakes and rhinos while in pursuit of an ape. It was essentially Sega's response to Donkey Kong, the Nintendo game from 1981. Where Crossy Road set itself apart was that the stages were randomly generated so that the experience was fresh each time. Temple Run, a mobile game from 2011 by Imangi Studios, helped make popularize the randomly generated levels in mobile games. Finally the blocky aesthetic of Crossy Road was inspired by Minecraft, a multi-billion dollar PC-turned-console-turned-licensing empire from the studio Mojang, also released in 2011.


Copyright Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. All rights reserved

Crossy Road was destined to be a hit based on the elements that inspired it. What surprised audiences were how well the game lent itself to licensing. Disney Crossy Road was released in 2016, with Mickey Mouse and friends replacing the chicken. There were many stages in this version, including levels based on the Haunted Mansion, Big Hero 6, Lion King, Toy Story and Wreck-It Ralph. Each stage has its own look and feel, with no two playing exactly the same. Some of the stages offer unique challenges, the Haunted Mansion for example requires players to light candelabras so that they can see the path ahead. Players are encouraged to collect coins so that they can unlock new characters. Collecting is a big part of many mobile titles and one of the reasons why audiences keep coming back. The game rewards players for collecting coins but also for watching ads of other mobile games and even for returning to the game every few hours. The in-game ads are one way that the studio makes money. Just how much money Hipster Whale has collected since 2014 is unknown. They did state that three months after the game originally debuted they had over 50 million downloads and had earned over $10 million dollars. With the Disney version the studio continues to make money. One of the other ways they earn it is by offering micro-transactions. If a player hasn't yet unlocked a certain character then for a few dollars they can buy said character. Some of the characters are only available during a season, then they disappear into the digital ether, adding a layer of exclusivity to the collection.


Copyright Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. All rights reserved

Disney Crossy Road found a perfect balance in the community. It maintained the ease of use from the original game while expanding on the character selection and level designs. It incorporated a healthy dose of nostalgia for the classic films and attractions while serving up gaming substance in the process. The game was helped with a merchandising push from the studio. Many of the biggest games are also featured in toy form as well. Disney Crossy Road is no exception and you can actually find blocky versions of the Disney mascots at your local Target. Disney and Hipster Whale aren't going to rest on their laurels. They will be releasing a Star Wars version of Crossy Road by the end of 2017. If you are a Disney fan I recommend checking Disney Crossy Road out, available for Android and iOS devices.

Blog - Post Feedback Form
Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close
Leave a Comment
  • * Please enter your name
  • * Please enter a comment
  • Post