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‘1000: Find ‘Em All!’ – Remember to tie your shoelaces!

Undoubtedly we are all quite fond of our iPhones. After all, never has it been easier to bring our favourite games around with us wherever we may be. But how would it be if the roles were reversed– if our games instead brought us around with them? That is the question on which Glu Mobile has rested the success of its latest foray into the AppStore.

1000: Find ‘Em All! [App Store] is as much an abstract as it is the title. You are tasked with simply finding and collecting 1000 items– that is the extent of the what, but it’s the how which really sets 1000: Find ‘Em All! apart.

The first method of collecting items is the easiest. You navigate your character by dragging him around a lifeless but gorgeously crafted in-game world; leaving a trail of sunshine, rainbows and lollipops behind you. Well, maybe not lollipops, but your very presence injects color and life into your surroundings– flowers will sprout, grass will turn green, objects will animate– for anyone that’s tried their hand at De Blob [$3.99 / Free], you’ll know what I’m on about. And every now and then you’ll stumble across a sparkling item and tapping on it may or may not reveal an item to collect.

This is all well and good but still largely derivative. It’s the second and third means of discovering items that really bring something new to the table. Making use of the iPhone’s in-build GPS and in partnership with Google Maps, 1000: Find ‘Em All! will populate your neighbourhood and surroundings with virtual items simply by the press of a button. A map of your area will download and presents will pop-up all over the place; Christmas only coming early to those willing to physically move to the highlighted locations. In a similar fashion the third and final means of collecting items also interacts with the real world; virtual ‘Gifters’ appearing at different WiFi hotspots that you may come across to bestow presents on you. At this point you may be thinking what I was– if only Glu Mobile were in league with Starbucks or McDonalds we could be gifted some serious rewards for our exertions.

In any case, 1000: Find ‘Em All! comes packaged with a raft of achievements, not only to do with the number of items collected and the percentage of the game world colored, but also concerning how items are collected (presumably to encourage players not to just sit at home). Collected items can only be interacted with as far as their tooltip, and whilst they can be quite funny or informative, they really serve no other purpose than as trophies.

Whether this worldwide scavenger hunt will appeal to you is really quite up to you as an individual. I can see how some may rally to the idea of having something interesting to distract them while they’re out. Personally, I could not depart from the feeling that it was too gimmicky and ultimately superfluous– that it demanded too much from you for it to be worth your while. If anything, it seems more suited to those with kids, to encourage a little out-and-about time whilst still whetting the little monsters’ insatiable appetites for technology.

It’s disappointing that finding and collecting items is really all there is to do in 1000: Find ‘Em All! though, as the game world is rich and detailed and screaming for further interaction. But for all you budding treasure-hunters out there, finding 1000 items is sure to occupy you for a very long time, and you may actually take something from 1000: Find ‘Em All! if you’re willing to brave the elements to do so.

Please note that only the iPhone is supported due to the GPS requirements, and only if you have OS 3.0 installed.

App Store Link: 1000: Find ‘Em All!, $2.99.