informa
4 MIN READ
Featured Blog

A healthy virus is spreading in Sweden

A game called Turf is becoming increasingly popular in Sweden, it is simple in it's mechanics but yet so addictive. Exersice comes as added bonus from playing.

A couple of weeks ago my wife told me that one of her colleagues had bought a car in northern Sweden and had to go pick it up. That's quite a far drive, but she was happy to do that as she could get some turfs on the way up. That sounds interesting, was my first thought, so I looked up turf and found this site http://turfgame.com/. Seeing that it was a sunny sunday and I had nothing better todo I decided to give it a try.

About two hundred meters from my house there was a turf, so my family went for a walk and grabbed it. Then there was another one not that far away, so I grabbed that as well. In half an hour of walk we grabbed 4-5 turfs.

After the walk I decided that I got to make an impression. I grabbed my bike and went around my area and grabbed another 20 turfs or so. I was hooked.

Mechanics

The game mechanics are very simple. You go to an area where a turf is located and stand within the marked zone for a short period of time (less than a minute, decreasing with your level). When time is up, you own the turf. It will be locked for a period after you took it (5-30 minutes, once again depending on level), during which nobody can snatch the turf from you.

Each turf has a point value that you get when you take it, on top of that, points accumulate each hour you hold a turf. The number of points varies depending on popularity of the turf.

At noon the first sunday each month a new round starts, upon which all turfs become neutral and mayhem commences. Grabbing a neutral turf gives some extra points, so a lot of people head out of the gates to try to grab as many as possible. Since you can see all the other players on the map a lot of interesting tactics takes place when players are racing each other for areas with a lot of neutral turfs.

A round

While you're playing a round of turf there are three levels of leaderboards. First, there is the regional leaderboard, then you have the country leaderboard and finally there is the globalone . At the end of the round the winner on each of the leaderboards recieve medals for their accomplishments.

Right now most of the players in this game are in Sweden, which means it wouldn't be very difficult to win a round in UK for example. However, I believe this will change quite soon. If you want to grab an easy round victory outside of Sweden, now is the time :)

Achievements

The fun part with playing Turf is to try to grab the achievements. (actually, writing this post is in part a hunt for that). Naturally, some of the achievements are easily captured, then there are the ones that you have to work quite a lot for. One of the tougher ones is to hold 250 turfs at the same time, at this moment there only 42 people that have accomplished that.

Making enemies and friends

As you see all the other players on the map, you will quite often end up near another one and have a little bit of a chat. I've heard of quite a few friendships that has formed around this. For example, in my region there is a gathering at one of the turf zones after every round is finished.

However, not everyone will be friends. You might get some digital enemies as well. Quite often there are two or more players competing for the same set of turfs in their neighbourhood. Thus, you will occasionally loose all your turfs to one of the other players. If you have a competitive mind like me, you might sigh and head out to regrab them in the late night. This can lead to some frustration and interesting tactics around when it's best to grab the turfs from the other players.

Added benefits

A friend of mine that was playing turf before I even knew about it finished second in Sweden earlier this year. He told me that he had biked about 3100 kilometers in a month and lost more than 5 kilos since starting with turf. You can play turf by going around with a car, but a bike will be a lot faster. 

Some of the turfs are located in the woods almost only reachable by foot, and some requires swimming out into a lake with your phone in a plastic bag. While playing the game you will get a lot of exercise and see places in your area that you didn't know existed. 

The photo at the start of this post is taken quite near where I live, without the turf out there I probably wouldn't have stumbled across that place ever.

Downtown SF

Summary

There are many geo location games out there and more will come, Turf is an excellent example of this done well. In its simplicity it is extremely addictive and will get the laziest bastard out of the couch. A word of caution though, getting fast from one point to another will be difficult after you have started turfing.

To the left is the current status of downtown San Francisco, a lot of neutral (yellow) turfs up for grabs. Just download the app, check if there is a turf near you and go and grab it.

Latest Jobs

Xbox Game Studios

Redmond, Washington
10.5.22
Technical Lighting Artist

Innogames

Hamburg, Germany
10.5.22
Game Designer - Elvenar

Bandai Namco Mobile

Barcelona, Spain
10.5.22
Principal 3D Animator

Cryptic Studios

Los Gatos, California
10.5.22
Staff Core Software Engineer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Browse
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more