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Agar.io

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Agar.io
Agar.io appstore logo.png
Agar.io mobile logo
Publisher(s) Miniclip (mobile)
Designer(s) Matheus Valadares[1]
Platform(s) Browser, Android, iOS
Release Browser
28 April 2015[2]
Android, iOS
24 July 2015
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Multiplayer

Agar.io[a] is a massively multiplayer online action game created by Matheus Valadares. Players control one or more cells in a map representing a petri dish. The goal is to gain as much mass as possible by eating agar and cells smaller than the player's cell while avoiding larger ones which can eat the player's cells. Each player starts with one cell, but players can split a cell into two once it reaches a sufficient mass, allowing them to control multiple cells. The name comes from the substance agar, used to culture bacteria.

The game was released to positive critical reception; critics particularly praised its simplicity, competition, and mechanics, while criticism targeted its repetitive gameplay. Largely due to word of mouth on social networks, it was a quick success, becoming one of the most popular web and mobile games in its first year.[3] A Steam version was announced on 3 May 2015 (though never released as of 2018), and the mobile version of Agar.io for iOS and Android was released on 24 July 2015 by Miniclip. Agar.io has inspired similar web games called ".io games", including games with a similar objective but different characters, and games that incorporate elements of other genres like shooter games.[4]

Gameplay[edit]

Agar.io gameplay; this shows only a small fraction of an Agar.io map. There are four cells on this screenshot. One of the cells is a drawing of Doge, an Internet meme.

The objective of Agar.io is to grow a cell on a petri dish by swallowing both randomly generated pellets (agar), which slightly increases a cell's mass, and smaller cells, without being swallowed by larger cells.[5] The browser version currently holds five game modes: FFA (Free-For-All), Battle Royale, Teams, Experimental and Party. The mobile version of the game includes FFA (Free-For-All) and Rush Mode. The goal of the game is to obtain the largest cell; players must restart when all their cells are eaten. Players can change their cell's appearance with predefined words, phrases, symbols or skins.[6] The more mass a cell has, the slower it will move.[7] Cells gradually lose a small amount of mass over time.[8]

Viruses are green, spiky circles that split large cells. Viruses are normally randomly generated, but can also be generated when receiving enough mass, to the point of splitting into two, hence creating a new virus.[9]

Players can split their cell into two, and one of the two evenly divided cells will be flung in the direction of the cursor. This can be used as a ranged attack to shoot a cell in order to swallow other smaller cells or to escape an attack and move quickly around the map.[10] Split cells eventually merge back into one cell. Aside from feeding viruses, players can release a small fraction of their mass to feed other cells, an action commonly recognized as an intention to team with another player.[11] However, a small portion of the ejected mass is lost.[12] Players can also spawn from ejected mass.[12]

Development[edit]

Agar.io was announced on 4chan on 27 April 2015 by Matheus Valadares, a 19-year-old Brazilian developer.[13] Written in JavaScript and C++, the game was developed in a few days.[14] The game originally did not have a name, and users had to connect to Valadares' IP address in order to play. The name Agar.io was suggested by an anonymous 4chan user, as other domain names such as cell.io were already taken.[13] Valadares continued updating and adding new features to the game, such as an experience system and an "experimental" gamemode for testing experimental features.[15] One week later, Agar.io entered Steam Greenlight with Valadares announcing a future free-to-play version of the game for download. He planned to include features in the Steam version not available in the browser version, including additional gamemodes, custom styling, and an account system. It was approved for listing on Steam due to community interest.[16] However, the game was eventually removed from the Greenlight program (the Greenlight program its self shut down in 2016), and was never released.

On 24 July 2015, Miniclip published a mobile version of Agar.io for iOS and Android. Sergio Varanda, head of mobile at Miniclip, explained that the main goal of the mobile version was to "recreate the gaming experience" on mobile, citing the challenges with recreating the game on touchscreen controls.[17]

Reception[edit]

Agar.io was released to a positive critical reception. Particular praise was given to the simplicity, competition, and mechanics of the game. Engadget described the game as "a good abstraction of the fierce survival-of-the-fittest competition that you sometimes see on the microscopic level."[18] Toucharcade praised its simplicity, strategic element, and "personality."[19]

Criticism was mainly targeted towards its repetitiveness and the controls of the mobile version. Tom Christiansen of Gamezebo was mixed on the game, saying that there was "nothing to hold my attention" and that it was "highly repetitive, overall."[20] Pocket Gamer, reviewing the mobile version, described its controls as "floaty."[21]

Because it was frequently propagated through social media and broadcast on Twitch.tv[7] and YouTube,[22] Agar.io was a quick success. The agar.io website (for the browser version) was ranked by Alexa as one of the 1,000 most visited websites[23] and the mobile versions were downloaded more than ten million times during their first week.[24] During 2015, Agar.io was Google's most searched video game.[25] It was Google's second-most searched game in the United States in 2016.[26] A 2015 press release by Miniclip stated that Agar.io was listed as the fifth top game on YouTube’s list of top games.[27]

During the campaigns of the June 2015 Turkish elections, Agar.io was used in Turkey as a medium of political advocacy; many players were naming their cells after Turkish political parties and references, with alliances formed between players with similar political views, battling against other players with opposing views.[28] Some political parties have used Agar.io in campaign posters as a symbol of support.[6]

Agar.io was featured (including some details of its gameplay as well as a shot of an actual game) in "Chapter 48" of Netflix TV-series House of Cards.[29] Its gameplay was compared to the presidential campaigning.

Similar games[edit]

The success of Agar.io has inspired others to create Agar.io spin-offs, which includes Steve Howse, the developer of Slither.io who produced the game when he was experiencing financial problems and discovered the popularity of Agar.io.[30] This eventually lead to the creation of the .io game genre.[31][32] Some of these games include Airma.sh,[33] Deeeep.io,[34] Limax.io, Driftin.io, Vanar.io, Entro.space, Tiles.io, Boattle.io, Gunr.io, and Wings.io.[31]

Slither.io[edit]

Slither.io is a massively multiplayer browser game developed by Steve Howse and inspired from Agar.io. Unlike Agar.io where players control a cell on a petri dish, they would instead control an worm-resembling avatar which consumes multicolored pellets, both from other players and ones that naturally spawn on the map in the game, to grow in size. The objective of the game is to grow the longest worm in the server. It is reminiscent of the classic arcade game Snake.[35][36]

The game grew in popularity following its promotion among several prominent YouTube users such as PewDiePie, and topped the App Store shortly after its release. The browser version of the game was ranked by Alexa as one of the 1,000 most visited sites by July 2016,[37] while the iOS version ranked first in the most downloaded apps on the App Store. A mobile version of the game for Android was released on March 27, 2016. Reception to the game was positive, with reviewers praising its appearance and customization but criticizing it for its low replay value and the high price users must pay to remove advertisements.[26][38][39]

Diep.io[edit]

Diep.io[b] is a massively multiplayer browser game developed by Matheus Valadares, based on Agar.io and released around the time of April 2016. The game first appeared on 4chan on April 23, 2016 (By then, the game was already released).[40] In the game, players start as a tank in a variety of game modes, leveling up by destroying other tanks, shapes and other entities in-game to upgrade the player's statistics and into other tanks and dominate the server. It currently has 48 different tanks and 8 different game modes to choose from. Ever since May 18, 2016, the game has a "changelog" on the top-left corner of the screen which states the latest updates added to the game.

The mobile version of Diep.io for both iOS and Android was released on June 20, 2016 and published by Miniclip.[41] The game has had a generally positive reception, with critics praising its captivating game play but was criticized for "lacking key features that would have made it better" unlike other casual games.[42][43]

EatMe.io[edit]

EatMe.io is an action-based massively multiplayer online game developed by Junglee Games, which was released on December 2016 and part of the .io type of games.[44] In the game, players begin as a small fish and must eat food and other fishes to gain mass. Other players' attacks can be escaped via splitting or hiding behind stun bombs. Players are required to increase in their level to unlock new fish and evolve into other forms of fishes. More fishes with unique or special skills are unlockable throughout the game as the player progresses.[45]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sometimes called or pronounced "agario" (/ˈɡɑːr, ˈɑː-/).
  2. ^ Sometimes called or pronounced "diepio"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Agar.io, le nouveau jeu phénomène sur iPhone/iPad et Android". Pockett.net (in French). Archived from the original on 17 September 2016. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Irmak, Şafak. "İnternetin Yeni Çılgınlığı: Agar.io" [The Internet's new craze: Agar.io]. Webtekno (in Turkish). 
  3. ^ "Why You Should Care About Agar.io". App Annie. July 28, 2015. 
  4. ^ Takahashi, Dean (2017). "The surprising momentum behind games like Agar.io". VentureBeat. Retrieved 5 May 2018. 
  5. ^ "Eat and be eaten: How to survive and thrive in Agar.io". Digital Trends. 14 September 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Grayson, Nathan. "A Game That's Become A Political Battleground". Kotaku (America). Retrieved 13 July 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Livingston, Christopher. "Agario: the dot-gobbling browser game that's a hit on Twitch". PC Gamer. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  8. ^ "Comment battre vos collègues au jeu en ligne Agar.io" [How to beat your colleagues in the online game Agar.io]. Le Monde (in French).  "Enfin chaque joueur perd de la masse." ("Finally each player loses mass.")
  9. ^ "Comment battre vos collègues au jeu en ligne Agar.io" [How to beat your colleagues in the online game Agar.io]. Le Monde (in French).  "Il doit composer avec les autres compétiteurs, mais aussi avec les virus, des boules de taille moyenne qui feront éclater les joueurs les plus gros en plusieurs morceaux, les laissant vulnérables ... Il est possible de faire se dupliquer les virus en leur tirant dessus plusieurs fois avec la touche W." ("They [the player] must deal with other competitors, but also with viruses, balls of medium size that split the biggest players into several pieces, leaving them vulnerable ... It is possible to duplicate viruses by shooting them several times with the W key.")
  10. ^ "Agar.io: a guide to the hit game – and the best tips to win". The Week. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Comment battre vos collègues au jeu en ligne Agar.io" [How to beat your colleagues in the online game Agar.io]. Le Monde (in French).  "Le plus gros est, par exemple, nourri par ses amis qui viennent volontairement se faire manger." ("The biggest are, for example, fed by their friends who come voluntarily to be eaten.")
  12. ^ a b "changelog.txt". 11 February 2017. Archived from the original on 11 February 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2017. 
  13. ^ a b Anonymous. "No.292440446". 4chan (archived by archived.moe). Retrieved 16 April 2016. 
  14. ^ "Efsane oyunun geliştiricisi ile kısa bir söyleşi yaptık". 
  15. ^ "The new Agar.io mobile update – what's new?". Miniclip. 3 October 2015. 
  16. ^ "Steam Greenlight: Agar.io". Steam. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Gordon, Scott. "Agar.io: can the Play Store's top game continue to grow?". AndroidPit. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  18. ^ Fingas, Jon. "Agar.io brings massively multiplayer games to the petri dish". Engadget. Retrieved 16 June 2015. 
  19. ^ Carter, Chris. "'Agar.io' Review – The Amoeba Boys (and Girls)". Toucharcade. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  20. ^ Christiansen, Tom. "Agar.io Review: Bursting Your Bubble". Gamezebo. Retrieved 17 December 2015. 
  21. ^ Fox, Glen. "Agar.io review". Pocket Gamer. Steel Media. 
  22. ^ Matuk, Pablo. "Agar.io, el nuevo y sencillo juego de moda" [Agar.io, the new and simple game in fashion]. Unocero (in Spanish). Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  23. ^ "agar.io Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Archived from the original on 28 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "How Agari.io conquered the App Store, without spending a penny". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "Agar.io, Fallout 4, Mortal Kombat X in Google's most searched games in 2015". International Business Times. 22 December 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  26. ^ a b Fitzpatrick, Alex (December 13, 2016). "These Were the Most-Googled Video Games of 2016". Time. Retrieved 2017-08-09. 
  27. ^ "Agar.io is #5 on YouTube's list of top games". coporate.miniclip.com. December 22, 2015. 
  28. ^ "Web game becomes latest battlefield in Turkish politics". Hurriyet Daily News. 27 May 2015. Retrieved 10 August 2015. 
  29. ^ "Miniclip's Agar.io features in 'House of Cards' season 4". Business Insider Deutschland. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  30. ^ Needleman, Sarah E. (June 17, 2016). "As 'Slither.io' Goes Viral, Game's Creator Scrambles to Keep Up". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved January 29, 2018. 
  31. ^ a b "The Wide World of .io Games". dailygame.net. September 10, 2016. 
  32. ^ "More of Those .io Games". dailygame.net. November 10, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Five Sigma's HTML5-based aircraft battle .io game 'Airmash' is amazing, and it works perfectly on mobile". Android Police. 11 December 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2018. 
  34. ^ Spencer, Chloe. "An Undersea Game Where You Evolve To The Top Of The Food Chain". Kotaku. Retrieved 2 February 2018. 
  35. ^ Hernandez, Patricia (April 14, 2016). "Slitherio, YouTube's Hottest New Game, Is More Fun Than It Has Any Right To Be". Kotaku. Archived from the original on April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016. 
  36. ^ Brandt Ranj (April 30, 2016). "Slither.io". Business Insider. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 
  37. ^ "Slither.io Traffic, Demographics and Competitors". Alexa Internet. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  38. ^ Rowland, Scottie (July 18, 2016). "Slither.io: Brings back memories of early mobile games (Review)". AndroidGuys. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  39. ^ Slater, Harry (April 26, 2016). "Slither.io Review". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  40. ^ Anonymous. "335164273". 4chan (archived). Retrieved January 9, 2018. 
  41. ^ "'Diep.io' Hits the App Store From the Creator of 'Agar.io'". www.toucharcade.com. July 21, 2016. 
  42. ^ "diep.io Review: Tanks for the Idea". www.gamezebo.com. July 29, 2016. 
  43. ^ "Diep.io". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-01-06. 
  44. ^ "Junglee Games Launches EatMe.io an Epic Underwater Battle Game of Survival – Play for Maximum Kills". prweb.com. December 8, 2016. 
  45. ^ Diaz, Justin (August 8, 2016). "Sponsored Game Review: EatMe.io". 

External links[edit]