Infectiously addicting puzzler spreads to new distribution platform, languages

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA, July 30, 2015 – Having claimed over four million downloads on the App Store and Google Play, hit freemium game Sporos is poised to seize countless more hours from puzzlists after launching on the App Pass.

The subscription-based digital catalogue comes pre-installed on all Sprint (United States) and SoftBank (Japan) Android devices, representing a significant portion of the mobile carriers’ combined 93 million-strong customer base. With their flagship title featured among the carefully-curated selection of offerings, developer Appxplore now shares prime real estate with triple-A counterparts the likes of Gameloft and Kairosoft.

In a bid to mount a sustained push for market share, Sporos will also be localised for Korean and Japanese audiences. The game’s vibrant graphics, soothing electronica, subtle difficulty curve and generous amount of content will become accessible to speakers of the two languages this 30 July.

Spread across a whopping 500 levels (and counting!), Sporos challenges players to illuminate every cell on a board by arranging seeds down every row and column. Order of placement is key to completion here, as only a limited number of seeds are given, and they are not all equal. Some are six-directional, while others are confined to four or two. In the absence of a time limit, players must instead attempt solutions with the least moves possible, lending the game an extra layer of depth and replayability.

Sporos is Appxplore’s sophomore effort after the successful debut of Lightopus. The game quickly won over both casual and hardcore gamers upon its release in 2013.

Steve Watts of MacLife praised its “easy-to-grasp, hard-to-master puzzle mechanics” and “nicely-paced difficulty ramp”. AppSpy’s Dave Flodine echoed the sentiment, scoring the game 4/5 and calling it “an engaging, original puzzle experience”. Writing for Cult of Mac, Rob LeFebvre concluded, “It’s pretty to look at, calming to play, and will challenge even the most dedicated puzzle game fans”.

Sporos is not the sole asset in the company’s portfolio to receive major updates. Existing IPs Alien Hive and Mobfish Hunter are lined up to get fresh coats of paint in the coming months, jostling for a fair share of the attention likely to be showered on the launch of four brand new games.

This rapid expansion comes after Appxplore was acquired by Singapore-based venture accelerator Fatfish Internet Group in 2014. The takeover has injected a healthy dose of resources into the fledgling startup that is hoped to enable larger-scale projects and widen their clientele.

Fatfish has since spun off its mobile games studio investments into newly-established subsidiary iCandy Interactive Ltd, which will be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Sporos is available for download on the App Store, Google Play, and App Pass.

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Singapore Internet venture accelerator Fatfish Internet Group Limited has acquired a 70 percent stake in Malaysia mobile game studio Appxplore, developer of games like Mobfish Hunter and Caveboy Escape. This follows its recent IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange, where it raised $3.22 million.

The Appxplore acquisition is to be completed by Fatfish's 70-percent-owned subsidiary, High Joyful International Limited, for an undisclosed sum in cash.

Fatfish Internet Group CEO Kin-Wai Lau promised in a press release that mobile games developed by Appxplore will be downloaded "by more than 5 million smartphone users by the end of this year." Lau also said that with the resources and support Fatfish intends to put into Appxplore, it expects the downloads to double over the next 12 months.

(See: Learn how Appxplore went from zero to hero)

Appxplore co-founder and producer Desmond Lee thinks achieving the numbers Fatfish expects is possible, but adds that "download numbers don't mean anything if the retention is poor."

With the resources, we will focus on building better and larger-scale games which we hope can make players stay longer.

Lee also added that Appxplore would be expanding to take on bigger games, and following the acquisition, is building a team in Indonesia to work on more casual games. However, he assured us that Appxplore will still focus on quality rather than quantity.

At the moment, Appxplore is working on a major update for Mobfish Hunter. It also has a new game that's still in the prototype stage.