American Express launches a money-centric iPhone advergame

Here's an offer for you -everyone and anyonecan get approved for American Express's very first iPhone game, a collection of "cash-focused brainteasers" that test your memory and basic math skills. But make no mistake - this game has nothing to do with American Express or its products and services.

Aside from having the credit card company's logo in the corner, Cash IQ is nothing more than a bunch of simple mini-games.

In Check Your Balance, you have to place shopping bags of unknown weights on a scale to make them weigh out evenly. Shopping List is a basic memory-matching game, and Flip & Pin requires players to fill in shapes with a limited amount of tile pieces. Finally, Beat the Bank, the only game that really has anything to do with money, tasks players with keeping track of how much cash slips into and out of a piggy bank.

So where's the marketing message in all of this? Well, after your mini-game score is tallied up, your score will then rise by 5%. See, that's the same as the cashback rate for Platinum cardmembers. Not exactly a blatant in-your-face depiction like we're used to seeing with advergames (that's right - we're looking at you,M&M's Shell Shocked), but still eye roll inducing.

Come on, American Express. Give us an adventure game about a businessman who gets stuck in Mumbai and has to call the exclusive Black Card hotline to book an immediate flight back to Santa Barbara. That's the kind of top-notchgame concept we'd expect from you.

Nevertheless, if you're one of the many(?) Amex fanboys out there, Cash IQ is available now as a free download.

Nov 11, 2010

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