The Grid launches Legends of Echo

Vodacom’s The Grid yesterday launched Legends of Echo, South Africa’s first multi-player, location-based social game for mobile phones.
The Echo is a parallel virtual universe based on the South African map, but instead of cities and skyscrapers, players will find that there are rolling green hills, rocky outcrops and valleys to explore.
Legends of Echo makes use of Vodacom‘s Location-Based Services (LBS) to determine a player‘s physical location; from their location, players can then explore their surroundings or move ““ virtually, of course ““ to anywhere else in South Africa to interact with other players in real time.
Real-world place names are used to navigate; so, for instance, a player could teleport from Bellville in Cape Town to Randburg in Johannesburg to battle another player.
Legends of Echo screenshotIn the game, five bloodlines (Air, Earth, Water, Fire and Industry), incorporating twenty characters, battle each other for domination. Each bloodline has specific abilities and traits with regard to weapon use and creation.
Apart from engaging in one-on-one battle, players can trade with each other or communicate via an in-game instant messaging system.
The object of the game is to become a legend of the Echo. To achieve this, players need to gain enough Legend Points to appear on the high score sheet, by battling other players, and obtaining advanced weapons and other items by exploration or trade with other players.
Vincent Maher, Portfolio Manager Social Media, Vodacom South Africa, says, “œLegends of Echo combines the best in real-time Location-Based Services and mobile multiplayer gaming, in that it allows players across South Africa to interact in a virtual world that is linked to their real-life location ““ all via their cellphones. As such, it‘s an exciting and entertaining extension of The Grid as the leading location-based social network in South Africa.“
The game is available for free as a Java download to cellphones. To play Legends of Echo, SMS “˜ECHO‘ to 33313 (50c/SMS) or visit http://www.legendsofecho.mobi.