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App Friday: MyTown game brings social location thrills to the UK

Heard of MyTown? Possibly not, if you live outside the US. It’s a social location game for iPhone that blends Foursquare-style check-ins with Monopoly-esque gaming elements, so you can buy real-world properties with virtual money, and then upgrade them to make more dosh. It also ties in virtual items, barcode-scanning and social elements.

It’s great, but until now, it’s been US-only. More than 2.8 million people are playing it there, too, making it more popular than Foursquare. However, the game has finally gone international, launching late last night in the UK, Canada and Australia.

Developer Booyah is using Google’s new Places service to ensure that it has accurate data for shops, businesses and venues in these countries.

It works too: since grabbing the app this morning, I’ve checked-in to my local pub, several shops, and even the plumbing company that operates out of a house a few doors down from me. I’m not sure how he’ll react when he realises I bought his residence, mind…

Even with a few hours’ play, the game is clearly addictive. You buy properties, and then collect virtual rent to swell your bank balance, to pay for upgrades and more properties. The game gets you to level up, introducing more features and abilities as you go. And it links in with Facebook so you can sign up friends and visit their towns too.

Virtual items can be used to boost your score and cash, while there’s also a feature that gets you to scan in barcodes from products for other rewards.

There’s also an in-game store that mixes useful items to help you upgrade properties, through to silly-yet-fun personalisation elements, like monsters to battle in the background of your town, and a sci-fi theme pack.

It’s marvellous fun, in short. And if you get in quick, you can snap up a bunch of properties before the rest of the UK catches on…

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