Cambodian Game Gains Popularity

A Cambodian company has released a new game for smartphones and tablet computers that just days after launch had more than 5,000 users worldwide, an achievement the creators credit to the game’s simplicity.

Since it was released on January 20 for Android devices and January 29 for Apple products, the game, Origin, has built a steady base of between 5,000 and 10,000 users, said Jeremy Mum, the technical lead of Sompom, a Phnom Penh-based gaming studio that helps train Cambodians in mobile game development. 

“We started on Origin in December, and it only took about a month-and-a-half from design to implementation. Since we launched, our global users have reached more than 5,000,” he said.

It is not known how many of the game’s users are in Cambodia, but Chea Bora, 26, the main developer of Origin and a graduate of the Royal University of Phnom Penh’s computer science program, said he anticipates the game becoming popular in the country.

“This game will be popular among Cambodian people since it helps to develop our knowledge and brain, and it entertains us,” he said.

Users play the game by sliding colored blocks and lining them up to connect with same-colored pins within a limited number of moves.

Mr. Mum, 36, who is a French national of Cambodian origin, said the game is a “prequel” to one of the company’s other games, Brainsquare, and that Origin’s popularity is boosted by its simplicity.

“We had come up with Origin first, but we thought it was too easy. Then when we released Brainsquare, a lot of people said the game was really hard,” Mr. Mum said.

“So, we took the mechanics of Brainsquare and applied it to Origin. If you have to compare it to other puzzle [games], it still requires focus and logic but is also relaxing,” he added.

The game has 353 levels ranked in four tiers: initial, beginner, medium and hard. Users can select any pack to begin.

Origin is free to download, or $1.99 to get rid of ads that pop up during game play.

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