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Video Game / Simon Says Mobile

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Simon Says Mobile is an Android-exclusive smartphone game released on July 11, 2016, developed and published by solo indie developer STALWARTPHOENIX. It is the first and only known smartphone adaptation of the children's activity "Simon Says"note , designed to play more like iconic endless runners like Temple Run, Jetpack Joyride and Subway Surfers. It is also known for making use of the Comic Sans font in its marketing and title to emphasize its kid-friendly appeal.

The game's official website can be visited here. A sequel, Simon Says Mobile 2: Reloaded, is in development and is planned for a summer 2021 release, just in time for the original game's fifth anniversary. It is not to be confused with the "Simon Says" Mini-Game trope, and is not an example of one by any means.

Simon Says Mobile contains the following tropes:

  • Achievement Mockery: The achievement "Gotcha!" unlocks when you get tricked into following a fake command for the first time.
  • Adaptation Expansion: This game takes a very simple children's activity and turns it into an arcade game with fun, epic and potentially deep mechanics.
  • Alliterative Name: Several backgrounds exhibit this trope: Radiant Red, Sapphire Swirl, Checkered Chartreuse and Violet Vitality.
  • Audio Game: You can choose to play this game with voice commands in its options menu.
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  • Autosave: The game automatically saves progress every time you finish a session, gain experience, complete a Daily Order or make a transaction in the in-game shop.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Downplayed. While this game has the trappings of a greedy free-to-play game, including a bank where you can buy more in-game currency with real money, it tries to offer you ways to earn more items by playing frequently and earning tickets that you can trade in for booster cards that just award more stuff that can help you. Plus, while there may be some premium goodies that you can buy once, every "buy" button doesn't come without a warning for kids to ask their parents for permission before pressing them.
  • Bullet Time: The Time Freeze power-up. It can be quite a breather once the game reaches top, breakneck speed!
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  • Cast from Money: You can usually spend Credits (or Super Credits) to buy power-ups. Since most of them expire at the end of a session, you can be tempted to pay more Super Credits to keep the game going after a fatal mistake if you still wanted to milk out more of the power-up(s) active at that time. A 2017 update also added Super Power-Ups, stronger versions of the power-ups that can be activated by combining multiple copies of a power-up, and also come with additional, punishing penalties if players try to continue while using Super Power-Ups.
  • Character Level / Experience Points: Following correct Simon commands will grant you experience that builds up your profile level. The higher your level, the more game features you unlock.
  • Color-Coded Item Tiers: Booster card rarities are indicated by color. Green means common, blue means semi-rare, red means rare, purple means epic and gold means legendary.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: In the head-to-head multiplayer modes, player one is red and player two is blue.
  • Company Cross References: One unlockable background is a picture used to promote the developer's first game, Road Sign Bingo USA, released over a month before Simon Says Mobile.
  • Competitive Multiplayer: This game features a hot potato multiplayer mode in which players take turns surviving a round of commands, with each player being eliminated whenever they make a fatal mistake until one player is left to become the winner. In 2018, three head-to-head modes were added that provide new ways to play "Simon Says": Quick Draw (in which two players score points based on whoever obeyed a Simon command first), Endurance (in which players keep obeying Simon commands until someone makes three mistakes) and Frenzy (in which players race to obey Simon commands at a faster rate to vie for control of a time-limited tug-of-war battle).
  • Continuing is Painful: The price of continuing will double for each fatal mistake you make. If the price of continuing reaches an unaffordable level, though, the game doesn't offer you the choice of paying real money to get enough Super Credits to keep going and ends your session outright.
    • Continuing with Super Power-Ups introduced in a 2017 update will also dish out additional penalties to make it harder to continue while using them to compensate for their incredible benefits.
  • Cooldown: The Quick Shield works just like the resurrection wings in Temple Run and requires you to wait 5 commands before you can use another one. (It's even longer if you use up a Super Shield.)
  • Cooldown Manipulation: A fully upgraded Supreme Fortress background will reduce the cooldowns of your Shield power-ups by one.
  • Developers' Foresight: If the prize of a Daily Order is a puzzle piece for a Jigsaw Background or a Rare Remix and you happen to load a cloud save where you already either built that Jigsaw Background or collected that Rare Remix, the game will deal a new random rare card (while omitting puzzle pieces for Jigsaw Backgrounds you have already built and Rare Remixes that you already earned on that loaded save file from the pool of possible cards) to replace that Daily Order's reward, ensuring that you can't get it again.
  • Difficulty by Acceleration: The game goes faster as you survive more and more commands, before reaching a top, breakneck speed that demands your sharp attention, judgment and reflexes.
  • Difficulty Level: There are five levels of difficulty to play on (novice, easy, normal, hard and expert), and the game locks out most features if you pick either of the lowest two difficulties.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: You can't save high scores on Novice difficulty. Power-ups and background abilities don't work on Novice or Easy difficulty.
  • Endless Game
  • Failure Is the Only Option: The game continues until you make a mistake, either by missing a command from Simon or following one that didn't come from him.
  • Hearts Are Health / Video-Game Lives: In Endurance Multiplayer, each player has 3 lives, indicated as hearts, and will lose a life for each fatal mistake made. When one player runs out of hearts, the other one wins.
  • Indie Game: It all started out as a passionate, personal project, but also aspired to be a unique game of its kind, one that would march to the beat of its own drum.
  • Level Grinding: Be prepared to do this if you want to fully unlock the upgrades of the Premium Backgrounds. They all require your profile level to reach a very high level - towards one hundred.
  • Loot Box: Comes in the form of booster card packs that you can buy with both currencies, or redeem with special tickets you earn from completing daily orders from Simon.
  • Microtransactions: You can buy more currency with real money. You can also buy one-time premium features, namely an ad-free experience, a custom playable background with increased Super Credit farming or double experience. There's also a starter pack you can buy as well.
  • More Dakka: Simon may occasionally resort to unleashing a rapid-fire chain of commands to challenge experienced players, hoping to pressure them into making a game-ending mistake.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: This game aspires to become a much more fun version of a simple children's activity.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: All you need to know is that Simon Says Mobile is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - a mobile adaptation of the children's activity, with simple graphics and no plotline to speak of.
  • One-Hit Point Wonder: Make one mistake (whether by missing a valid Simon command or following a fake command) and it's Game Over. Unless you want to sacrifice some Super Credits to save yourself and keep going...or activate a Super Shield, which lasts indefnitely and can tank the next mistake you make.
  • Palette Swap: Averted among the different unlockable backgrounds, in which each of them possess a different, unique special ability that can be upgraded. Played nearly straight with most Classic Backgrounds themselves, as you can collect Rare Remixes, alternate versions of each one, from red rare Booster Cards. While they are cosmetic for the most part, they also serve one important gameplay purpose: to unlock later ability upgrade levels.
  • Play Every Day: After your player profile reaches level 3, you can tackle Simon's Daily Orders, three optional daily missions that allow you to earn individually revealed booster cards from the lower three rarity tiers.
  • Power at a Price: Super Power-Ups are stronger versions of Power-Ups, but impart additional penalties that come into play if you pay up to Continue after making a mistake while using any of them.
  • Power-Up: There are four kinds of power-ups that you can use:
    • A Quick Shield that protects you from one mistake within a limited period of time.
    • A Double Points power-up that doubles your score.
    • A Time Freeze power-up that causes time to slow down for random valid Simon commands in one session, giving you more time to follow them.
    • A Golden Touch power-up that always nets you a few Credits for every valid Simon command you follow.
  • Press Start to Game Over / Press X to Die : Per the rules of a real Simon Says game, there are fake commands that don't start with Simon Says that will end your game if you follow them by mistake. They can appear randomly at any time.
  • Press X to Not Die: This is an endless runner that uniquely comprises of a never-ending series of QTEs - with a few "fake" ones that you need to avoid every now and then.
  • Rare Random Drop: Super Credits, special upgrade materials and power-up packs await the most fortuitous players drawing booster cards, arriving in red, purple or gold ones that are seldom drawn.
  • Rocket-Tag Gameplay: In the Hot Potato multiplayer mode, everyone is a One-Hit Point Wonder and any player who makes a mistake must sit out for the rest of the game.
  • Shout-Out: It's loaded with so much of these that it needs its own page.
  • Side Quest: The three Daily Orders you get from Simon every day after you reach profile level 3 are this. The reward for each one is a randomly revealed Booster Card of a low rarity.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: You can unleash all four Super Power-Ups at once with incredible effects and unlock an achievement named after this trope.
  • Treacherous Quest Giver: If you consider Simon to be your opponent, this trope applies when he gives you optional Daily Orders that you can complete for revealed Booster Cards of lesser rarities.
  • Unlockable Content: You can buy more backgrounds, each with different abilities that demand slight changes to your play styles. Plus, as you level up, you'll unlock other backgrounds, upgrades for their abilities and other features.
  • Up to Eleven: The Zeta Powers of the Premium Backgrounds provide a final, extremely powerful upgrade that makes their already strong abilities even more powerful. You can earn an achievement aptly named after this trope when you finally activate your first Zeta Power.

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