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May 2015 Retro Gaming Article


May 26, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

If Colonel Quest is to save KFC, they'd better hope Chick-Fil-A doesn't develop a video game

Colonel Quest is a browser-based game from KFC When I was a kid there was a Gino's near our house and I loved their buckets of chicken. No, really - the buckets. The chicken was good too, but it was the red plastic bucket it was presented in that got me excited.

My family would pick up a bucket to go fairly often which left me rolling in red buckets that I used in my sandbox, as toy storage, and at the beach. There was a 7-11 next door where I bought my first issue of Skateboarder Magazine.

After we moved, I never saw another Gino's, but it may be the same Gino's that rebooted the name a few years ago. I became a KFC fan years later when Pepsico was experimenting with their branded locations and opened a KFC/Taco Bell hybrid near my home. There was something awesome about buying a few drumsticks, potato wedges and a couple of soft tacos all in one stop! I've since adopted a healthier diet.

In recent years, fast food joints have been trying to use gaming to promote themselves. Atari went with Denny's and Burger King teamed up with Xbox. Admittedly, gaming and fast food tend to come together fairly often, but I'm not sure the promotional tie is very strong. Do browser games, or any form of video game tied to a fast food brand, make you think of that brand when hunger sets in?

Very few of us have a salad while playing Missile Command or enjoy a tofu burger while engaged in Bionic Commando. High calorie meals tend to find there way into the family room or man cave. I'm not convinced the marketing department's browser game will coax us to engage a specific brand at meal time.

Colonel Quest is a browser-based game from KFC Bouncing babies off a trampoline as an oven mit reaches out to snatch them... I'm hungry for some KFC...? Colonel Quest is a browser-based game from KFC From what I've read, Chick-Fil-A has surpassed KFC at the chicken war. KFC has revived the Colonel as their mascot and hired SNL's Darrell Hammond to play the Colonel in ads. They have a website set up where you can play KFC's Colonel Quest browser-based video game. Like most browser games, it doesn't provide much of a gaming experience. The premise is a series of levels that chart the Colonel's life.

The Tweet-share function on the website dispenses this summation of Colonel Quest: "Save babies! Shoot bad guys! Fry chicken! Challenge your friends! ColonelQuest!" That description makes me want to check out the game, but the game's absurdity will have me moving on quite quickly.

I guess most of the advertising executives know that retro is hip - which is why we are treated to an 8-bit Col. Sanders with an NES-esque visual for the game. I'll give them credit for that part, but the in-game action should really have more focus on the brand. The ultimate goal is to get you to buy chicken at KFC! They need a stronger tie-in or a much better game.

Colonel Quest tweet message Take a look at these games that do a great job of brand identity and engaging the player. Duncan's Coffee Quest (browser-based) promote's Seattle's Best Coffee and Happy Badger's Strange Donuts Vs. The World promotes a local donut shop (iOS & Android). KFC and the Colonel should take note and put some more game in their strategy.

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