More a marketing app crossed with a Foursquare location-style game, Microsoft's Fable III: Kingmaker - a free companion to the forthcoming Xbox 360 game - is finally out for iOS and Android.

Its App Store release has been rather curious however.

Partly this may be because the title has been mispelt Fabel III: Kingmaker instead of Fable III. However, the iTunes link lists the just title as 'kingmaker'.

Either way, search for Fable III or Kingmaker from within most major European iTunes stores should get you where you need to be.

Tied into the web

To access the game, you have to register with a username, email and password - a process that is verified online.

There's also a web interface to the game, which is much nicer graphically than the mobile clients, although you have to install Microsoft's Silverlight browser technology to access it.

However, because the game is location-based, the point of playing is via mobile.

Go forth and flag

Very simply, each player is put either in the side of the Rebels or the Royals - a classic Reds versus Blues - and gets 10 flags per day to place on the game map. Obviously your location is based on your smartphone's location, with players supposed to travel to enemy locations to drop their flags.

Each territory is controlled by the team that's planted the most flags there.

Planting flags also generates gold - 50 coins per flag or 100 coins for each new location tagged - while you can go to specific realworld locations to gain treasure pots of 2,000 or 5,000 gold.

In the UK at least, these seem mainly to be game shops. You can only hit each treasure point once, and after 100 people have collected at each location, the treasure will disappear. More gold can be earned by pre-ordering the Xbox 360 game (15,000 coins).

Team sport

Encouraging further activity, at the end of each week, whichever side is winning, its players all receive 1,000 coins, and every player who plants all their flags daily for a week also gets 1,000 coins.

A special pot of gold will be shared by the team with the most territories when Fable 3 launches in October 29, while the entire game will run until January 2010.

And as for the point of collecting gold, if you buy Fable 3, you can transfer your loot into the game. Kingmaker helpfully always tells you what your stash is worth.

My current score of 500 coins is enough to buy a cook's hat.

Fable III: Kingmaker is free and available for European players only via iPhone [iTunes link], Android and web, and will be released for Windows Phone 7.

You can get an idea how it plays in the following video.

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