Sponsored Feature: Playman Hall Of Fame

Mobile's most adaptable sports star... and what he's doing next!

Sponsored Feature: Playman Hall Of Fame

Imagine an athlete who excels at *deep breath* 100m sprint, long jump, javelin, 110m hurdles, discus-throwing, swimming, diving, archery, skeet shooting, cycling, shot putting, weightlifting, wall climbing, biathlon, ski jump, bobsleigh, slalom, beach volleyball, AND football? Now that's impressive.

The athlete is Playman, who was first created by Mr. Goodliving in the days when mobile games were all black and white (2002), and has been jogging up a storm on mobile ever since.

What's more, he's never taken illegal substances, sworn on live TV, or had a crafty 'Number 2' mid-race. The nearest he's come to a roasting scandal is that time when he burnt the Christmas turkey.

All of this is the reason why Playman games have cumulatively sold over two million downloads in Europe alone.

It all started with Playman Summer Games 2004, which was released back in 2002 (yes, we know), initially in monochrome, then later in the year in glorious colour. However, in August 2003, he was upgraded to Playman Summer Games, which involved 100m, long jump, javelin, 110m hurdles, and discus.

Already, the key elements that have made Playman so popular were in place: one-thumb controls, based more on rhythm and hand-eye co-ordination than just furious button-mashing.

Following close behind was Playman Shoot & Splash, which applied the fomula to swimming, diving, archery and skeet shooting. After a few months of iron-pumping, Playman's next stop was Playman Power Games in May 2004, for a spot of cycling, shot putt, weightlifting, and wall climbing.

Late 2004 saw Playman venture into new areas, namely beach volleyball (Playman Beach Volley) and winter sports (Playman Winter Games), with the latter including biathlon, ski jump, bobsleigh, and slalom.

2005 saw Playman appear in 3D for the first time, as Winter Games bulked itself up for high-end handsets. The summer also saw the release of Playman Summer Games 2, complete with 100m, hammer throw, triple jump, and javelin.

Meanwhile, 2006 was the year that Playman took the football world by storm, appearing in Playman World Soccer just in time for the World Cup, and trouncing even well-established competition like FIFA with his mix of an intuitive control system, 3D visuals, and fiery power-shots. And he also found time to dive around in Playman Beach Volley 3D to boot!

So what's next for Playman? We can exclusively reveal that he's taking to the rooftops. Yes, it's Playman Pigeon Fancying! Oh, alright, it's not.

Instead, the next Playman game will see the fit fella (and his sister too!) indulging in parkour, the sport which involves running along buildings bouncing off stairways and somersaulting at will.

Playman Extreme Running is out this summer, and will include single and multiplayer modes, bags of missions, and opponents in different urban locations. What's more, Mr Goodliving has been working on new visual wizardry to ensure Playman's animation and smooth moves are, well, smoother than ever.

Click 'Track It!' for exclusive screenshots and gameplay details as soon as we get 'em.

Stuart Dredge
Stuart Dredge
Stuart is a freelance journalist and blogger who's been getting paid to write stuff since 1998. In that time, he's focused on topics ranging from Sega's Dreamcast console to robots. That's what you call versatility. (Or a short attention span.)