Had you shopped at Pick n Pay recently, you may have noticed the company is giving out a little plastic toy for every R150 you spend. Those toys are called Stikeez, and they’re designed to stick to flat surfaces and make a popping sound when removed, and there are a whole bunch of them to collect.

But that’s not all Pick n Pay has done: they’ve also commissioned a localised version of the Stikeez official mobile game for phones and tablets that works on both iOS and Android to go along with the toys. It’s called Rise of the Stikeez, and you can get it here (iOS) and here (Android) right now, for free.

While I might object in my personal capacity as a non-parent, I have to admit it’s actually a pretty clever idea as it gently encourages parents to spend more than they should to make sure they get enough Stikeez to satisfy their kids.

And with the addition of a game that can be played on phones and tablets, PnP is poised to create a frenzy of demand for ever-more of the little buggers from kids who will likely become obsessed with collecting every single one of the 24 available toys.

The most surprising thing out of this whole development is that the game, which I’ve downloaded and played, is actually pretty good. It features a long line-up of Stikeez, each with their own abilities, which players need to guide through levels. Stikeez stick to walls – because they’re sticky, geddit? – and must leap from surface to surface collecting glowing green orbs in as few moves as possible.

The mechanics are clever, the levels challenging, and the oh-so-subtle encouragement for players to spend real money to acquire “koinz” with which to buy helpful powerups is tastefully done. As a gamer, I’m actually quite impressed.

Want to see the game in action? Here’s the official promo video:

Should you – or your kids – manage to collect every Stikeez toy, you’ll be able to enter Pick n Pay’s Stikeez competition to win a R2 000. Pick n Pay toys voucher. The competition closes on the 20th of September, though, so you got just more than a month to do it.

Not all roses

Unfortunately for Pick n Pay, their Stikeez campaign hasn’t been all roses. A few days back, somewhat sweary mommy blogger Celeste Barlow wrote a very funny post about how the campaign is forcing her to spend more money than she would have otherwise, and how she wishes PnP’s marketing people several bouts of a particularly nasty venereal disease as a result.

All was fine, until media journalist Louise Marsland picked up on it and tweeted that it was the “funniest thing she’d seen all week“. Pick n Pay’s social media team’s response? They requested via Twitter that she take the post down due to “inappropriate content”.

As a direct result of that tweet, the Twitterverse exploded, Pick n Pay apologised, and order was returned to the world. Until the next social media blunder, that is.

All that aside, the Stikeez campaign itself is very clever, and the addition of a game that kids can play on phones and tablets is likely only going to fuel the demand for the toys, as well as trips to Pick n Pay.

Good job on that front at least, PnP.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.