Celebrating the first anniversary of the Credit Crunch, Alex, the investment banker we all love to hate, whose strip adventures now appear in the Telegraph, has been brought to new life on the iPhone and iPod touch, in an "all-new" Tapisodes format.
Alex is a much-loved, occasionally hated, cartoon strip by Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor, which first appeared in the short-lived London Daily News in 1987, before moving to The Independent later that year and then to the Daily Telegraph in 1992. The strip is also collected annually.
Billed as the "first (proper) interactive mobile motion comic" for the Apple platform - a blending of comics, animation and tap interaction - 20 animated and interactive Alex strips, each themed around the market crisis, are being rolled out daily, downloaded straight into the Alex app.
“We are excited to bring a new way of experiencing comic books and animation to the world’s most trendsetting mobile platform," says Jörg Tittel of Tapisodes. "We hope to please the legions of Alex fans and introduce thousands more."
Alex - Credit Crunch Special will offer a new episode every business day from today until 23rd October, with each episode downloaded straight into the application at no additional cost. You can choose to receive a “push notification” each time a new episode is available, or browse intuitive thumbnails for downloaded, available and upcoming episodes.
Alex also comes with social networking integration, so you can do what bankers do best: tell friends about your favourite Tapisodes, all in the safety of your iPhone and out of the nosy IT department’s reach.
Alex is only the first of a series of Tapisodes mobile comics. With a patent pending on the technology, the producers have been working with other high profile brands and franchises to create new content.
“We have always embraced other entertainment mediums and therefore are very excited about the opportunities for games companies in interactive storytelling and film," explains Paul Farley, CEO of mobile game developer Tag Games.
"To be able to work with the talented team at Tapisodes on the Alex project was too good an opportunity to miss. We trust this initial collaboration will spawn many more successful titles in the future.”
Tapisodes and Tag Games were brought together through the Play Together program Creative Industry Switch created by TIGA (the trade body which represents the UK videogames industry) and NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts). Creative Industry Switch is designed to foster communication and collaboration between the videogames industry and other UK creative industries such as film, TV, radio and animation.
“The Play Together initiatives were created to provide a forum for the UK’s creative minds to meet, exchange ideas and get commercial projects off the ground," explains Lorna Evans, Project Manager of Play Together for TIGA and NESTA. "We believe this is fundamental to the continued success of the UK’s creative industries.”
“This is exactly the sort of commercial collaboration between video games developers and other complementary media providers that we had hoped the Play Together initiative would achieve," argues Jackie McKenzie of NESTA.
• The ALEX iPhone application is available for download from the Apple iTunes App Store at a cost of £0.59, with 20 animated, interactive tapisodes gradually made available for download - straight into the app and at no extra cost. Recession proof, it does however requires the iPhone 3.0 Software Update or later.