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Kiss My Yasi: 2D Strategy game for the iPhone and iPod touch.

Kiss My Yasi: Making a Game of It.

Disasters bring out the best and worst in people. Movie moguls reach for the phone to get the rights to survivors’ stories, wives and mistresses are reconciled and political polls are turned upside down depending on the outcome. But when a couple of New Zealand innovators watched the Chilean mining saga hit, swiftly followed by Category 5 Cyclone Yasi in Australia, another opportunity occurred to them – quirky, inventive, and possibly risqué – make a game of it.

And they have. “Kiss My Yasi” – from Kiwi app developer “One Tree Games” – brings the Queensland coast to the iPad and iPhone, testing skills, speed, and your ability to minimise material damage in the event of a storm the size of the US. In good Trans-Tasman humour, the developers have taken the words graffitied on the side of a boarded up Queensland shopfront, and gone online.

The global market for inventive and entertaining applications/games is ever expanding. Some of the most successful, e.g. “Angry Birds”, are deceptively simple, but “Kiss My Yasi” has taken the app into a whole new arena: Civil Defence Preparedness. And before anyone twitters outrage at the gall and bare faced opportunism of it, take note: the game does not play at the odds of personal survival. It’s not about life and limb, but simply material damage, testing your ability to prepare for a national disaster. Best of all, for every US$2.99 purchase , US$1 will be donated directly to the Queensland Premier’s Disaster Relief Appeal.

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