Muscat: A new iPhone game called “Mariam” caused users to clamour for it to be banned in GCC countries.
“It asked for my home address,” complained one user, while another added, “The game is a satanic scheme.” Other users found Mariam amusing.
Currently, the hashtag Ban_Mariam_game is the number one trending on social media.
The game was compared to being like “Blue Whale”, the challenge game which reportedly pushed hundreds to suicide globally.
While playing Mariam, the game told users, “don’t be worried, I’m not like that scary game ‘Blue Whale’.”
The game’s developer, called Salman Al Harbi, commented by saying, “I am so happy that my game is becoming so popular. Thank you, everyone. For those sending me private messages, I love you, but my inbox blew up and I don’t have the time to reply to all of you.”
Mariam is a serial text-option game where the user is asked multiple-choice questions. It starts with a white haired girl standing against a dark background. The player is meant to escort the girl to her home before hiding from her father, who is suspected by users to be the skeleton figure present in the game’s thumbnail. During the conversation with Mariam, the child informs players about trending news to demonstrate that it can read minds. At a certain point, the game asks you to wait for 24 hours to keep playing.
Of over 400,000 players as of the 7th of August, statistics released by Salman show that 1,500 of them were users in Muscat. Over 320,000 users were located in Saudi Arabia alone.
Salman also sent a picture of his computer screen and added, "For the people we love on Android: it's coming on the 11th." The game is rated 9+ by iPhone's app store and by the developer, for, "Mild Horror and Fear Themes".
Salman is also the founder of 'Processor Team', which has developed five apps so far, including two games, a Snapchat extension, and an application that allows blue collar workers to better organise their work shifts.