The cartoon game is similar to other mobile games in the "endless runner" genre made popular by "Temple Run" and "Subway Surfers," where the player is constantly running forward in a 3D landscape until he or she is toppled over. In "Running with Friends," the player is dodging barrels, bulls, traffic barriers and more, while trying to collect stars along the way.
The game also has a distinctive feature where players can compete against others online in a turn-based system. So, one player runs the gauntlet, then a second player, and so on. After three rounds, points are totaled to determine the winner. Users also can compete against others who are picked automatically, or play against Facebook friends.
The social aspect of the game was created by Eat Sleep Play's publishing partner, Zynga, the makers of the blockbuster game "Farmville."
Although "Running with Friends" is free to users, it makes money through a revenue model in which users can buy with real money additional gems (the game's currency) to purchase powerups that help them in the race or for additional time to run. So far, selling these "in-app purchases" seems to be working. The game was ranked 32nd Friday in iTunes' list of top-grossing games.
The game also was picked as iTunes' "Editors' Choice" the day after it was released.
"That felt really good," Campbell said. "When that came out the day after, we said, 'It looks like we have something here.' "
Eat Sleep Play formerly made console games for the Sony PlayStation 3 before moving into the mobile games sector. Its last console game was the car-combat title, "Twisted Metal."
Google+: +Vincent Horiuchi