Games have made their way into Snapchat.
Gatorade today unveiled Serena Williams Match Point, a simple 8-bit game that can be played directly within the Snapchat app via ESPN’s Discover channel.
The game, also available at SerenaMatchPoint.com, features 22 levels, each representing a Grand Slam final match that Williams won. The controls are basic: tap on the left side of the screen to return the ball left, and tap on the right side to return the ball right.
Timing does matter, and the game will notify you if you’ve tapped “too early.” If you earn a “great” or “perfect” shot, you’ll hear Williams’ grunt as she hits the shot.
The somewhat addictive game is fairly easy, but did seem to get more difficult as you advance to more levels. It gives you three balls during each match, and if you lose, it restarts from the last checkpoint.
Some of the design details are fun — for example, the outfit color that Williams dons in the game matches what she was actually wearing. You can also share screenshots/achievements to friends on Snapchat or other social media platforms, though this seemed a bit clunky for me.
Level 23 will unlock on Sept. 10 — the same day as the U.S. Open Women’s Finals, which could be Williams’ record-breaking 23rd major title win, if she happens to advance that far next month. The tournament kicks off today.
To play, head to ESPN’s Discover channel and scroll through a few news stories. You’ll then see the game show up — it’s labeled as an “ad” — and you can swipe upwards to play.
Gatorade, who sponsors Williams, describes Serena Williams Match Point as the “the first multi-level video game playable on the Snapchat platform.” The sports drink giant previously partnered with Williams for a sponsored Snapchat lens and garnered 160 million impressions, according to Digiday. It also recently debuted a similar tech-oriented project with ESPN, teaming up with Shazam to digitize its magazine covers.
The new game reminds me of the hidden basketball game within Facebook Messenger. It’s also certainly a more engaging way for brands like Gatorade to advertise on Snapchat, and gives people another reason to watch ESPN’s content — we’ll see how other companies paying for a “Discover” channel follow up.