Line tries to reach beyond casual gamers with ‘Shake Spears’


Line Corporation’s latest entry in the mobile gaming space is a rehashed version of the jousting game Shake Spears from Russian developer Alawar Entertainment. The original Shake Spears title first hit app stores way back in mid–2011. Line announced this game was coming to its platform last year, and now this past week it has finally gone live on both iOS and Android.

Like most of Line’s casual titles, Shake Spears lets you connect with your friends on the popular messaging platform. But here, in what Line calls its first ever real-time battle game, you can joust against your friends if they are online at the same time. You can also play against other players beyond your Line friends, or against the ‘environment’ (ostensibly meaning computer players [1]). There are a number of in-game purchases available too (surprise, surprise!), including upgraded weaponry and equipment, as well as magic that can be used in matches.

In order to joust, you need to use one finger/thumb on the right to move your spear up or down, and likewise you need you use a finger/thumb on the left to defend with your shield. The action turns to a slow motion view as you approach the opposing knight, and you can even feint a low hit and then hit high above your opponent’s shield. Check out our video demo above for a quick walkthough of how jousting looks.

Dehorsing an unidentified knight
Dehorsing an unidentified knight

Line’s chief strategy and marketing officer Jun Masuda said in his company’s announcement that he hopes the game will “appeal to and attract both casual and core gamers alike.”

Personally I think it’s optimistic to think that a game like this will attract anything other than casual gamers. But Alawar will definitely benefit from the reach of the Line platform, which now extends to 420 million users globally.

Overall I think this is a fun game that would appeal to Western/European users of Line, and maybe it might be an asset for the company if and when it can win some popularity in those markets [2]. As for Line’s core markets here in the Asia region, I’d be surprised if any of them are receptive to Shake Spears.

  1. It’s a little tricky to tell whether you’re playing against someone in real time or not. I took on a friend in duel mode, but I’m not certain whether or not we were logged in at once.  ↩

  2. Line has seen some popularity in Spain, but not that much elsewhere in Europe.  ↩