When you think about Instagram, you don't really think about gaming. But a new marketing campaign for the animated show Rick and Morty has used Instagram to create a game called the Rickstaverse, which shows you what the characters on the show have been up to in the 15-month hiatus between seasons.
You can play the game by visiting the Rickstaverse on Instagram, though you'll probably want to spend some time on the Rickstaverse Instructions as well. Essentially, the show uses multiple Instagram accounts to create multi-panel layouts you can scroll through, which it calls levels. Tapping on some of the images leads you to the next account in the chain, which loads as a fresh level. So for example, from the first screen, we tapped on the planet, and then went to the fantasy world. Tapping to scan showed that we can go to the village, and so we went to that page next.
As you go through the worlds, you'll see a lot more interesting things that are related to the storyline, and it ends up feeling a little bit like an inventive take on a choose-your-own-adventure novel.
The Rick and Morty show - which is a brilliant cartoon that's not really suitable for children - is known for its off colour jokes and fairly unique style, and the Instagram account stays true to these. To "win" the game, you've got to find various collectibles by searching through all the images. In case it isn't clear, this really isn't a child-friendly game; for example one of the collectibles allows you to see humans and aliens copulating - it's funny, but not for everyone.
With the new season of the show releasing this weekend, it's a clever way to make use of Instagram, and shows how even the image sharing platform can be turned into a fairly unique game, with just a little ingenuity. It's a treat for both fans of the show, and marketing professionals looking for some inspiration.