A few short weeks after its release, a Japanese mobile game featuring a traveling frog has become a hit in China.
Why, exactly, is a bit hard toexplain.
The game is Travel Frog. It was created by the Japanese game studio Hit-Point.
It is played like this:
A frog sits in its stone hut, eating and reading, while you collect clover from the front yard. The clover is used to buy food, amulets or tools which the frog takes on a journey.
Once the frog leaves on a trip, it's unclear how long it will be gone. Sometimes it travels for hours or even days. When it returns, it provides snapshots and souvenirs of its journey.
For whatever reason, this seems to be a concept that Chinese mobile gamers have been waiting for.
"You don't need to do a lot of things, you don't even need to think about anything," said one gamer. "It's not a competitive game. It's very relaxing."
Many gamers say that they love Travel Frog because of its slow and restful pace.
The game successfully tapped the trend among younger generations in China to search out 'Zen-like' activities and "Buddha-style gameplay."
The game also has a strong connection to child rearing. Before the frog leaves on a trip, you have to pack its lunch.
Many gamers call their frogs their ‘frog sons'. Many compare raising the frog to being a parent, at least partly.
Feeling Zen 佛系
I'm totally Zen about it. 我很安宁、什么都打搅不了我。
I'm a Zen mom: 我是个佛系妈妈。