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Why we're Obsessed with Agar.io: strategic leadership

This is how I felt playing the addictive Agario game. It feels a bit like taking over the world, wouldn't you say? Survival of the fittest in one simple browser game with a simple design.

If you've recently discovered Agar.io or are wondering what the hype is all about, then you're obviously not alone. This browser game couldn't get more addictive and it's an addiction that people aren't complaining about either. For the first time in a very long time, this game has proven that you don't need fancy graphics or a savvy plot to hook gamers for hours on end.

And if you're reading this, you probably don't need an introduction to this massively multiplayer game. For those who still haven't given this game a try, here's what to expect:

Enter the world of colorful circular cells where the objective of the game is to engulf surrounding cells, your fellow gameplayers. The more cells you eat by contact, the more you grow. The objective of the game is to maneuver your way up to the leadership board by becoming the largest of them all, which can only happen if you manage not to get eaten yourself. It's really that simple. Or is it?

So how does this all translate into a psychologically addictive game of strategic leadership?

Baby steps

You start off as a baby cell: young, naive, fast and fearless. You've figured out that being a small cell means you're able to navigate the space around you much quicker than your larger counterparts. It's all fine and dandy and you're happy hanging out with your crew who are just as small as you. You're happy consuming pellets at a comfortable pace and feel like you can even trust these guys who can't do you any harm. Ah, trust. That's nice.

"Not today, buddy"

So now you know what it's like to perish without a care. That concept of trust you'd developed for a naive minute of existence? Forget it. You thought you were safe in your little Eurozone. That was before China came along. "This is war!". Get with it. 

But diplomacy can't die!

You better thank your lucky stars that this isn't real war. Respawning is a thing and since you're a firm believer in diplomacy, you'll fight to the death, er...growth. So you decide to try again, this time cautious of your surroundings, counting on your body language (and body count, for that matter) to earn some respect around here. You're not ready to wage war, but you're testing the waters. As you've grown up now, you figure you're responsible enough to take care of baby you. It's time to build a league of minions. Spacebar- charge, little ones!

In a time of mourning..

Russia came at you from the left, India from the right. You and your spawn cells were locked in and had no where to go. You thought you had it all figured out. You observed others dividing and conquering, and that's what you were going for too.

Where did you go wrong? Upon observation, you notice how substantially larger other cells are when they split. You pull out your compass. "These troops appear to be at least 10% larger than their foe...hmm.. interesting". Yes, interesting indeed. You decide to call a truce and think about your next line of attack. 

Back on the battlefield

You've taken your much needed rest. You've figured out part of the equation and you figure you'll play from the sidelines until you've mastered the playing field. Except you don't really know where the sidelines are until "wait, why am I warping? haha, this is funny. AH!! GET AWAY FROM ME!". Dead.  

"Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die" (Herbet Hoover)

Fear not for I have learnt a great deal, my sons. I have fought, and now, so shall you. After a long hiatus (exactly 4 hours, 33 minutes and 15 seconds later), you're ready for the mothership. It's time to make it onto that leadership board. You've been waiting for this moment all along and are confident in your troop's split killing abilities. Just how far will you go? 

Seriously folks- if you haven't played Agar.io yet, you're missing out. If you're having trouble staying on the main Agar.io page on Chrome, there are other ways you can play this game which you'll also find here. But if you're looking for a way to make this game more personal for you and your friends, check out this guide that'll tell you just how to do that! Happy dominating!

Published Jul. 15th 2015

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