The Smiler

Matmi’s 3D experiential rollercoaster game is available on iOS, Android, Amazon, and Windows 8 – was developed for Alton Towers to promote the resort’s new world first rollercoaster, The Smiler.  The app has had more than four million unique plays and over 650,000 unique users, and is still being played regularly over a year since it was first released

Client Objectives

Alton Towers commissioned The Smiler app to feature within the overarching marketing campaign for the Smiler ride, to be released prior to the rollercoaster launch with the objective being to:

Raise awareness/promote the rollercoaster and increase brand exposure for Alton Towers Resort and The Smiler, drive visitation to the Theme Park, and also to create a standalone rollercoaster app for existing and new fans that would use future technologies and competition elements in order to create a social buzz and generate media activity.

Our Strategy 

To drive visitors to the theme park it was decided a mobile app was the best solution; we wanted to take advantage of camera technology and the huge popularity of mobile apps. It was designed to whet the appetite of rollercoaster fans and build excitement for Alton Towers Resort’s new ride. As the user plays through the app, they unlock more track sections and secrets to give them a closer look at the finished article.

Augmented Reality (AR) trigger points are also included along the rides queues. This was done to engage users at the point where they have nothing else to do but wait.

Users are encouraged to visit the Alton Towers Theme Park and use the augmented reality scanner on designated images dotted around the resort to unlock these hidden in-app items. Users will only be able to fully complete the game by visiting Alton Towers itself.

There was a supporting promotional campaign in national press, printing AR trigger points within specific images – for example, using the apps scanner on the Alton Towers Resort logo triggered an AR effect, which was received extremely well by fans and press alike.

The Game 

Players face becoming smiling advocates as they plunge unwittingly into this immersive and action-packed rollercoaster game that melds game play, instant win competitions,virtual and location-based Augmented Reality into a full physical and digital ride simulation.

Take control of The Smiler ride cars and the minds of 16 riders as you steer them round the twisted metal of the track. Players must attempt to give The Smiler guests the ride of their lives by perfecting the inversions, twists and loops. The game will serve up Smiler tokens to enable users to upgrade and add new elements to the world-beating rollercoaster. To fully complete the game, players must dare to set foot into Alton Towers Resort’s infamous X-Sector, using The Smiler Scanner on specific images to bring to life the hidden secrets of the park and unlock unexpected upgrades.

 ”With The Smiler app we are bringing together the physical Alton Towers Resort, with modern app-based gaming, to give visitors a deeper, more involving and rewarding experience.”

- Fergus McCallum, CEO of TBWA\Manchester

“The Smiler is the biggest ever ride launch for the Alton Towers Resort and so we really wanted to create something that would get our guests excited about the ride and give them a taste of what is to come before the new coaster opens in May 2013.”

- Katherine Duckworth, Head of Consumer Marketing at the Alton Towers Resort


The results really go to show the marketing power and reach of a well executed branded digital experience.

Before the ride even opened, within the first 2 months of release

  • The game was downloaded on Android and iOS over 200,000 times
  • It was played almost 1.5million times
  • The game was shared 45,000 times (Facebook & Twitter)
  • The AR scanner was used quarter of a million times
  • We achieved over 30,0000 click through’s to the website
  • The Smiler reached the top 20 for overall games in the app store and Google play chart
  • …it also came 7th in the action category and reached the number 2 spot in the simulation category

Even the app’s trailer video received 150,000 views alone ! …. Keep smiling, play the game.





Unity 3D


iOS, Android