Banana Game isn’t the First Viral Gaming Sensation

The “Banana Game,” also known as “Banana,” is a clicker game that has gained massive popularity on Steam, reaching over 600,000 concurrent players. At the time of this article’s writing, the concurrent player count is over 635,000.

Banana’s appeal lies in its simplicity and the addictive nature of its gameplay, where players click to collect bananas and unlock various upgrades and achievements. The game’s viral success came seemingly out of nowhere, making it a standout in the current gaming landscape.

This isn’t the first time a relatively simple and addictive game took over the charts virally. Below are some games you might have heard of, because they were (and remain) some of the most popular viral sensations in gaming.

Viral PC Games

Here are some other viral PC games from recent years:

  • Among Us: Any follower of gaming streamers since 2020 knows Among Us. It’s an addictive game of spot-the-imposter. In Among Us, crew members scramble to repair their space ship while a single imposter has the goal of murdering their crewmates without being found out.
  • Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout: Released in 2020, this battle royale-style game has obstacle courses and mini games. You play a jellybean-like character competing in a chaotic multi-player challenge.
  • Valheim: If you like Vikings and low-poly graphics, you’ll love Valheim. While on the surface it appears to be just another tree puncher survival game, its real charm is in how beautiful and immersive it is. From its gorgeous soundscape to its brilliant building system, Valheim is one game that deserves its place in these lists.
  • PUBG: Battlegrounds: When you think of battle-royale shooters, PUBG is arguably the catalyst for the latest craze. While not as cartoonish as Fortnite or as optimized as many of its competitors, PUBG manage to capture the scope and style of a truly immersive shooter.
  • MultiVersus: Launched in 2022, this free-to-play platform fighting game features characters from various Warner Bros. franchises. Known for being easy to play and get into, MultiVersus hits all the nostalgia marks.

Viral Mobile Games

Looking at other trendy mobile games from the past, a few notable ones include:

  • Flappy Bird: In 2014, Flappy Bird took its simple-yet-aggrivating control mechanics, combined them with some light copyright infringement, and gave birth to one of the most viral mobile games in history.
  • Pokémon GO: Released in 2016, this game made augmented reality accessible to everyone and wrapped it up with the catch-em-all pocket monsters. Crowds quickly flocked to popular spawn locations to throw virtual balls at monsters all around the real world.
  • Candy Crush Saga: Probably the most notorious harbinger of the micro-transaction is Candy Crush Saga. A take on Bejeweled and other matching games before it, Candy Crush had a unique look and feel to it that made it an instant hit among players. Typically, these players were older than your traditional gamer.

These games demonstrate the varying elements that can lead to a mobile game’s success, from innovative use of technology to leveraging social interaction and simplicity in gameplay. That simplicity made them easy to jump into, which undoubtedly helped their viral adoption.

Ultimately, it’s never easy to tell which games will and won’t become viral hits. Minecraft, arguably one of the best-selling games of all time, is still a popular title for young players 15 years after it launched.

Leave a Comment