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China’s Club Penguin: “Mole’s World” Game Triggers Millennial Nostalgia

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Thirteen years after its original release, one of Asia’s favorite video games has relaunched, sending shockwaves of nostalgia through China’s post-’90s generation.

Since its release on June 1, Mole’s World has been at the top of the App Store’s free download chart in China, beating out competition from heavyweight Tencent games Honor of Kings and Peacekeeper Elite.

Developed by Taomee Entertainment, Mole’s World is a farming simulation game where players build their own worlds and play mini games whilst interacting with other players – similar to the popular American game Club Penguin.

When it was first released in 2008, the game captured childrens’ imaginations, developing a huge following of over 100 million registered users. Now, the re-release of the game has triggered a wave of nostalgia among young adults who grew up playing it.

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In classic retro reboot fashion, Taomee has directly targeted the game’s original players, tapping into their nostalgia and desire to escape from the 996 grind of daily life and stresses of adulthood.

Within the first eight hours of its release, the game blew past 6 million new users, and has been downloaded an average of 250,000 times a day since then. Users say the game serves as a reminder of their childhood: “I play it out of nostalgia for who I was when I played it back then.”

However, despite the general excitement, not all reviews of the game have been completely positive. Some users claimed the game was not reminiscent of the original version (which was originally played on a PC) and that its “optimization and graphics were poor.”

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Chloe Yorke
    Chloe was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Shanghai and San Francisco. She is currently studying Chinese at Durham University in the UK and is passionate about Chinese art and culture.