Developers of an iPhone game called “Smuggle Truck” are already drawing fire – and free publicity – for a game that has not yet been approved by Apple.
The full title of the game from Boston company Owlchemy Labs is “Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration.”
In it, players navigate through what looks like the U.S.-Mexican border. As the truck drives over cliffs, mountains and dead animals, immigrants fall off the truck bed. Scores are calculated by the number of immigrants helped into the U.S.
It has not yet been approved by Apple, though the devs seem confident enough that it will be to post a “coming soon” banner on their website.
There are a lot of controversial iPhone apps – those about Mussolini, Che Guevara and Franco spring to mind – that Apple has approved and let remain in the iTunes store despite criticism.
Developer Alex Schwartz said the idea for the satirical game came out of frustration friends faced while trying to emigrate to the U.S.
“We felt like this issue was kind of a bit taboo for games and popular media,” Schwartz told Fox. “So we wanted to build something . . . about this struggle that we could put into our work and our passion, which is making games.”
Some are taking the game in stride.
Steve Kropper, of the Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform, a bipartisan group seeking tighter immigration restrictions, laughed when he heard about “Smuggle Truck.”
“In America, we are used to trivializing everything,” said Kropper. “I think ‘Smuggle Truck’ will do to the immigration debate what ‘Angry Birds’ did to ornithology.”