SCVNGR: What you need to know

SCVNGR is a burgeoning social game. Here's a rundown on SCVNGR and its new international API.

SCVNGR rewards players for traveling, meeting, and shopping.

There are a lot of services similar to SCVNGR. The new mobile social game borrows aspects of Xbox 360 achievements, Groupon, and most notably FourSquare. Who knew rolling those three together made such a tasty concoction.

SCVNGR is a mobile phone app, available for both iPhone and Android. Once installed, the service rewards you for going to new places and performing simple tasks. For example, a burrito chain might want to attract new clientele to its next grand opening. The restaurant can have SCVNGR create a series of hoops for its users to jump through, with discounts or free food as a reward.

A player might get one point for "checking in" to the new location, a task lifted straight from FourSquare. Two more points might come from telling other members about your favorite menu item, taking a picture of the joint, or folding your burrito wrapper into tinfoil origami. The more points you get, the better the coupons and goodies.

The app is not purely about location-aware advertising.

"Modernista used the app to lead Dexter fans to a kill room set up at Comic-Con in San Diego, and the New England Patriots used it to help nose tackle Vince Wilfork recover his Super Bowl XXXIX ring," reports Wired. "It’s unleashed zombies. Or at least, zombie badges. Just in time for Halloween, SCVNGR has infected 10 SCVNGR players with a Zombie badge. Once infected, these hapless souls will be informed of their sad state, and are doomed to wander the streets, spreading the infection."

Now SCVNGR is going global. Google has welcomed the company into an early developer preview of its Places API. This allows the app to follow you and track your "achievements" around the world.

Have you used SCVNGR? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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