A company that makes an extremely simplistic set of games that are essentially PBM
via email. These games are available for download (over a meg, Windoze
only) on their Flash
-heavy site. The "games" involve entering (for example) a string of attacking and defensive moves. Your opponent does the same, and on reception of their email response, the (totally gameplay-free) battle is played out in almost unbelievably poor cartoon animation.
As the games themselves are hardly groundbreaking (being, as they are, essentially a glorified version of paper-scissors-stone), the most notable thing about Battlemail is that it is a triumph of viral marketing. They claim 300,000 players (update: now nearer 500,000). Oh, and the site design and artwork is pretty lacking, to put it mildly.
Using email as the method of communication for the game seems totally pointless to me. The whole thing begs the question, why didn't they just make the whole thing a client-server game that can be played on the site, Planetarion style? Jeebus, their demographic must nearly all have Java and Flash capable browsers and internet connections right in front of their faces, so what the hell is the point of the email aspect, apart from a conduit for spam? Probably because they're another fine example of technologically-impaired UK dotcom retards.
It's not so much a case of "I wish I'd thought of that" as "I could write a better game in my sleep"...