Cartoon Tom: Skilling stars in game app

Virtual Tom Skilling

Virtual Tom Skilling

Tom Skilling has never played games when it comes to his forecasts. But now everyone’s favorite weatherman is about to become a game himself.

The Chicago media superstar and chief meteorologist for Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9 will appear as a cartoon image in “Tom Skilling’s WGN Weather Challenge,” a smartphone game app designed by Chicago-based Cubicle Ninjas.

Billed as the first game app in the country created for a local television news or weather personality, it will be available for free download through the Apple Store, starting Dec. 19. Android users will be able to download it through Google Play this February.

The game, which starts out with cartoon Tom in his WGN Weather Center, is designed as a race against the clock to “keep his forecast going as long as possible.” (Could that be something of an inside joke for those who think Skilling’s real forecasts go on forever?)

Here’s how WGN describes the app:

“When a user starts the game, Tom runs to his weather report green screen in the WGN-TV studio to begin his battle with the weather elements. The object of the game is to move Tom across the screen, avoiding bad weather (which will subtract from his forecast time) and collect good weather (which will add to his forecast time).  The game ends when Tom runs out of time. Top-ranked players will be able to see their scores on a leaderboard page.”

As part of the application, users can access weather forecasts via a link to at the end of the game.