We see it time and time again – a game that seems like it has suddenly come out of nowhere and gone viral or become a huge success. Do these games have much in common? Is it just random when one of them captures the imagination and becomes absolutely huge?
In this guide, we’re exploring some of the aspects that make up a fun mobile game that becomes really popular.
Whether you want to play a free app or you are looking to find the best games on sweepstakes casinos online to keep you amused, there are some aspects of gameplay and design that tend to keep people interested rather than them downloading a game, playing once, and then never again.
Okay, so we don’t usually download a mobile game expecting it to look like an incredible HD movie, but generally, decent graphics can make a big difference.
Games don’t have to be hyper-realistic to have a really great look and feel to them, and the colors, characters and layout should all be considered. An ugly game that looks like it belongs on the Atari 2600 will probably never go viral or become a popular mobile game.
The genre is quite an interesting aspect of mobile games. Historically, there have been mainly arcade-style games that have gone viral – think of the Flappy Bird game that became incredibly popular before infamously being taken away from app stores.
If you are playing a mobile game, you want a game that you can pick up wherever you left off, and a game that doesn’t force you to invest too much time.
Interestingly, this set of criteria has also led to a big increase in people playing strategy games on their mobile device. Clash of Clans was one of the games that saw this grow to a huge level of popularity, and it makes sense that mobile strategy games are popular. You can jump in and out, making a few tweaks and changes, and then leave the game and let it run, while some of the games even have a “real-time” feel to them.
Ten years ago, some smartphones would have really struggled with a mobile strategy game, but modern devices are so fast and effective that this isn’t a problem.
Okay, so it doesn’t have to be Lord of the Rings in this respect, but if there is some sort of story or evolving storyline that you can control, it is more likely that you will keep coming back.
Games that focus on point-scoring and the like are fun, but there is a reason why developers are always trying to get more and more story into things like Bejeweled, and that is to keep people hooked.
A storyline means there is more of an emotional attachment to whatever is happening, and this is a good way to turn a game from “good” into “great”.
Think of these games that are movie tie-ins. Marvel and Jurassic World are examples of franchises that have some pretty impressive games that are linked to them, and this helps to make them a big success. People keep playing fighting or strategizing in these games because they identify with the characters and feel as if they know them.
This covers a lot of different aspects of a game, including mechanics. It could well be the most important aspect that goes towards making a good game. Look at it this way: if there are poor mechanics and clunky gameplay in a mobile game, people are just going to delete the app and download another.
Great gameplay means that the game loads quickly and plays intuitively. If the controls are too difficult or the game feels like it just doesn’t have the simplicity you need to play on your phone, you’re probably going to click away.
This is possibly the biggest challenge for developers, especially if you consider trends like the recent surge in mobile strategy games. If you keep adding other menus and make it more of a complex game to control, it is likely people will switch off. You don’t have the same ease as you might with a controller in most games, so it is really important to create simple and streamlined gameplay.
Sometimes the truly great games feel like they came out of nowhere, but most of them feature a combination of great gameplay and exciting new ideas, plus some element of storyline – especially the games with the greatest longevity. There’s definitely something of a formula to making the best mobile games.