What Makes a Mobile Game a Hit?

What Makes a Mobile Game a Hit?

The world of gaming has grown exponentially in recent years along with the advent of mobile platforms like Android or iOS. Gone are the days when playing a mobile game meant using the keypad for controls, sticking with a small screen, or getting engaged with titles in only 2D visuals and gameplay.

Although these smart devices we call as either a smartphone or a tablet were not intended to be a gaming platform, they nonetheless turned out to be such—to a point of commercially beating competition in the market, thanks to their continually growing hardware capabilities.

But while the hardware platform itself is one thing, the real driving force behind such success, especially for gamers, is undeniably the games that run on it.

Making a Commercially Successful Mobile Game

Making mobile games is not necessarily rocket science. Although their creation may pose difficulty almost similar in degree, the end-outcome is not nearly as catastrophic to those onboard; that is, the developers behind the game.

Like any thing that is developed through sophisticated means, making a great mobile game requires a good mixture of creativity, innovation, the right set of principles and even tried-and-tested formula to stick to.

There is no single formula which guarantees any particular mobile game success in the market. But a balance between all the good elements definitely boosts its chances.

Dissected into parts, a great mobile game is compartmentalized into the following: graphics, gameplay, music, and story.

Visuals Matter

The early years of gaming was founded in 2D graphics. When 3-dimensional gaming is but a few years away still, games at the time are simplified and linear. You must be an avid retro person with fond memories in the old classics like Super Mario or Sonic to actually still admire this kind of graphics.

There are still games developed and aimed to tribute retro visuals like the glorious 50’s slots with immpersive graphics especially in today’s standard that is all about pushing boundaries. For a kind of device which is capable of intensive graphics processing, this might entail visuals that impresses even PC or console gamers who seemingly have already “seen it all.”

Today’s mobile devices are more than capable than ever in delivering a kind of graphics which would be the envy of the bygone gamers of yesteryears.

If you have played some of mobile’s most popular games like Candy Crush and Plants versus Zombies, to name a few, you would know that visuals play a good part of it.

One cannot deny that one major element which keep players hooked to a particular title is in how the game looks, especially for the average gamer who is easily taken away by flashy images.

Yet, visuals alone do not justify a game as either good or bad—sometimes, they may just be pretty to look at but without apparent substance as a supposedly fun game.

How the Game Plays is Important

Games play diversely as dictated by the genre to which they are designed for. But even games of similar game style may be different from another, especially if another title tried to innovate on it. And this one keyword often separates a superior title from the mediocre: innovation.

When a certain genre is becoming too commonplace and feels like a recycle of previous iterations or a copy from another, oftentimes reinventing the wheel becomes imperative than optional.

Just take a look at the sports genre, say the NBA 2K series, for example. While the series may claim to add new feature or gameplay element per new installment, they oftentimes still feel much of the same, only repainted and given unique contents for differentiation.

That is not innovation. If anything, that is a marketing gimmick or a milking of a franchise based on one or few previous successes. Like anything that is overused, the kind of success which comes from this scheme thins out relatively fast.

It Must Sound Right

The sound may not be as fast as light but any deviation from the normal can be easily spotted, especially for a keen hearing at close range. Issues of sound lags or being out of sync—like the ones you had probably experienced while watching at an international channel from the TV—are issues that could potentially plague a game if left unnoticed.

But even sounds that are in “perfect” working order may not necessarily guarantee good auditory output. Some sounds are just terribly bad when employed to a game, they’re downright appalling.

Cannot recall a game fitting this insult? Just take this Nintendo DS game, Journey to the Center of the Earth, as an example.

Has a Plot to Follow

While not all games may have story element in their creation, like the amazing casual games at 888casino, a plot, if incorporated, makes for an essential part that cannot be ignored. For some audiences, a story is a tale spoken in moving format or even just in plain texts.

A story may even more than just revolves around a certain event, it also introduces many characters that are in it, particularly the protagonist and its arch enemy, the antagonist. Without it, some games, especially an RPG like the Dragon Quest VIII, will simply not make sense.

It may sound cliché, but for story-driven game, the plot must be engaging at the very least.

So, are you ready to make your own winning game? Why not put the ideas you’ve learned in this article to the test?

I'm the editorial writer for DroidHorizon. You'll find my content varies in the technology, science, & lifestyle categories.

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