5 Common Mobile Game Faux Pas

By | June 17, 2015

With mobile gaming poised to earn $45B by 2018, competition in the industry is heating up. As a mobile game developer, increase your chances of getting a piece of the mobile gaming pie by avoiding these common faux pas.

Uneven Difficulty Across Levels

Users expect games – mobile or otherwise – to increase in difficulty as they progress. After all, that’s part of the fun and the challenge of gaming. However, don’t mistake a steady uptick in intensity with a meteoric rise in difficulty. A steep difficulty curve between levels is one of the most frustrating things a mobile gamer can encounter, and hitting the proverbial difficulty wall is often aggravating enough for users to delete a game. Luckily, you can avoid impossible patches in your game with a little help from user testing. Hand your game over to a 3rd party test group (outside or your development team) or even to a group of friends. If 90% of them are getting stuck at a particular point or have to retry a level ad nauseam, you might want to think about reworking that part of your game.

Too Many Notifications

Mobile device notifications are designed to alert us to important news or events, like text messages, voicemails, missed calls, and alarms. Do game notifications fall under this category? For the most part, probably not. If your game does include device notifications, use them wisely and make sure not to go overboard with them.

Too Many Pop Up Ads

mobile game ads

Image Source: http://www.venturebeat.com

Just like with notifications, it’s all about moderation when it comes to pop up ads. Most mobile gamers are more than happy to tolerate a few ads in return for a free-to-download game. These ads start to become a problem when they interrupt the flow of the game. For instance, if your levels are very short, a 30 second video ad between each level will be nothing short of aggravating to users and might be enough to put your game on the chopping block.

Repetitive Game Play

Playing a level or repeating an action over and over again to unlock points, coins, or features ends up feeling a lot more like work than playing a game. Considering how competitive the industry is and how easily users can switch to a new game if they become bored, it is probably in your best interest to keep repetitive game play to a minimum.

Wait to Play “Feature”

Mobile gaming is all about convenience and portability. Players what to play and access games on demand at home, at the office, and everywhere in between. Wait-to-play features, common in free-to-download games, go against the very nature of mobile gaming. Given the fact that the average mobile game play session is just a few minutes, it’s not likely players will have the patience to wait for five, ten, or even 15 minutes to access your game again. If you’re looking for prolonged user engagement, try to avoid wait-to-play.

Category: Mobile and video games trends

About Cheylene Thongkham

Cheylene Thongkham is a London-based technical writer and experienced software tester. She earned her bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Nevada Las Vegas in 2007 and an ISTQB certification in 2010. After working as a web application tester in the US, Cheylene assumed the role of Senior QA Analyst at a FTSE 250 company in London where she oversaw testing for mobile websites, business intelligence, and Oracle databases. She is currently working towards becoming an Oracle Certified Professional.