Game Design

Game Design, Startup Tips

15-Ideas-for-Game-Bots

Lately I have been hearing more and more buzz about bots being the new apps. Many of my friends who until recently were working on new apps are now working on new bots and Facebook announced recently that there are already 11,000 bots on its messenger platform. This led me to ask myself what kind of game bots can be build on messenger – what is going to be the Angry Birds of bots?

What game bots can you find today

I reviewed the discovery channels for bots and came back quite disappointed. The only games I could find were trivia questions and a poker game that was almost impossible to play. I thought it would be nice to share some ideas and see if they become a reality. If you end up pursuing one of these you can give me credit or not – up to you.

Ideas for game bots

Screenshot 2016-07-14 16.21.591- Spot the difference – this game has been around for as long as I can remember and it’s fun for kids as well as adults. The user gets two pictures that are identical with a few small exceptions and has to find the differences.

2- Personality quizes – In this game the user answers a series of questions about himself and once he finishes he gets to know a new aspect of his personality. This one has many flavors: “What Disney charachter are you?”, “What pop star are you?”, “What type of guy will you mary?”, ….

3- Drawsomething like game – this is a game that has to be played in pairs where one player doodles a picture and the other person has to guess it. Due to the highly social nature of this game it should work well on Messenger.

4 – Who said that (usually politician vs. villan) – in this genre of games the player is presented with a sentence and has to guess if it was said by famous person A or famous person B. When confronting a polititation with a super villan this is lot of fun.

5 – Guess the image (2 options) – guessing what’s in the image can be lots of fun to play in messenger and makes a great fit as it’s highly sharable. In this version the player has to only chose between 2 options. Some popular version of this game in web where:

6 – Guess the image (list) – this one is very similar to #5 but here you have more options to chose from and has to progress through a list. Some popular flavors of this game on web and mobile were:

  • Name the logo
  • Guess the Emoji
  • Guess the picture in the closeup

7 – Spot what’s wrong in the picture – in this game the user is challenged to spot something that defies the common sense in the picture. This OCD test is a good example

8 – What food has less calories – this game is slightly educational – the user is presented with 2 pictures and has to guess which one has less calories.

9 – Sports betting – placing bets on sports matches is a huge business in countries where it’s allowed. A messenger bot can be the perfect way to do that without worrying to much about installing apps and creating accounts.

10 – Song guessing – identifying songs has always been a fun thing to do. In mobile, Songpop made millions on this but there are no bots that offer this type of gameplay yet.

Screenshot 2016-07-14 16.10.1611 – Wordwhizzle – This popular mobile game could be easily turned into messaging based interaction. The bot presents an with the letters and the user has to make the word with a single hint.

12 – Would you Rather – There are a few successful mobile games in this genre: “Either”, “Would you Rather” and more. The user is presented 2 options for example:

  • Be in a car accident that kills only you
  • Be responsible for a car accident where you live but your family and friends die

Once the user makes a selection he is presented with the statistics about the distribution of the responses.

13 – True or False – The bot presents 2 sentences to the user who has to guess which sentence is true.

14 – Sports betting – This is probably the most profitable bot service you can make in countries where betting on scores of games is regulated. Sometimes a messaging interaction could be the

 

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Fun Stuff, Game Design

guess the game quiz with multiple question marks appearing on colorful background
Fun quiz for Friday. Match the avatar to it’s original mobile app and guess the game they belong to.

Lets see how many of these you get right. We dare you to post your result to Facebook and challenge your friends by tagging them.

 

 

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Game Design, Research

This post is part of a new series that explores the top mobile games created in a country. Here are the top mobile games in FinlandJapanIndiaIndonesiaBrazilIsrael and South Korea

(1200x600) Top 10 China

If we are to look at anything as a global phenomenon – including mobile gaming – we cannot exclude China. The most populated country in the world, and one of the biggest economies, as well, plays a huge role in determining who the biggest players in the industry are.

Unlike other countries in the world, China is somewhat specific, which is why it needs a bigger introduction than the rest.

Just as the country is known for the Great Wall of China for more than 2000 years, in today’s digital world, it is known for its Great Firewall. In a most sterile description, the Great Firewall is a set of laws and legislations aimed to regulate the Internet in China. However, it is more about censorship and blocking western products than anything else.

A lot of companies and countries are losing out thanks to the Great Firewall, China included, but when it comes to mobile gaming – Google seems to be the biggest loser.

Its services have been blocked from China for the past five years and more, including Google Search, YouTube, Google Maps, Google Docs, and in this case most importantly – the Play Store. The Android app store has returned to the country some half a year ago, but the effects of the ban are visible – it is no longer the number one app store in the country.

So where does one go, when one wants to download an app? He goes to either Tencent’s MyApp, the 360 Mobile Assistant, or the Baidu Mobile Assistant.  

These three stores share almost an equal amount of the mobile market in the country, rendering the Play Store obsolete and making it extremely difficult to figure out which are the most popular mobile games built in the country. They are popular places to find apps, but not the only ones – the country has more than 200 stores, according to OneSky. Jokingly, I’d say everyone and their dog has an app store in China – in reality, basically every telecom company, mobile carrier, and large corporation has one.
 

FREE E-BOOK – TOP 10 MOBILE GAMING REPORTS

 

Thanks to a number of market researches out there, including this one by Newzoo and TalkingData, we were able to piece together a list of the top 10 games made in China.

Oh yes, before we proceed with the list, I’d also like to point you in the direction of a report by China Game Industry Annual Conference that was released two weeks ago. It says that the sales revenue of the mobile gaming industry reached 51.5 billion yuan ($7.94 billion) – it increased a stunning 87.2% since 2014.

The country has more than 366 million mobile players – the entire United States of America had 318.9 million people in 2014.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 games made in China:

*We were unable to access interesting SDKs for these mobile games due to the limited visibility of mobile games in China.

wefly#10 WeFly (National World War II Aircraft)

Android | iOS

Developer: Tencent

You’ll be seeing a lot of Tencent in this article – it is a Chinese mobile games giant. According to a report by South China Morning Post, published last April – the company had 570 million registered users for its initial batch of smartphone-based games. Since September, it became Asia’s largest internet company. It is based in Shenzhen.  

Released: 2014
Genre: Arcade
About the game: The English title for the game is WeFly, even though a simple Google translate of the original name 全民飞机大战, says the game’s name is National World War II Aircraft. It is a cartoonish-styled, colorful arcade game featuring countless levels and multiple modes, a lot of different aircrafts and, according to a few reviews on the Apple App Store – pretty damn demanding, too.

rythm master#9 Rhythm Master

iOS

Developer: Tencent
Released: 2013
Genre: Music
About the game: The Rhythm Master is a virtual orchestra studio type of game, something like those rock band games we’ve seen on Nintendo Wii. It features dozens of songs, including some of the globally popular rock songs. Additional songs can also be obtained as an in-game purchase, and the virtual currency can be gained by interacting with friends.

dou di zhu#8 Dou di zhu

Android

Developer: GoodTeam Studio
The GoodTeam studio is based in Chengdu, China. It claims to be one of the oldest domestic game development studios building games for Android, and its products include Tightrope Hero, Empire Defense series and Crisis Mission.

Released: 2012
Genre: Card game
About the game: Dou di zhu is an extremely popular card game in China, and its origins stem way before the mobile phone. According to Wikipedia, the literal translation means “Fighting the Landlord”. This is a card game in the genre of shedding and gambling.

chess#7 Chinese Chess

Android | iOS

Developer: cnvcs
Released: 2012
Genre: Strategy
About the game: This classic game of chess by the cnvcs development team is enriched by a total of 38,000 chess puzzles divided into 13 collections. It supports online play, as well as LAN via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The game also allows games to be saved and loaded, and allows easy switching between the play mode and the analysis mode.

dan ji dou di zhu#6 Dan Ji Dou Di Zhu

Blackberry

Developer: CG Tech
R
eleased: N/A
Genre: Card game
About the game: Similar to Dou di zhu, the Dan Ji Dou Di Zhu is a poker-like card game based on the traditional Chinese “Fight the Landlord” game. The interesting thing about this game is that it is designed primarily for the BlackBerry device.

 

FREE REPORT – VIDEO ADS RETENTION IMPACT

 

craz3#5 Craz3 Match

Android | iOS

Developer: Tencent
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Craz3 Match is a cute-looking tile-matching game from Tencent. It was primarily designed for WeChat users to interact with each other and play against one another. The game offers a couple of modes, including the Solo mode and the Battle mode which allows multiplayer action. It also features boss fights and magical power-ups, as well as finding and challenging any nearby players.

wechat dash#4 WeChat Dash

Android | iOS

Developer: Tencent
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Endless running
About the game: WeChat Dash is an endless running game featuring cute characters and even cuter pets. It features two modes, the PvP Mode, allowing you to challenge nearby players and friends anywhere; and the Turbo mode which brings new challenges with each new stage. The game focuses on the social aspect, integrating with various social media networks, including Facebook.

popstar#3 Pop Star

Android | iOS

Developer: GPStudio

The game seems to be built by an indie developer, as the GepaikjStudio.com website is offline, and the developer’s official email address is on Gmail. The latter makes it even stranger knowing that Gmail is actually blocked in mainland China. Other information about the developer is virtually impossible to find. Still, its hit game, Pop Star, has been updated for Android 5.1.

Release Date: 2013
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Pop Star is a color-matching game built primarily for the iOS, but later expanded to Android, as well. The goal of the game is to tap on two or more stars of the same color in order to destroy them. There is no time limit – the player must achieve a certain score in order to proceed to the next stage.

qq#2 Happy Lord (QQ Official Version)

Android | iOS

Developer: Tencent
Release Date: 2013
Genre: Card game
About the game: Happy Landlord is another card game that’s made the list. It is among the best and most popular Chinese game, featuring different unique characters each player can choose to be their avatar in the game. Besides the classic multiplayer mode, the game also features a tournament mode, where players can compete for the Grand Prix.

anipop#1 Anipop

Android | iOS

Developer: HappyElements

Strangely enough, the most popular mobile game in China does not originate from the most popular game development studio in the country. Instead, it comes from a studio named HappyElements, which is strange in its own right – the English version of the App Store page says the developer’s name is HappyElements, while translating the Chinese version names the developer as Le Yuan Interactive, based in Beijing. It just goes to show how difficult it is to tread through the Chinese mobile game space.

Release Date: 2014
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Similar to Candy Crush Saga and the likes, Anipop is a color-matching game. Just like anything else made in the East, it features cute characters and bright colors. There are more than 400 levels in the game, and also allows logging in from Facebook and synchronizing the game between the mobile and the desktop platforms.

While some many services were banned in China to better control the social media and censor any material that might undermine the government, others say it is a way the country protects its local businesses. From this perspective, it is hard to know if companies like Sina Weibo, Baidu or Tencent would have turned into billion-dollar businesses if Twitter or Google were still present. But we do know that China is shaping the future of mobile gaming. 

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Game Design, Game Reviews

icon Frog Smash is a memory trainer game created by Cartha Studios for the Android platform.

Available on Google PlayIt’s nothing spectacular – but it’s a good game. It is well envisioned and executed properly, with enough gametime to keep you hooked for a while. If memory training games are your thing, Frog Smash is worth downloading.

Gameplay

frog smash ss1Once you start the game, it shows you a pond with a couple of cutely drawn frogs, each one having a number assigned to it. Those numbers disappear after a few seconds, and you are tasked with tapping on the frogs in the order of the numbers – from the lowest to the highest.

Sometimes, the numbers will be simple (for example, from 1 to 5), sometimes they’ll be more complex (starting from 79, or hiding the lowest-numbered frog somewhere in the corner of the screen).

However, you don’t have all day to try and remember the order in which the frogs appeared – the timer is ticking. Each properly tapped frog will increase the timer for a few seconds. Tap on the wrong one, and you’re penalized, losing a few seconds.

The game ends once you’ve run out of time. This is a solid concept, as theoretically – you can have the game running endlessly. In practice, that’s not the case, as the developers have said the game features a total of 350 levels.

Yours truly has managed to reach level 37, and that’s probably as high as his memory and focus goes.

In-game shop

frog smash ss2Completing levels and moving through the game earns the player more than just a few seconds – it also earns gold coins which can be spent in the in-game shop. This virtual currency can be spent to remove all ads from the game, as well as to buy a couple of helpful power-ups.

The game features two helping extras: the hinting system (showing you the order of the tapping, to some extent) and the swap, which wipes all the frogs from the screen and replaces them with new ones.

Although I like the system, none of the power-ups have any description in the shop – I had to earn 1,000 coins and spend them just to discover what a power-up did. You can also buy the coins with real money to save yourself the trouble.

Visuals and audio

Visually, the game looks good, but it isn’t spectacular. The pond is slightly animated, as well as the eyes of the frogs floating across the pond’s surface. The HUD is also solid, featuring three basic elements on the right side of the screen – the timer showing how much you have left, and the two buttons for the two power-ups.

The buttons also show how many of each power-up you can use. Level reached and coin earned is shown at the top of the screen.

The music is mediocre at best – but it’s not annoying and won’t mess with your concentration as you try to focus on the numbers. I guess that’s the most important thing with memory games, and this one has done a good job in that respect. The background audio is of a well-known, evergreen pop song, but I couldn’t remember the name. It was enriched by the sound of frogs croaking and chirping – all in key.

Drawing the line

If I am to sum the game up in one word, that would be ‘decent’. The game performs solidly in every aspect, although it does not excel in any, either.  If you like memory games and puzzles for the brain, you’d want to give this one a go, as it will probably keep you interested for a while. The in-game shop with a few power-ups can help you along the way, and if you’re the competitive type, the 350 available levels will give you plenty to think about.

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Game Design

This post is part of a new series that explores the top mobile games created in a country. Here are the top mobile games in FinlandJapanIndiaIndonesiaChinaIsrael and South Korea

(1200X600) Top 10 Brazil

Our next destination as we move around the globe, looking at countries’ best mobile games, takes us to Brazil, the land of coffee, Samba and Ronaldinho. But besides being good at playing football and dancing in the street while wearing hilarious costumes, the Brazilians also have a well-established market for mobile games. In fact, Brazil is a true powerhouse when it comes to mobile games.

Here are some interesting facts about the Brazilian mobile game market:

The country has 200 million people, and ranks fifth in the world in both populace and land mass.

The populace loves mobile gaming – it’s far more popular than PC gaming or consoles. According to a study by analyst firm Blend and game developer Sioux, 83 percent of gamers say their preferred platform is mobile phones — PCs stood at 71 percent, and consoles at 56 percent.

Out of those 200 million, 23 percent own a smartphone (roughly 50 million people), which is also one of the key factors keeping the country from becoming a top 5 market in terms of revenue.

Still, those 23 percent spend some serious money in games. Brazilians who pay spend around 10-60 Reals per game ($3-$20). Even though the country is large and offers plenty of opportunity, it’s the Western developers who rule. Piano Tiles, Subway Surfers, Pou, My Talking Angela and My Talking Tom hold the first five places as the most popular Android games in Brazil, according to App Annie. On iOS, Traffic Rider, 8 Ball Pool and Candy Crush Saga also have strong presence.

So which are the top ten mobile games made in Brazil? Find out in the list below.

*Interesting SDKs are courtesy of logo

cookbok#10 Cookbook Master – Be the Chef!

Android | iOS

Developer: Tapps

Tapps is a Brazilian game development studio, headquartered in Sao Paulo and focusing on casual games. Having started in 2012, so far it has developed and published almost 200 games for the iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms. With millions of downloads every week, Tapps Games is already one of the top publishers of mobile games in the world.
Published: 2014
Genre: Strategy
About the game: Cookbok Master – Be the Chef! is a game which will help you work on those cooking skills of yours. In the game, the player is tasked with creating kitchen works of art using more than 40 ingredients to cook with, like eggs, lettuce, onion, tomato… You will start as a beginner with few utensils and ingredients at your reach. But for each completed recipe you get stars, and every star you earn takes you a step closer to becoming a cooking master by unlocking new recipes, new ingredients and acquiring a culinary experience based entirely on real-life recipes.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 AppsFlyer  InMobi 
 mobileCore  MoPub 
 AdColony  AppLovin 
 Vungle 

ufb2#9 UFB 2 – Ultra Fighting Bros

Android | iOS

Developer: Tapps
Published: 2015
Genre: Fighting
About the game: UFB 2 – Ultra Fighting Bros is a fighting game with a different approach to the genre. It offers 50 challenges and combats, as well as two modes – Career and Multiplayer. The game features fighters from all over the world, including Bulldog Burton from the USA, Brutov from Russia, Hellga from Sweden, Rocha from Brazil, Raging Ramirez from Mexico and Brobot from Mars, making sure everyone has their favorite.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 PlayHaven  mobileCore 
 Parse  MoPub 
 AdColony  AppLovin 
 Vungle 

penguin#8 Racing Penguin – Flying Free

Android | iOS

Developer: Top Free Games

Top Free Games is a mysterious game studio that describes itself only as the “creators of Bike Race and Racing Penguin” games. According to Crunchbase, this is a mobile games developer company building games for Apple and Android phones.

Published: 2012
Genre: Racer
About the game: Racing Penguin – Flying Free is a physics based slide and fly game in which the player slides down the mountains of Antarctica and flaps the penguin’s wings to fly. It features a total of 5 worlds and 40 racing levels.

horizon chase#7 Horizon Chase – World Tour

Android | iOS

Developer: Aquiris Game Studio

Aquiris Game Studio is a company based in Porto Alegre. With eight years of history and a team of 40 people, it has been creating games for a broad range of platforms, from browser to PC and mobile. Now with Horizon Chase, the studio is taking a step further into the wild world of self-publishing.

Published: 2015
Genre: Racing
About the game: Horizon Chase is an homage to the 80s and early 90s classic racing games. It features 16-bit graphics, cool cars and a huge garage for upgrades. The game is starring composer Barry Leitch, the creator of legendary Top Gear, Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 and Rush series of games soundtracks.

magic#6 Magic Rampage

Android | iOS

Developer: Asantee

Asantee is a game studio from Brazil that doesn’t find it important to have a website in English language. It builds games for iOS and Android, based on the Ethanon game engine. Among its games are Magic Rampage, Magic Portals, Hit The Gator and Bee Avenger both for iPad, iPhone and Android.

Published: 2013
Genre: RPG / Platformer
About the game: Magic Rampage is a platformer game, featuring RPG and hack ‘n’ slash elements. It offers in-depth character customization and multiple weapons, from knives to magical staves. The game features many dungeons, each with new obstacles, enemies and secrets, as well as Bonus levels, Survival mode and challenging boss fights. The game was built in 16-bit and brings “refreshed and engaging gameplay mechanics”.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Crashlytics 

myboo#5 My Boo – Your Virtual Pet Game

Android | iOS

Developer: Tapps
Published: 2015
Genre: Simulation
About the game: My Boo is a virtual pet game in which the player is tasked with adopting, dressing, feeding and taking care of its new pet. The game in style of the famed Tamagochi also allows the player to tickle, tuck and bathe the pet, and decorate the rooms in which it lives. The game also features dozens of mini-games, with new ones coming with every patch.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 AppsFlyer  mobileCore 
Vungle  MoPub 
 AdColony  AppLovin 

toilet#4 Toilet Time – A Bathroom Game

Android | iOS

Developer: Tapps
Published: 2013
Genre: Arcade
About the game: Before smartphones, people used to read stuff written on hygiene products while on the toilet. Now, they mostly just tweet. Tapps wanted to tap into that time of day and create a game to be played while sitting on the toilet seat, so it built Toilet Time. The game is a compilation of mini-games all somehow related to relieving yourself – one time you’ll be tasked with pee-blasting the toilet seat, and another coughing at the perfect moment to cover up certain noises. With more than 10 million downloads on Android alone, it is one of the most popular Brazilian games.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 AppsFlyer  mobileCore 
 Vungle  MoPub 
 AdColony  AppLovin 
 PlayHaven 

bunny#3 Bunny Shooter

Android | iOS

Developer: Best Cool & Fun Free Games

When you have a game development studio named ‘Best Cool & Fun Free Games’, Google can’t help you much to find it. To make matters worse, the developers’ site is offline, and Crunchbase has no data. Nevertheless, we do know that Best Cool & Fun Games is from Sao Paulo, that it has more than 20 games on the Google Play Store, which have been downloaded more than 100 million times.

Published: 2012
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Bunny Shooter is a puzzle game similar to the Angry Birds series. The goal of the game is to destroy the bunnies that are hiding behind various obstacles, by shooting arrows into different elements on the stage and kickstarting a domino effect. It offers four worlds, with 60 stages each.
Interesting SDKs: 

 mobileCore  InMobi 
 Tapjoy 

bike#2 Bike Race Free – Top Free Game

Android | iOS

Developer: Top Free Games
Published: 2012
Genre: Racing
About the game:  Bike Race Free from Top Free Games is Brazil’s second most popular mobile game. It is a racing/arcade game in which players are tasked to traverse hard obstacles on their motorbike, while defying gravity and real-life physics. It features hundreds of tracks and innovative worlds, stunts, and multiple bikes. The game is frequently updated with new content, as well.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  InMobi 
 AdColony  HeyZap 

ant#1 Ant Smasher

Android | iOS

Developer: Best Cool & Fun Free Games
Published: 2011
Genre: Arcade
About the game: With more than a 100 million downloads on the Android platform alone, Ant Smasher is the ultimate king of Brazilian mobile games. The player is tasked with squashing as many virtual ants as possible by using his fingers. In the game’s latest version, it allows it to squash your friends’ photos, as well.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Chartboost  mobileCore 
 InMobi 
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Game Design, Game Reviews

iconIf, for some strange cosmic reason, you could only ever install one Flappy Bird spin-off and you were in a dilemma which game to choose – you should definitely go for Firebeast’s Tiny Chick.

Available on Google PlayAvailable on iTunesThis game is the perfect example how spin-offs can actually be really entertaining when done right – and looking at Tiny Chick, getting that ‘right’ requires the biggest effort of all – an idea.

Tiny Chick is a 2D arcade endless runner game in which a tiny chick is tasked with jumping over a bunch of obstacles, very similar to those pipes in Flappy Bird.

Jump to win

screenshot1The main difference is that the chick is not actually moving. It’s just standing there, rooted to the ground, waiting for you to react. In order to have the tiny bird jump over the obstacle, you need to press the screen and hold it pressed until its jumping power is charged.

As it charges, a trajectory is pointed out in a form of a dotted line. The longer you press, the higher the jump. The tricky part here is that you can’t modify your trajectory, and you can’t set it up slowly.

It goes from 0 to 60 in a split second, meaning you have less than an eyeblink of time to figure out how long you need to have the screen pressed in order for the chick to jump through the obstacle. Miss by a millisecond and it will smack its pretty little head right across the wooden wall in a hilarious manner, followed by equally entertaining audio.

Modern pixel art

In essence, the game is strikingly similar to Flappy Bird. But just this – this little twist in gameplay, the original idea, should be enough to see the game succeed on the global stage.

But the game has much more to offer.

Its visuals feature straight lines and bright colors, in a ‘modern pixel-art’ fashion – something we’ve seen in Crossy Road, for example. People obviously like pixel art, so why not give it to them, right? Only in these modern iterations, that art is much, much better, and that’s coming from someone who spent half of his lifetime playing pixel-art games.

The game also expands on its tiny universe by adding 14 additional characters, which can be purchased with coins – the in-game currency. That way, if the little yellow chick is not really your thing, you can buy yourself an afro chick, a spiderman chick, deadpool chick, and a bunch of other chicks from various pop-culture instances I couldn’t really recognize. Shame on me.

Coins can be obtained by playing the game and watching a rewarded-video ad, but that’s not what surprised me the most.

screenshot_2The game offers a nifty little feature that’s rarely seen in endless runner games, but in reality should be featured a lot more – a chance to continue where you failed without having to start all over again.

The game offers such a scenario in case the player wants to watch a video ad and, after almost breaking my previous record before failing, I was more than happy to watch a 30-second ad for Google on India. Not sure why such an ad would reach me, but I still enjoyed it, as it helped me break the record.

The option to continue a run is only offered once per game and, if I understood correctly, only shows up if you had already achieved a significant result. Well thought!

In conclusion, I must say I really like this game. It looks nice, feels nice, plays nice and is fairly addictive. Some Play Store comments say the game freezes and crashes every now and then, but that is yet to happen to me. Highly recommended.

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Game Design

This post is part of a new series that explores the top mobile games created in a country. Here are the top mobile games in FinlandJapanIndiaBrazilChinaIsrael and South Korea

(1200x600) Top 10 Indonesia

There has been much talk lately about the state of mobile games in Indonesia, and rightfully so. The country, which used to be overshadowed by the likes of China, Japan and South Korea, has recently gotten the attention it deserves, thanks to its large mobile gamers base.

In this piece we will discover what the best mobile games made in Indonesia are, and that was by no means a simple task – Indonesians gravitate heavily towards the West, with the games popular there also being popular in Indonesia. Clash of Clans, Don’t Tap The White Tile and Pou are on the top charts.

But before we dive into the list of best mobile games from Indonesia, let’s take a look at the market:

Indonesian Game Market Overview

As of December 2014, the country which has 250 million residents has had 278 million smartphones, which equals to a 110 percent penetration. Yes, you could say that everyone in Indonesia has at least one smartphone.

What makes this figure even more fun is the fact that the country has 30.7 million active gamers – 82 percent of them being under 24 years old, and more than half spending money on their mobile games. That means that these gamers are generating, and will continue to do so, huge revenue.

According to a Newzoo report, Indonesia already accounts for half of the $1.4B game market, and it will soon be generating $1.3B in mobile revenue each year – alone.

Even though global games fare well in the Indonesian market, there are a couple of local game development studios building highly-rated and highly-downloaded games. Let’s take a look at the top 10 mobile games built in Indonesia:

*Interesting SDKs are courtesy of logo

infinite sky#10 Infinite Sky

Android

Developer: Touchten

Touchten is a game development company founded in 2009. It builds games for the iOS, Android, and the web and has, since its inception, built more than 10 games. It is located in Jakarta, and employs 14 people.

Published: 2012
Genre:
Action
About the game:
Infinite Sky is an action arcade game set in the times of World War II, above ground. The player is given a fighter plane and must fight his way through countless enemies to reach the boss and win the game. This 3D action arcade game also features an in-game shop which allows the planes to be upgraded.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 Urban Airship  prime[31] 

gaple#9 Gaple

Android 

Developer: ParagiSoft

ParagiSoft is a mysterious game development studio from Indonesia. It doesn’t have a working website, a Facebook page or a Twitter profile. It has almost no digital footprint whatsoever, still the games posted online are regularly getting updated. If these guys just want to keep a low profile as they build their games – they’re doing a good job at both.

Published: 2015
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Gaple is the Indonesian version of the dominoes game. It has attractive graphics and customizable rules, making it an attractive game for people of all ages. It can be played with two, three or four players, as well as in two teams of two.

bill#8 Billionaire

Android | iOS

Developer: Alegrium

Alegrium is a mobile games development studio from Jakarta. This small studio builds games for both iOS and Android, and has built a couple of notable ones, including Billionaire and Icon Pop Quiz.

Published: 2014
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Billionaire is a business puzzle game, in which a player looks to expand and grow his enterprise. The game begins with a small capital investment, and the player must grow his business, protect it and invest into new ideas.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 AppsFlyer  InMobi 
 Parse  MoPub 
 AdColony  AppLovin 
 Applifier  Swrve 

huruf#7 Marbel Belajar Huruf

Android | iOS

Developer: Educa

Educa is a game development studio from Salatiga, a city in Central Java, Indonesia. It is a studio building mostly educational material. It has won many awards for its products such as Shoot Empire, Marbel or Dandelion the Game.

Published: 2015
Genre: Educational
About the game: Belajar Huruf is a game for children aged 2-6 which helps them learn the alphabet. It teaches children uppercase and lowercase letters and names of various objects. It also features seven mini-games and a narrative to help children who are not yet fluent readers.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 

ramen chain#6 Ramen Chain

Android | iOS

Developer: Touchten
Published: 2013
Genre: Strategy
About the game: Ramen Chain is a strategy game in which you must operate your ramen restaurant. You will learn to expand your ramen business through games, learning all the recipes, getting to know your customers and having a fast hand. The game features an engaging storyline which takes you through five cities of Japan, as well as more than 50 mini-games.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 prime[31] 

ninja fishing#5 Ninja Fishing

Android | iOS

Developer: Menara

Established in 2005, Menara is one of the pioneers of Indonesian game development. The studio has extensive knowledge and experience on casual games and mid-core market, and has created hit PC and mobile games with Big Fish Games, real Arcade, Game House and Kongregate. The small team is located in Bandung.

Published: 2011
Genre: Action
About the game: Ninja Fishing is an addicting action game in which you are tasked with pulling out as much fish as possible on a single hook. Cast your hook as deep as possible into the ocean, then use the tilt controls to reel back as many fish as you can. Finally, use the katana-powered touch technology to slice the scaly fish right out of the sky for maximum gold profit. The game was recommended by Google Play staff, and was dubbed “insanely addicting” by some media.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 AdColony 

menagaji#4 Marbel Belajar Mengaji

Android

Developer: Educa
Published: 2015
Genre: Educational
About the game: Marbel Belajar Mengaji is a unique educational game, as it teaches children the basics of the Islamic religion. It is designed for children aged 2-6 to help them learn the Arabic alphabet and a few basic verses of the Qur’an.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 

icon_pop#3 Icon Pop Quiz

Android | iOS

Developer: Alegrium
Published: 2012
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Icon Pop Quiz challenges players to name hit movies, TV shows and characters using imaginative, handcrafted visual clues inspired by each answer. The fastest and most accurate players will win the highest scores and compete against friends worldwide on Game Center. Each of the 400 movie and TV icons have been custom-designed for players to puzzle out.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 Millennial Media  Tapjoy 
 Vungle  MoPub 
 AdColony  nativeX 
 GREE 

tebak#2 Tebak Gambar

Android | Windows Phone

Developer: Tebak Gambar

Tebak Gambar is a small, indie mobile game development studio from Indonesia. It currently only has one title – a game by the same name as the studio.

Published: 2015
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Tebak Gambar is a creative puzzle game built exclusively for the Indonesian market. Similar to Icon Pop Quiz, it shows the player a visual representation of a puzzle, which he is required to solve by typing in the correct answer. With more than 100 puzzles, it can guarantee many hours of quality gameplay, and is available on Android, iOS and Windows.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Crashlytics  Edmodo 

dipo#1 Diponegoro – Tower Defense

Android

Developer: The WALi Games

The WALi Games is a mobile game development studio from Jawa Barat. With seven employees only, it has managed to create nine games so far, with one hitting the #9 spot of most popular games in Indonesia, according to App Annie.

Published: 2015
Genre: Tower Defense
About the game:  Diponegoro – Tower Defense is a classic TD game which puts the Indonesian national hero Prince Diponegoro in the center of attention. He opposed the Dutch colonial rule and has had an important part in the Java War (1825 – 1830). The game, however, does not follow the story of the Prince, but instead just tries to raise awareness about this national hero. The game itself features six types of towers, 16 types of enemies and a total of 26 levels.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 AppsFlyer  Tapjoy 
 Vungle  Fyber 
 AdColony  Supersonic 
 Batch 
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Game Design

This post is part of a new series that explores the top mobile games created in a country. Here are the top mobile games in Finland, JapanIndonesiaBrazilChinaIsrael and South Korea

(1200x600) Top 10 India

The third article in our Top 10 games series takes us to India, the land of spices, hilarious TV soap operas and some seriously good games. The Indian mobile game market is both amazing and intimidating at the same time – with 1.2 billion people it has become one of the fastest-growing mobile game markets and an important destination for developers.

Just how big of a market India really is, and how fast is it growing? Let’s look at some numbers, first.

According to eMarketer, a well-respected market analyst firm, in 2016 India will become the second largest market in terms of smartphones, with more than 200 million devices.

Chartboost has an interesting graph on the increase in game sessions year-on-year (Y-o-Y), which shows that out of 18 total categories viewed, 10 have had more than 300 percent Y-o-Y increase, with RPG games skyrocketing 2360 percent. Pretty much every genre has had a significant increase.
 

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Gamesindustry claims that the Indian mobile games market is currently worth $853.9 million, and that the market accounts for half of the total game market in the country. The same report also adds the numbers will double by 2018, and that Indian gamers have spent more than $36 million on mobile games in October 2015.

So how do Indian developers adapt to the market? By placing games Indians want to play, and according to our little research, based on the number of downloads, overall rating and various media coverage, it seems that Indians mostly enjoy playing gambling games and – cricket.

Here’s the list:

*Interesting SDKs are courtesy of logo

real teen patti#10 Real Teen Patti

Android | iOS

Developer: Red Monster Games
Red Monster Games is a mobile social gaming company building games focused on the India market. Starting with casino games, it plans to expand into other genres of social gaming, including original IP-led games. It’s founders bring expertise in building and running social games from organizations like Zynga.
Published: 2015
Genre: Gambling
About the game: Real Teen Patti is a multiplayer card game also known as Indian Poker. Unlike Poker or Texas hold’em Poker, players are dealt three cards, and the game lacks any community cards. Player with the strongest hand wins the pot.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Chartboost 
 AppsFlyer  Radius Networks 

teen patti gold#9 Teen Patti Gold

Android | iOS

Developer: Moonfrog Labs

Moonfrog Labs is a Bangalore-based startup which makes mobile games exclusively for the Indian market. The startup was founded in 2013 by a team of developers who previously worked for Zynga on titles including Mafia Wars, Bubble Safari, Castleville, and Empires & Allies.

Published: 2014
Genre: Gambling
About the game: Teen Patti Gold follows the same principle as Real Teen Patti – a three-card game of Poker. In the game, however, there is no real money involved, and “real” prizes cannot be won.
Interesting SDKs: 

Chartboost  Adjust 
 Apsalar 

parking frenzy 2#8 Parking Frenzy 2.0

Android | iOS

Developer: Games2Win.com

Games2win is one of the top 20 online gaming Online gaming businesses in the world as per Comscore. The company Games2win India Pvt. Ltd. was co-founded by serial entrepreneur Alok Kejriwal and Mahesh Khambadkone, a gaming technocrat. The company is headquartered in Mumbai, India.

Published: 2012
Genre: Parking
About the game: Parking Frenzy 2.0 is a genre of its own – games which challenge players to park their virtual cars in a fast and accurate manner, all while avoiding various obstacles. The game has more than 200 levels and features 16 different cars.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  AdColony 
 Applifier  Charboost 
 Millennial Media  prime[31] 
 MoPub  Vungle 

d3#7 Dhoom:3 The Game

Android | iOS | Windows Phone

Developer: 99Games

99Games is an indie studio located in Karnataka, India. The studio develops and publishes mobile games, and currently has over 15 game titles, 20 million downloads and many global awards.

Published: 2013
Genre: Racer
About the game: Dhoom:3 The Game is a 3D bike racer built around the popular Dhoom film franchise. It has more than 15 million downloads across different platforms, and has won several awards. Players will have to navigate the digital avatar of Aamir Khan (Sahir), who is being chased by Abhishek Bachchan(Jai), Uday Chopra (Ali) and Chicago police in a high-stake race through the busy streets of Chicago.
Interesting SDKs: 

 InMobi  Flurry 
 Chartboost  prime[31] 
 PlayHaven 

chotta#6 Chhota Bheem Jungle Run

Android

Developer: Nazara

Nazara Games is a mobile games development studio founded in 2000. It creates games for the markets of India, Middle East, Africa, The Caribbean & Latin America. Interesingly enough, Nazara Technologies also holds exclusive rights for EA Mobile Games in the Middle East & Africa.

Published: 2015
Genre: Arcade
About the game: Chhota Bheem Jungle Run is a very popular game in India, thanks to the favorite superhero character kids in the country adore. In the game, the main character Chhota Bheem is far away from Dholakpur and the road back to the village is through a dense jungle, filled with obstacles and weird creatures.
Interesting SDKs: 

 InMobi  Flurry 
 Crashlytics  Parse 
 AppsFlyer 

 

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real cricket#5 Real Cricket 14

Android

Developer: Nautilus Mobile

Nautilus Mobile is a mobile game development studio based in Hyderabad, India. It comprises of all former Gameloft employees. Its game Song of Swords has won People’s Choice Indie Game of the Year award in 2013.

Published: 2014
Genre: Sports
About the game: Real Cricket 14 is a cricket simulation game for mobile phones and tablets. The game provides with Diverse modes, Exhibition, Tournaments such as T20 World Cup, Masters Cup and Knockout Cup.
Interesting SDKs: 

 InMobi  AdColony 
 Applifier  Flurry 
 Crashyltics   Tapjoy 
 Vungle 

gns casino#4 GSN Casino – Free Slots

Android | iOS

Developer: GSN Games

GNS Games is a successful Indian game development studio, which has two top 10 grossing iPad apps and nine offices around the world. GSN Games is part of GSN, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and DIRECTV.

Published: 2015
Genre: Gambling
About the game: The GSN Casino – Free Slots is a casino simulation game, offering various gambling games you usually see in a casino. Those include slots, bingo, video poker, Blackjack and the Wheel of fortune. Similar to other gambling games, this one also does not work with real money.
Interesting SDKs: 

 prime[31]  AdColony 
 AppLovin  Vungle 

solitaire 3peeks#3 Solitaire TriPeaks

Android | iOS

Developer: GSN.com
Published: 2014
Genre: Card game
About the game: This card game offers a tropical solitaire arena of over 600 new levels and islands. The goal of the game is to navigate islands and speed through hundreds of solitaire card game levels.
Interesting SDKs: 

 prime[31]  AdColony 
 Vungle  Fiksu 

bingo bash#2 Bingo Bash

Android | iOS

Developer: GSN.com
Published: 2014
Genre: Gambling
About the game: Bingo Bash is a bingo-style game featuring traditional Indian music. The game features 350+ levels, 50+ ways to play, and new bingo rooms added every two weeks. Just like other gambling games, this one also does not allow gambling with real money.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  AdColony 
 Kochava 

teen patti indian#1 Teen Patti – Indian Poker

Android | iOS

Developer: Octro

The game development studio Octro calls itself “one of the fastest growing mobile gaming companies around”. It was formed in 2006 and is headquartered in Delhi. In 2014 it was announced that Sequoia Capital decided to invest in Octro.

Published: 2015
Genre: Card game
About the game: Teen Patti – Indian Poker is one of the most played mobile game in India across different age groups. With more than 10 million downloads on Android alone, it is one of the most downloaded mobile games in India.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Flurry  Tapjoy 
 AppsFlyer  Supersonic 

Honorable mentions

There are two games which have unfortunately not made the list, mostly because of low download counts and average scores. However, being indie games which have both won valuable awards for their studios, I have decided to include them as honorable mentions.

skatelander#1 Skatelander

Android | iOS

Developer: underDOGS Gaming Studio

underDOGS Gaming Studio is based in Mumbai, and was founded by a former Games2win employee Vaibhav Chavan.

Published: 2015
Genre:
Endless running
About the game: Skatelander is an endless arcade skateboarding game developed by underDOGS Gaming for iOS. The game was recently reviewed on the SOOMLA blog, so make sure you check out our review.
Interesting SDKs: 

 Chartboost  Adjust 
 Everyplay 

hues#2 Hues Game

Android | BlackBerry | Windows Phone

Developer: ReFocus Tech

Even though the studio created one of the most praised games of 2014, it didn’t help it to survive – as of recently, the studio transformed into a digital creatives studio called Little Boat Studios. The firm has switched from building mobile games to designing and building products, creating campaigns, developing applications and platforms to connect businesses to customers.

Published: 2014
Genre: Puzzle
About the game: Hues is puzzle card game. By merging cards of the same color (hue), you earn points and unlock more hues. The objective is simple: To score as much as you can by merging more and more cards, called as “Hues.” As you unlock higher ranked “Hues,” the game adapts.

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Game Design, Game Reviews

iconWheels on Farm is probably the best game I have ever reviewed on this blog. If not the best, then – definitely – the most complete one that ticks all the right checkboxes.

Available on Google PlayThe game, created by GeekToGeek game development studio (not to be confused with the shady geektogeek.com dating site) is a combination of those dirt bike games with real life physics and puzzle games, set in a FarmVille-like ambient.

It features tons of levels rich with fresh ideas and innovation, and is topped off by quality visuals which breathe a sense of humor in the game.

[UPDATE 24/1/2017]: The game is now available on iOS: https://appsto.re/us/ZB7Icb.i and Tizen: http://www.downloadtizenapps.com/2016/10/wheels-on-farm-help-busy-joe-on-his-farm.html

Goals

In the game, the player takes control of a slightly crazy farmer (I can tell by the tongue hanging out and his eyes being crossed), which sits down in his 4×4 jeep even before the sun rises up. He has to do all the usual stuff an average farmer does, like pick up watermelons, lumber, or just race across his farm because, you know – he can.

Screenshot_2015-12-15-09-45-46Even though they might sound like mundane tasks to a farmer – they are by no means easy. Picking up and driving farm stuff from point A to point B will be a difficult and puzzling task, one which will have you testing out different ideas before figuring out how to best finish the level.

The game is additionally spiced up by a couple of owls hanging around – one will help you, while the other will just start breaking your car, which was quite a nasty shock when I first saw her take part of my trailer away.

But what I liked best about the game is the richness it has in innovation – it has dozens of levels, yet it still manages to surprise you with new ideas as you progress. Things like racing against the computer, computer co-op or fruit and wood delivery, which are available in advanced levels, really make you feel like you’re making progress.

Multiplayer madness

I was very pleased to see that the game features a multi-player mode as well, with two cars and two drivers. The second farmer is an old lady, I’m guessing our main protagonist’s mother, who is slightly off in her own way, but nevertheless is a good farmer.

In the multiplayer mode, you will have to work with your friends to load the contents in a truck (which can sometimes be extremely difficult), and sometimes you will have to push one another uphill to reach your destination.

Visuals and audio

Screenshot_2015-12-15-10-20-48This is, by all standards, a really, really nice looking game. With bright colors and many details, it is a joy to watch, and the animations which follow simple laws of physics are crafted with filigree precision. The changes in the background have been incorporated into the backstory. The player starts sometime before dawn and has to drive during the night. Slowly, as he moves further through the game, the sun will gradually start appearing, changing the landscape. This is such a simple, yet ingenious solution to shake things up in the game and not have the same boring background on every level.

A good job was also done with the audio. Although a bit stereotypical, the game is followed by a banjo-rocking, mouth-organ grooving sound which fit perfectly with the game.

Try it!

I cannot recommend this game enough. It has everything you need for a great mobile experience – it’s well crafted, features beautiful and hilarious animations. It is rich in content with dozens of levels, and has simple commands. The puzzles are fun, engaging and innovative, and the multiplayer mode is something you definitely ought to try out. Wheels on Farm is simply a great game.

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