Fruits and friends is a fun game by a self published studio called Social Bee. It is a healthy variation on the match 3 genre that uses fruits where others used gems or candies. The game is available for iOS only and can be downloaded here.
Gameplay is fun and intuitive
Challenge, achievement and accomplishment
- The difficulty is too low! I’m a pretty average player of the match-3 genre (Level 50 at Candy Crush), and yet I breezed through the first world, collecting 3 stars in each phase without loosing 1 life point and without even using half the moves in most levels. My advice is to make 2-3 levels that are harder to get through in a set of 15 levels.
- The move between the worlds can be gated by a more challenging criteria. This is an opportunity to enforce some social wall, pay wall or watch an ad wall.
Virtual goods, economy and in-app purchases
- The narrative doesn’t allow the user to collect coins so it’s hard to create a coin loop
- There is no character or vehicle to upgrade
The game designer overcomes these two challenges by creating implementing an economy based on lives. This is basically a variation on energy mechanics that was made popular by King.com with their saga series. The game also allows users to buy 3 types of consumable goods: extra moves, fruit shuffling and fruit smasher. There are multiple mechanisms implemented in order to increase engagement with the virtual goods. Here are some of them:
- Purchase buttons are present in the game at all times
- A new user starts off with a positive balance of goods so he can try them out first
- Running out of lives will prompt you to buy more
- When moves are running low, the moves purchase button is being highlighted