Today I’m reviewing a game called Fruits n’ Goblins. It’s a casual arcade game that is available for both iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded using the following links – Fruits n’ Goblins for iOS and Fruits n’ Goblins for Android
Gameplay is fun and intuitive
The game simulates an arcade game from the era when game machines weren’t relaying on silicon. Do you remember this game that had you pulling a spring and hitting a ball that would bounce around and you had to keep it alive by flicking it with two flaps at the bottom right and bottom left of the table to avoid the ball coming down through the hole? Well, Fruits n’ Goblins is pretty much that except that the ball is a Goblin and tilting the machine is a bit easier in a digital game – simply touch the screen to punch it.
Levels and scores give a good sense of accomplishment
This arcade game is featuring 4 worlds, each with 20 levels. Each completed level ends with a score that contributes to users’ global score. In addition, each level can be completed with a bronze medal, a gold medal or the perfect medal. This is a pretty good scheme that allows users to make progress as well as go back and improve their results in the first levels and try to perfect their results.
Virtual economy advice
The implementation of the virtual economy in this game leaves a lot of room for improvement. Let’s touch a few of them.
Make the store button clearer
I’m a rare user that actually looks for the store in every game and it took me 8 levels to find it. There are two main problems with the store button:
- It doesn’t look like a button
- It doesn’t look like a store
Same goes for the save me option that allows the user to buy an extra goblin to complete the level – it’s not very clear.
Save me option in level based games
At the end of every level, the game offers users the option of buying an extra goblin to complete the mission. This is not something you normally see in level based games from a simple reason, the user ‘cost’ of starting the level over is low compared to single level games like endless runners where the users is facing a tough decision – pay or lose all the progress. The game will do better by switching this to an energy economy. In other words, giving users only a limited number of goblins to play with and gaining more goblins by waiting.
Use of premium currency
In addition to coins, the game also features tickets as a premium currency which is generally a good thing. However, the only buying power that these tickets have is to buy hats which has only a visual impact on the game. I would recommend using premium currency for things that the user really wants while pricing ‘nice to have’ items with regular currency. For example, a good use of premium currency would be to buy lives or ‘save me’.
Adding basic single use items
Single use items are critical to engage users in the game virtual economy. They give the game currency immediate buying power. The keys to adding a good single use item is that it needs to be easily purchasable and in high demand by the user. In Fruits n’ Goblins I would recommend making the punching/tilting an item that costs a single coin and ask the user to purchase them at the beginning of each level.
Gates between worlds
Users who want to move into the next world in this game, has to buy a new machine for 2,000 coins. I would recommend adding a more advanced gate system that challenges the user to be at his best to pass it. Of course, adding an option to skip the gate by paying is recommended but it’s better to price it with premium currency.