Match Monster Review – Fun Take on Memory Game

match monster can be quite addictive once you get into itMatch Monster is a fun memory game available for android devices through the Google Play store and for for iPhones at the Apple App Store.

Memory matching gameplay

The way to play this game is to simply tap on the tiles to turn them over and then trying to pair similar tiles together by memorizing what’s on the other side of each tile. Sounds familiar? I’m sure we have all seen a version of this game elsewhere. The twist here is that there is a time limitation which makes it more intensive and exciting. In addition to are also 3 interactive elements to enhance the fun:

  • Some of the tiles might be revealed at the beginning of a level
  • Tiles might blink randomly to hint the user of a possible pair
  • Matching a few pairs one after the other becomes a combo that creates a new type of tile that can be broken by tapping on it
After you play it for a while you can get addicted to it but I think there are ways to make it even better by adding a chain reaction element to it. To be more specific, I would change the functionality of the Zebra tile that appears after making a combo and make the Zebra tile do a line blast and then also blasting any unmatched tile that is left as a result. This is obviously just one idea of how to do it and there could be more. The importance of creating a chain reaction is that it gives users great reward for making a good move so overall engagement is increased.

Level design and game progression

The game progression model is a standard world + levels. There is room for improvement on the level design side.The game uses a world and levels progression scheme. There are 3 worlds and each one of them contains 20 levels. Every level also has it’s own score which allows users to play the same level over and over again and optimize their score. While this is a pretty popular way to do it. There are ways to improve it a bit:
  • Adding levels where the goal is to finish within number of moves and not within a certain time
  • Implementing gates between the worlds so it will be harder to unlock a new world
  • Giving users the option to buy virtual goods that help them complete hard levels

Game discovery and distribution

When looking at the Google Play store stats, you might notice that the game has less than 500 downloads. That’s less than one might expect for a game of this level. When searching both store for the term “match monster” we can see that the game is not in the top 15 results for it’s own name. That creates a big problem with organic discover which indie games relay on. The problem with calling a game ‘match monster’ is that there are many other games with similar names. Luckily enough, the game have a very loose relationship to monsters and in fact the images behind the tiles could be just about anything. I would try to experiment a bit with reskinning and target other search results. Here is how you do it:
  1. Create a list of names that may make sense for reskinning: celebs match, stars match, monster memory, faces memory, stars memory, …
  2. Try to evaluate the competition and search volume for each one of them – there are some tools that can help you predict that but I’m not an expert on which one works
  3. Find 3-4 that looks promising and create simple reskins (just change the images on the back of the tiles and rebuild)
  4. If one of them gets good traction, reskin the entire theme to make it look good
If you want to learn more about this subject, I also highly recommend this session from the last Casual Connect in Singapore – I set through the session and learned a lot from it. App Store Optimization Session
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