Compulsive Review – Twist on Matching Games

Compulsive is a fun matching game with some cool twists and clear user interface. It was developed with cross platform engine Cocos2d-x and you can find it in Google Play as well as in the Apple App Store.


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Matching color patterns and chain reactions

The basic objective of the player in Compulsive is to match sequences of squares from the some color. When such a sequence is pulled together, it explodes into pieces allowing the top squares to gravitate towards the bottom and possibly create new matches by doing so. This can often cause a chain reaction which is one of the best ways to give the user an immediate gratification. That part of the game works quite well and the game is indeed fun enough to be featured by both Apple and Google.
drag squares across the screen to match colors and see what kind of a chain reaction you created as the rest of the squares fall down

Sequencing missions to create progress

The part represents the largest improvement opportunity is the game progression scheme. The current setup is that of 3 game modes with a leaderboards for each one and missions that most users are not even aware of. I would suggest creating a sequence of challenges where each challenge includes a mission in each one of the game modes. Users have to complete a certain challenge before they can move to the next one. The progress from one challenge to the next one can be visualized as a path. More importantly, the mission at hand should be presented to the user at the beginning of the session and the progress towards completion needs to be tracked in the session.

Game Center implementation

Unlike many other games that use the Gamecenter with the design that comes out of the box. The creators of compulsive were able to adapt the design to fit the rest of the game while still enjoying the server side benefits of Gamecenter. More games should attempt to do that rather than defaulting to the generic design.

Creating demand for virtual goods

The game currently offers three in-app purchase items that give users gameplay advantages. The problem is that the user don’t need these advantages. There is not enough challenge for users to feel like they really need them. The first step here is to present users with challenges as suggested above. Once they are struggling with making progress, suggesting them the powerups in the pre-session screen might get them interested in giving the IAP items a try. 

Opt-in videos as a light form of advertising

Another good idea is to give users a chance to own in-app purchase items by watching videos. This gives users a chance to try the items before buying them while generating revenue for the developer. One option to look at in this category is Vungle
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