To say that matching puzzle games have become a hit these days is very much of an understatement. These easy to play games are generating close to million dollars per day. The key to their popularity is their highly appealing nature.
Despite what non-players claim, matching puzzle games are essentially a game of luck. Your success depends on the array of fruits or candies you’ve randomly been given rather than your skill. Winning becomes unexpected: we lose more often than we win, and we never know how fast we will reach the next level. Rather than discouraging us from playing, this makes the game even more enticing.
This strategy is known as a variable ratio schedule of reinforcement and is the same tactic used in slot machines; you can’t predict the winner, but you win just often enough to keep you coming back for more. Even if you are not into the casual gaming industry, important lessons can be learned, regarding popularity and profitability.
Scarcity leads to a desire
Almost all the games out there let you play as often as you want. Limiting players to their online gaming adventure would be annoying, right? It turns out, enduring the limits through the levels is one of the key ingredients in its appealing nature.
Rather than frustrating the players, these breaks in the game have a welcoming effect instead. Scarcity is one of the main influence principles defined by psychologist R. Cialdini. The match puzzle games exploit that well, and you can too. If there is an opportunity to demonstrate that your product is limited in supply, test that. A hard to get an opportunity or an available bonus for a specific period will be more attractive rather than gaming in abundance.
We love “Easy”
While we can approach the game with as much mental intensity as a game of strategy, getting started here is very easy. Rules are simple and the game is pretty much effortless. The small number of special combinations and game pieces make playing very simple, so simple it barely requires any cognitive efforts. Comparing the game to a typical console, here there is no mental strain. Even advanced levels can be played with low attention, being luckier rather than strategizing.
Fruits and candies are likable
Who doesn’t like to smash fruits? Developers could have used any kind of images and objects. But, our brain associates fruit and candy with pleasure, impression, and imagery is all positive. Grid games like the popular Tiki Tumble, Fat Rabbit or Jammin Jars at SlotsWise, rank pretty well among the players.
‘Liking’ is another persuasive element. If you bring a likable vibe to your product, you will be more successful. One way to bring charm to the table is to show your common interests and attributes you share with your audience. Tell your story and show that you love playing these games also.
Achievements keep you going
Every game uses a different kind of rewarding systems to keep the players engaged. Complete a level and voila there’s a little frenzy of on-screen activity where various pieces and lines explode, taking out other fields. Some games even generate cheering like ‘Sweet’ or ‘Good Job’. Earning a special reward with a good combo is also a thing – the player knows that the next level is won. Rewards, of course, are the key concept of gamification.
Today, many industries are incorporating the process of gamification. This way, they keep customers happy and engaged. You have earned a badge or won an immunity – these small bursts of encouragement make us happy. Gamifying the destination keeps the player engaged and brings them back every time.
The power of ‘Free’
‘Free’ always does the triggering effect. Experiments and A/B testings have shown that a free item is far more attractive than a cheap or one-time offer. It may seem that a discount is far more legitimate, but when it comes to freemium packs – they always win.
When the player finds this offer amusing, they will surely check the functional and detailed version, giving that extra penny for the sake of curiosity.
Developing a social element to your processes can have a big impact on overall results. If a potential customer sees that his friend ‘likes’ your game, you have a big advantage over competitors lacking such social proof.