This post was originally posted on the Whally blog.
I use Whally’s free usage intelligence data to keep an eye on interesting new games on the market. With the number of games ever increasing on the app store, but an environment where the amount of money being spent on games is flattening, mobile game developers increasingly need to know what they are competing against. And keeping an eye on up and coming games with the Whally Index can help provide some insight into where users are spending their time, and what developers/publishers are making headway.
Quite honestly, I also do this to find new, fun games to play, because we’re all gamers, right? :) Here’s what caught my interest in January.
Flappy-esque game published by Australian rapper
Color Switch, Samuel Ratumaitavuki (Whally Index, iOS, Android) Color Switch has increased from around 250K scorers to over 1M scorers over the last month, and I am not surprised. First of all, it’s a really fun game. Hailed as “your next Flappy fix” by Gamezebo, the game uses a tapping mechanic and as a player you need to maneuver a ball through a maze of moving colors. When the ball is purple, it can only touch purple, when it’s cyan it can only touch cyan… you get the idea. The ball never stops moving, and neither do the obstacles, making it a surprising challenge. The game has two modes, an endless mode where you collect as many stars as possible, and a recently released challenge mode, with easy, medium, and hard levels. The challenge mode also has a “reverse” option, where the ball falls from the top instead of being bounced from the bottom up. All of the options are fun… I play the endless mode when I have a moment to concentrate, and the challenge modes when I want a quick accomplishment.
Image: Fortafy, Facebook
The second reason why this game seeing this success? It’s linked to internet personality Fortafy, aka Samuel Raumaitavuki. Fortafy is an Australian rapper and nightclub owner, with over 4 million Facebook followers. And it looks as if he is starting a game publisher, following his internet personality doppelgangers (his girlfriend looks like Kim Kardashian and he looks like Kanye) into gaming. Download it because this is an awesome marketing move, but play it because it’s fun.
Unique takes on the racing game genre
The Deconstructor of Fun recently had a tear down of EA’s Need for Speed: No Limits, and made a very clever conclusion. They believe that racing games don’t have the success that other genres do on mobile because developers are focusing too much on the metagame instead of making games where players have to master the core game play of racing on different tracks. I thought their conclusion was insightful, so I went looking for games on the Whally index to take a look myself.
Trial Xtreme 4, Deemedya (Whally Index, iOS, Android) The latest release of Deemedya’s Trial Xtreme franchise peaked at almost 150K scorers in January, and caught my interest this month. It has since dipped to around 100K scorers, but with their previous titles reaching downloads in the millions, I would not be surprised if this game has a long lifecycle. In Trial Xtreme 4 the goal is to master riding a motor bike through different courses as quickly as possible and without falling off. It’s similar to the classic Trials series developed by RedLynx and published by Ubisoft for PC/consoles, but has physics, controls and yes, a metagame, polished for mobile game play. A good example of this is that you can choose to tilt your device to control the bike, or you can use the buttons on the screen. I preferred the buttons, but thought the tilting option was fun to try. The game does have a heavier focus on the metagame of upgrading your bike and its rider, but in my opinion it’s not overly done and adds to the game more than it detracts. A side note: There’s a lot of heavy grunting in this game that could have been left out or at least toned down. :)
Traffic Rider, Soner Kera (Whally Index, iOS, Android) Traffic Rider has a first person perspective on racing motorcycles through different environments that launched in late December, peaked at around 500K scorers and has since flattened at around 300K scorers a day. Its visuals are more polished than Trial Xtreme, and there is a much bigger focus on the look and abilities of the bikes themselves. The simulation of riding, overcoming cars and avoiding oncoming traffic is very realistic and got my heartbeat up! There is a lot of content for players who are looking for that rush, including 4 modes and a choice of one or two way roads, the type of road (e.g. city or country), the time of day, and a very precise measure of traffic density, which all come into play for some of the challenges in Career mode. The type of motorcycle also comes into play, as each one has different abilities, making the meta game nicely intertwined.
Are you using the Whally Index to keep an eye on your competition? What new games have you added to your devices this month?