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Designing a game is like an art; you need to use the right gameplay elements to make your game fun and addictive. With that, what gives modern online, mobile, social, and video games an addictive quality?

Ben Sim, Blogger

July 3, 2017

4 Min Read

Designing a game is like an art; you need to use the right gameplay elements to make your game fun and addictive. With that, what gives modern online, mobile, social, and video games an addictive quality? To know the answer, let’s take a look at some addictive gameplay elements and some successful titles that incorporate these.


Leveling system

Typically in an RPG game, the player’s character starts with basic stats such as strength, intelligence, experience, dexterity, etc. It only takes a little grind to get to the next level and acquire new abilities, which make the game rewarding and compels players to continue playing.  As the player moves to higher levels, it requires more time to grind, which takes days or weeks. But as the character’s level advances, it becomes stronger and gets better weapons and equipment when defeating tough enemies. This is a great medium for players to continue playing because if you make a game that is too simple, they will get bored fast. The same goes for a game that is too complex or takes a lot of time to grind. Imagine if your game takes players a month in order to advance to the next level – that is not rewarding enough for them to continue playing.


Social Element

Incorporating a social element in a game adds excitement to players and fuels their desire to keep playing. In multiplayer games, players on different factions, worlds, race, etc. can interact and explore together. There is also a guild system in many MMORPGs that allows players to join a group. With that, players feel a sense of camaraderie to the group and contribute resources to advance their guild’s level. Guild members can help other players by finishing quests or raids together. In some games, they employ group quests which provide great rewards.  That way, players will want to be online so they can play with their guildmates.



A leaderboard is a feature in games that helps increase player’s level of engagement by attaining a higher rank or beating the player with the highest score. This has been incorporated in many games, from the 1983 classic like Atari Star Wars to modern games like Clash of Clans. What makes a leaderboard an effective component in games is the fact that players want to know how they stack up against their friends or strangers. Leaderboards can also improve retention in games, encouraging players who are falling down the ranks to claim their place at the top. For this reason, many developers incorporate this mechanic to improve the engagement and retention of their games.



Many developers these days employ repetition to make their games more compelling. Flappy Bird, for instance, may have various setup on each level but the basic mechanic is applied throughout the game, i.e., controlling the bird and making sure it avoids touching the pipes to accomplish a level. The desire to finish a level without hitting the pipes makes this game hard to put down. Another repetitive game that is a classic is Tetris. It’s repetitive in a way that players go through a routine of manipulating Tetris shapes, lining them up, and fitting them until they can clear a number of lines. This simple yet addictive gameplay makes Tetris one of the most successful games of all time that is over 30 years old today.


Discovery and Exploration

Another factor that keeps players engaged in playing is discovery and exploration. This is an element found in many games like World of Warcraft and Civilization. In these games, you will typically explore unchartered areas to look for information or search for resources. The compelling factor of these games is you’ll never know what awaits you around the next area. Not to mention, the rewards you get after exploring an unchartered area entice you to search more, thus extending the game time.  


As seen in many successful video game titles today, they don’t use just one addictive element but incorporate many fun and compelling gameplay mechanics to make the game hard to put down. If you’re planning to design a game and you want it to be a huge hit, make sure you know how to balance the challenging elements and the compelling mechanics to entice modern gamers.  That way, your game will earn a huge mark in the gaming community.

This post was written by Reymart Sarigumba from iPrice group.



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