What the best iphone games have in common

On June 6, 2012

What the best iphone games have in common

There are plenty of games available for the iOS platform. If you, like me, love to play games on the iPhone then names like temple run, ninjump, jetpack, or fruit ninja won't be new to you. They have different characters, different controls, different story lines.  

These games are addictive and fun to play but i have seen one common pattern among all these games. They are simple to play. To say it more accurately: Very simple to play.

With ninjump all you need to do is just tap the screen, in temple run you only have to swipe in the direction you want the player to move and in fruit ninja too all you need to do is slash the fruits by swiping your fingers across the screen.

How simpler could it be. If these same games would have been made with additional features that increased the complexity of the game play then it would have killed the simple joy factor present in them.

All these games have very little to almost no learning curve. So, when we launch them for the very first time and play them for a few minutes we understand them immediately. 

Once you have learned how to play a game, you start playing the game to explore it by yourself. This is when you are enjoying it and having a great time.

When it takes more time to learn something, you have to be patient and understand it properly before you can start playing the game and exploring it. That means, it takes you more time since you launched the game first time to the time you actually started enjoying the game.

This is why many of the games fail. They test the patience of the user a little too much. People play games on an iPhone because they want instant fun. Delay the time it takes to have fun with your game and you have lost them.

Another reason these games are immensely popular is that they cater to a huge percentage of mobile users- almost all of them.

For a game to be successful it must satisfy its targeted audience. For a game to be hugely successful it must satisfy all the audience. 

The game should be so simple that anyone who is 5+ years old should be easily able to understand and play the game within few minutes.

Increase this learning curve and you start narrowing your audience size.

Everyone does not like to play hardcore games. But, even hardcore gamers like to play a simple fun game every once in a while.

Mobile devices, especially iPhone, are meant to be simple and casual in nature. What you do with them is definitely your choice, but their very nature is to do things immediately and as easily as possible.

The time gap between clicking the game icon and playing the game should be as little as possible. 

Consider that you are waiting for a friend at cafeteria and you decide to play some game to pass your time. Which game it would be? A game that loads instantly and is easy to play without needing your 100% attention or a game that takes more time to load and would need more focus from your side. 

All the popular games have this thing in common. You can play them any time you want. The loading times are close to negligible. The controls are simple to use and you don't even need to concentrate completely to move ahead in the game.

In some games it's even possible to advance a little bit every time you play. With so many of them having such features to get additional stuff by collecting coins and similar stuff, the user feels that even if he just plays the game with little attention, his collected items would go up and he can buy stuff inside the game in the future.

This is what makes all these games so popular and successful.

To summarize the best iPhone games:
1) takes less time to start- usually a few seconds.
2) have very little learning curve, 1-2 minutes are enough to understand all the controls you will ever need in the game.
3) don't constantly require your 100% concentration.
4) are simple and fun to play.

Did i miss any important point? 
If you would like to add something to this, please let me know through the comments.

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